4 Daily Fantasy Baseball Stacks for 10/1/15
Each day here on numberFire, we'll be providing you with four potential offenses to stack in your daily fantasy lineups. These are the offenses that provide huge run potential on that given day based on matchups and other factors.
After reading through these suggestions, make sure to check out our daily projections. These can either let you know which players to include in each stack, or which guy best complements said stack.
Another great tool is our custom optimal lineups, which are available for premium subscribers. Within the tool, we've added the option to stack teams -- you choose the team you want to stack, show how many players you want to use within the stack, and the tool will create a lineup based on this that you can then customize.
Now, let's get to the stacks. Here are the teams you should be targeting in daily fantasy baseball today.
One of the harder things about selecting teams to stack this late in the season is that you have to ask the question, "Which of these teams actually wants to try?" A team can be in a great matchup, but if they sit their entire starting roster, what's the point? The Rangers technically haven't clinched a playoff spot yet, so even though this isn't the best of matchups against Andrew Heaney, they still need to be on your radar.
Heaney got himself off to a great start to his Major League career, recording an xFIP less than 4.00 in each of his first four starts. Since then, though, things haven't come quite as easily. His strikeouts have dipped to 6.57 per nine innings, which is a number he needs higher with his 36.3 ground-ball rate over that time. That has driven Heaney's xFIP up to 4.63 over his past 13 starts, a number that is very much exploitable.
The Rangers used to be atrocious against left-handed pitching, but partly due to the acquisition of Mike Napoli, they've been able to turn things around. Napoli still has a 26.6 strikeout rate against lefties, but that's coupled with a 31.7 hard-hit rate. His 46.5 fly-ball rate makes him an extra-base machine and a guy we should be looking towards in our daily rosters.
Sticking with the theme of "teams with something to play for," it's basically do or die for the Twins tonight. If they win out, they will force at least a Game 163. If they lose, things get gross really quick. They're facing Trevor Bauer, making his first start since September 13th, so they may have the matchup to pull it off.
Bauer's move to the bullpen (which only lasted one appearance back on September 19th) came for one very simple reason: he can't stop walking people. He's averaging 4.05 walks per nine innings for the season, and he has walked at least three batters in four of his last five starts as well as six of his last nine. In the three games he didn't walk at least three batters over that stretch, he never lasted longer than 3 1/3 innings. When you've got a 39.2 ground-ball rate, you're flirting with disaster with that many free passes, and the Twins now have the bats to take advantage.
All year, I have been resisting embracing Eddie Rosario. It's possible this is because he forced my boo Oswaldo Arcia out, but Rosario is also the anti-Bauer in that he never takes walks. As a result, his on-base percentage sits below .300 at .292. That's not great for real baseball, but his .197 isolated slugging percentage is dandy for fantasy. If he is hitting fifth again tonight (as he has been doing more often recently), he'll be batting within a few spots of Joe Mauer and Miguel Sano. Both walk at a clip above 11.0 percent, meaning there are going to be base runners on for Rosario. If he can channel that pop and get another extra-base hit, he could be in line for a big night.
David Hale has been bouncing in and out of the Colorado Rockies' rotation over the past two months, finding himself in line to start tonight's game. When guys are making what amounts to a spot start, that should grab your attention.
Hale really isn't that bad of a pitcher, so I'm not sure I understand why the Rockies have been dumping him in the pen. His xFIP is 3.99 as he has 7.12 strikeouts and 2.21 walks per nine innings to go with a 47.9 ground-ball rate. Those numbers are probably better than those of some of the other Rockies' starters, so why it's Hale they choose to jostle around, I don't know. At the same time, Hale has struggled mightily on the road this year, where he holds a 4.57 xFIP, much higher than his 3.74 mark at Coors. We can take advantage of that.
With Hale, it's difficult to choose which bats to stack. On the one hand, his strikeout rate dips against righties, as does his ground-ball rate. On the other hand, he issues more walks to lefties, leading to fewer negative marks on sites like FanDuel that deduct for outs. I'm going to give a bump to the Diamondbacks' righties tonight, but that doesn't mean I'm going to exclude the lefties. Find the bats you think are in the best spot to do some damage and stack around that.
Boston Red Sox
Even though his ERA has been inflated the whole season, CC Sabathia had been able to maintain a relatively low xFIP for the first few months. Something must have happened with him -- even before the knee injury -- as now his peripheral stats are starting to match his traditional ones, and that's not good news for the New York Yankees.
From April through the end of July, Sabathia had a 3.79 xFIP, thanks in large part to a tidy 1.92 walks per nine innings. On average, he was walking fewer than two guys per start, a very respectable mark. Since then, though, the script has flipped completely as he is issuing 4.37 walks per nine innings and has walked at least two guys in all eight of his starts. This has pushed his xFIP up to 4.47, a dangerous number against a Red Sox team that is crushing left-handed pitching right now.
Even with the slipping, Sabathia dominates left-handed batters with a 2.88 xFIP. That's enough to make me disregard how good David Ortiz has been against lefties over the past few months. It might not, however, make me overlook Travis Shaw. This dude still has an immensely small sample size over his career (80 plate appearances against lefties), but he has had success. His strikeout rate is almost identical to his mark against righties at 22.5, but his hard-hit rate increases to 32.3. It's obviously way too early to tell if this is a lefty who will be able to have great splits against lefties for his career, but it might be worth a shot if you're looking for a potential edge tonight.