Stacks are an integral part of daily fantasy baseball. They can push a team to the top of a GPP by driving upside. However, they're also viable in cash games, namely smaller (two-person or three-person) stacks that mitigate the volatility of a full four-person stack.
This article is your home throughout the 2022 Major League Baseball season for the day's top stacks. The primary goal is to identify the highest-scoring upside stack. Still, game theory will play a role in contrarian stacks making the cut as GPP options. Nevertheless, chalky stacks will make appearances in this space, too.
Beyond my analysis in this space, I strongly suggest numberFire premium members using our DFS Sharpstack tool and hitting heat map tool. The DFS Sharpstack helps plug stacks into optimized lineups, allowing you to change parameters and lock or exclude players and teams. Meanwhile, the heat map offers a one-stop-shop for the opposing starting pitcher, implied total, park factor, and other notable goodies.
Now, let's look at the top stacks on today's main slate.
The Atlanta Braves take cuts against a rookie lefty making only his third big-league start tonight. Reiver Sanmartin pitched well on his climb up the minor-league ladder. However, he doesn't possess a big-league caliber heater by any measure, most notably averaging only 89.4 mph with the pitch last year, per FanGraphs. Of course, velocity isn't everything, but a lack of it leaves little room for error.
Atlanta's lineup is chock full of players that can punish a lefty with mediocre stuff. The most successful hitter of the bunch is switch-hitter Ozzie Albies ($4,000). According to FanGraphs, in 361 plate appearances against southpaws since 2019, he has had a .371 OBP, .258 Isolated Power (ISO), and 150 Weighted Runs Created Plus (wRC+).
The second-most successful active hitter for the Braves since 2019 might surprise readers. Left-handed slugging first baseman Matt Olson ($3,700) has unloaded on his same-handed foes for a .289 ISO. As a result, it would be unwise to sleep on him only because he doesn't have the platoon advantage.
Austin Riley ($3,600) is another stud to consider. However, I'm most intrigued by sub-$3,000 hitters Marcell Ozuna ($2,900) and Travis d'Arnaud ($2,700). The former has had a .301 ISO, and the latter has had a .213 ISO against southpaws since 2019. Their power is enticing at modest salaries.
Los Angeles Angels
It's tempting to pick the Houston Astros in an American League West showdown, but I prefer to stack the top-heavy Los Angeles Angels instead. Lefty Reid Detmers choked down his first cup of big-league coffee for the Angels, recording a ghastly 7.40 ERA. However, he was a highly-regarded prospect and had a stellar spring.
On the flip side, Jake Odorizzi has established himself as a mediocre or worse innings eater. Last year, the veteran righty had a 4.21 ERA with even worse ERA estimators. For instance, he had a 4.62 Skill-Interactive Earned Run Average (SIERA) and 4.70 Expected ERA (xERA). Yes, Odorizzi has regularly beaten his underlying metrics throughout his career. However, he has also had a 4.14 ERA or higher in four of the previous five years.
Odorizzi is ill-equipped to quiet the one-two punch of Shohei Ohtani ($4,300) and Mike Trout ($4,200). Last year, Ohtani beat righties like a drum for a .313 ISO and 150 wRC+ on his way to collecting American League Most Valuable Player honors. Meanwhile, since 2019, Trout has had a .436 OBP, .379 ISO, and 189 wRC+ against righties, making him nearly an unstoppable force. Thankfully, even if you use these two, there are many paths to fleshing out a lineup and affording Max Scherzer or the other top hurlers.
Beyond Ohtani and Trout, Jared Walsh ($3,400), Anthony Rendon ($3,200), and Jo Adell ($2,700) merit consideration to fill out a full four-person stack. Walsh broke out last year, and Rendon has been a top-shelf hitter for most of his career, but Adell's presence as a touted player might puzzle you.
Adell was a top prospect, but he hasn't hit the ground running. Still, Adell showed signs of figuring things out last year and has parlayed that into a promising spring training. So, Adell might be a sneaky selection until he puts up eye-catching numbers in the regular season.
San Diego Padres
Unlike the first two stacks, the San Diego Padres qualify as a bargain option. Thus, I love meshing them with both the Angels and Braves. Their opposing pitcher, Merrill Kelly, is a pitcher cut from a similar cloth to Odorizzi. In three years, he owns a 4.27 ERA and 4.54 SIERA. However, he's had an ERA over 4.40 in two of his three years, and his career mark is aided by a lucky 2.59 ERA in the 2020 season.
The right-handed pitcher was surprisingly good against lefties in 2021. Kelly allowed only a .280 Weighted On-Base Average (wOBA) to 319 lefties. However, he ceded a less impressive .312 wOBA to them before 2021. Meanwhile, 348 right-handed batters teed off on Kelly for a .491 slugging and .356 wOBA. He was better in same-handed matchups before 2021, but a .313 wOBA yielded is hardly anything to celebrate.
As I said, I'm honed in on value in this stack to complement the previously discussed studs on the Braves and Angels. Therefore, my favorite options from the Friars are Jake Cronenworth ($3,100), Luke Voit ($2,500), and Eric Hosmer ($2,400).
Conveniently, Voit and Cronenworth have fared the best for the Padres against righties since 2019 -- or since debuting in 2020 in Cronenworth's case. Finally, Hosmer hasn't lived up to the hopes of the front office that overpaid him, but his 111 wRC+ in 1,009 plate appearances against righties since 2019 is a rock-solid mark for a punt-salaried player.
Joshua Shepardson is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Joshua Shepardson also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username bchad50. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his/her personal views, he/she may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his/her personal account. The views expressed in his/her articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.