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 that starts on FanDuel at 12:20 pm ET.
Los Angeles Dodgers
If it's possible to hang a quiet seven runs on the board, the Los Angeles Dodgers did last night. They are capable of producing fireworks every game with a lineup that's historically great. Today, they face an underwhelming righty, Chris Paddack.
The Minnesota Twins traded for Paddack at the end of spring training. So, this is his debut for them. According to FanGraphs, last year, he had a 5.07 ERA, 4.69 Expected ERA (xERA), and 4.05 Skill-Interactive ERA (SIERA). In addition, Paddack has struggled with homers, ceding 1.25 homers per nine innings last year and 1.52 homers per nine innings in his career.
Paddack was also at his worst against righties. The 228 righties he faced in 2021 destroyed him for a .547 slugging and .381 weighted on-base average (wOBA). Further, Paddack has had a reverse platoon split for his career, which isn't surprising since his best pitch is a changeup, which is typically used to neutralize hitters of the opposite handedness.
Even with Paddack's platoon numbers in mind, I love Freddie Freeman ($3,600). The 2020 National League Most Valuable Player hammers righties, and he has succeeded at a high level against all of the pitch types in Paddack's arsenal. Using FanGraphs' pitch value measure, out of 163 qualified hitters since 2019, Freeman has been tied for 11th against changeups, fifth against curves, and third against fastballs.
I'm also all over righties Mookie Betts ($3,800), Trea Turner ($3,700), and Justin Turner ($3,100). They've all thrived in same-handed matchups, pairing perfectly with Paddack's struggles against fellow righties. Finally, Will Smith ($3,300) is a superb option, too.
The Houston Astros are a high-octane offense. They have a desirable blend of high-end talent and lineup depth. Facing righties since 2019, 10 of the 12 hitters on their active roster have had a 106 Weighted Runs Created Plus (wRC+) or higher, and eight hitters have had at least a 119 wRC+.
Even the best pitchers in baseball would have a difficult time holding Houston's offense in check, and Merrill Kelly won't be confused for a top-flight starter. Instead, he's almost precisely an average pitcher. In 376 and 2/3 inning, Kelly has had a 4.23 ERA that's almost identical to his ERA estimators.
The righty has also coughed up an exploitable 1.31 homers per nine innings. Further, he doesn't miss bats at even an average rate. Kelly had a 19.5 percent strikeout rate last year, considerably lower than the league average 23.2 percent strikeout rate. Kelly has also struck out just 20.4 percent of the batters he's faced in The Show in his career.
Houston's lineup is legitimately stackable from top to bottom. However, a few players I'm most keen on are Jose Altuve ($3,700), Michael Brantley ($2,900), and Yordan Alvarez ($3,900) -- pending he returns from the illness that sidelined him yesterday -- and Kyle Tucker ($4,200). Brantley doesn't provide the same power as his aforementioned teammates, but he's a steal as a table-setter. Meanwhile, since 2019, Altuve, Tucker, and Alvarez have had a .208 Isolated Power (ISO), .260 ISO, and .289 ISO, respectively, against righties.
The Chicago Cubs are a nifty, low-salaried, pivot off or complement to the two high-powered stacks above. A casual fan of another MLB team isn't likely to correctly name more than a couple of hitters on the Cubs. Still, they're a thorn in the side of right-handed pitchers.
Today, they face Zach Thompson. The 28-year-old righty emerged from prospect obscurity with a 3.24 ERA between the rotation and bullpen in his rookie season for the Miami Marlins. Thompson's lack of prospect fanfare, mixed bag minor-league results, and 4.58 SIERA leave me waiting for the other shoe to drop. In other words, I'm skeptical of continued success.
Additionally, the righty struggled with the platoon disadvantage. Left-handed batters had a .346 wOBA against Thompson last year. As a result, I'm most interested in Chicago's hitters with the platoon advantage.
My favorite option from the Cubs is yesterday's two-homer headline grabber, Seiya Suzuki ($2,800). I'm also interested in Ian Happ ($2,900). Since 2019, Happ has had a .342 OBP, .263 ISO, and 125 wRC+.
As long as Nick Madrigal ($2,100) is in his customary spot against righties, batting second, he's on my radar. Finally, Willson Contreras ($3,200) doesn't have the platoon advantage, but I'll gladly roster his .208 ISO against righties since 2019.
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.