By Wesley Anderson
It may not be necessary to stack when it comes to constructing your MLB DFS lineups, but it certainly gives you the better chance to find success. The idea behind stacking is pretty straightforward. You are trying to piece together the optimal combination of a team’s hitters and exploit a positive pitching situation.
By stacking you are hoping to take advantage of an opportunity to score multiple points on a single play or event. For example, if you stack a team’s first three batters and the first two players hit singles, you get the points for those as you normally would. But if the third batter homers, not only would you get his points for the home run, but you also would receive points for the two additional runs scored. This correlation is the key to stacking.
With Wednesday’s MLB schedule packed with all 30 teams playing, there are plenty of opportunities to stack. Below are eight of the top stacking options for May 1st.
Any time the Braves’ offense is opposed by a lefty, they have to be considered for stacking purposes. Against southpaws this season, Atlanta has been very successful. As a team they have a .239 ISO (4th highest), a .287 AVG (fifth highest), 14 home runs (third highest) and 49 runs (second highest) against left-handed pitching.
And tonight is no different. While the Padres’ Matt Strahm has a respectable 3.04 ERA there is some regression coming. On the season he has a 4.44 SIERA and a 4.79 xFIP, while allowing a 45% hard contact rate.
As you look to stack Braves’ bats, consider the usual suspects: Ozzie Albies (.375 ISO, .494 wOBA vs. L), Freddie Freeman (.368 ISO, .461 wOBA vs. L) and Ronald Acuna (.423 ISO, .460 wOBA vs. L). If interested in going to a four-man stack with the Braves, consider using Johan Camargo. The outfielder has mashed against lefties this season with a .300 AVG and a 161 wRC+.
Much like the Braves, you want to get some Astros in your DFS lineups whenever they are squaring off against a southpaw. Houston has a .299 AVG (second highest) and a .242 ISO (third highest) against lefties in 2019. You especially want to get Houston batters in your DFS entries when they are taking on Martin Perez. The Twins’ starter isn’t fooling anyone this year, as he has a very low 12% whiff percentage this year.
Start your Houston stack with the big three: Jose Altuve (.565 ISO, .520 wOBA vs. L), Carlos Correa (.278 ISO, .519 wOBA vs. L) and George Springer (.417 ISO, .408 wOBA vs. L). If you are looking to get a bit contrarian consider both Yuli Gurriel and Josh Reddick. They both have ISOs in the upper .200s.
Chicago White Sox
By just about any measure you can think of, the Orioles’ David Hess is having a very bad season. He has a 5.88 ERA and is also allowing 2.77 HR/9. In fact, the Baltimore starter is just about the perfect pitcher to stack against. He is allowing a 41.5% hard contact percentage, a 57.3 flyball percentage and throws his fastball about 50% of the time. So, it is a no-brainer that you will want to build a White Sox stack for Monday.
The Chicago stack needs to start with Tim Anderson. The shortstop not only has a .302 ISO versus right-handed pitching this season, he also has a .385/.400/.615 slash line against flyball pitchers. Other popular pieces to the White Sox build should be Yoan Moncada (.205 ISO against fastballs) and Jose Abreu (.348 AVG vs fly ball pitchers and a .317 AVG against fastballs). If you are looking to get a little different with the Chicago stack, James McCann is your guy. The catcher has a .550 AVG against fastballs this season and a .448 OBP against flyball pitchers.
Boston Red Sox
The Athletics will run Mike Fiers out to the bump on Wednesday. That means that you will want to get some Red Sox in your all-day slate entries. The Oakland starter is very vulnerable, as he has just a 17.2% K%. So, without a doubt you will want to get a stack of Mookie Betts, J.D. Martinez and Xander Bogaerts. But don’t forget the Red Sox’s lefties. Fiers is allowing .344/.394/.541 slash line with a 48.1% hard contact rate to left-handed bats. Andrew Benintendi (.358 wOBA vs R) and Mitch Moreland (.338 ISO vs R) will be lower owned then the big three, but are in great spots to carry your Boston stack.
You wish the Pirates had a better offense because they are in position to crush on Wednesday. The Rangers’ Shelby Miller is a dumpster fire with a 7.42 SIERA and a 7.76 xFIP in 2019. Mix in his 44.6% hard contact rate and 1.77 HR/9 allowed and he is a guy we want to pick on. Despite a less than great offense, Pittsburgh will be chalky because of their cheap prices. So, stack them anyway and make sure to include Josh Bell. The Pirates’ first baseman has a .344 ISO and 149 wRC+ against right-handed pitching.
The Rangers are one of the best hitting teams in MLB when they are facing a right-handed pitcher. The offense has a 43% hard contact rate and a .365 wOBA against righties. Texas is sixth in home runs, second in runs and second in average against right-handed hurlers in 2019. Despite James Taillon being a solid pitcher, it is tough to ignore a Rangers stack here. Joey Gallo (.422 ISO, .453 wOBA vs. R), Shin Soo-Choo (.268 ISO, .434 wOBA vs. R), Elvis Andrus (.222 ISO, .412 wOBA vs. R) and Asdrubal Cabrera (.276 ISO, .357 wOBA vs. L) make a stack with some serious upside.
The Brewers are one of the top offenses in the league when facing a righty. They have a team .203 ISO (6th highest) and have hit 40 home runs (3rd highest) against right-handed pitching this season. They will be opposed by Colorado’s Antonio Senzatela. The Rockies pitcher is throwing his fastball 72% of the time in 2019. This reliance on the fastball should only help the Brewers increase their offensive output against righties.
When building your Brew Crew stack you will want to build around Christian Yelich. The outfielder has a .364 AVG and a .788 SLG against fastballs this season. Additionally you will want to focus on Mike Moustakas (.308 ISO vs the fastball) and Eric Thames (.850 SLG vs the fastball.
Philadelphia will face the Tigers’ Daniel Norris on Wednesday. The Detroit left-hander is a flyball pitcher (41.4%) that is giving up hard contact (40.7%), making him the perfect type of pitcher to attack with our DFS entries.
When constructing your Phillies’ lineup focus your sights on Jean Segura (1.083 OPS vs L), Bryce Harper (.321 ISO vs L), Rhys Hoskins (.217 ISO vs L) and Andrew McCutchen (.349 wOBA vs L).
Good luck and happy stacking!