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Stacking in MLB DFS: What You Need To Know



You may hear people talking about “stacking.” Stacking is one of the most used and most talked about tournament strategies. Stacking is a great option to bet a strong lineup against a weak pitcher. Understanding that pitchers tend to do poorly with runners on base and that pitchers have bad days, taking as many batters from one team as the site allows, gives you the advantage to compound the scoring of your team exponentially.

If you stack a few hitters in a lineup, big innings and rallies will catapult your lineup to the top of the leaderboard. The goal of a stack is to select the optimal grouping of three to five players from a team in hopes to blow up a starting pitcher early in the game and get into the opposing team’s weaker bullpen arms. It’s important to recognize the difference between FanDuel and DraftKings here, though. On FanDuel, you can only take up to four hitters from one team, while DraftKings allows you to choose up to five.

Stacking can pay off in a couple specific ways. The standard strategy is to stack power hitters who hit opposite-handed from the starting pitcher they’re facing, since we know that players hit opposite-handed pitchers better than same-handed ones. The idea is that you can add points quickly with rallies with multiple extra-base hits.

However, it’s a good idea to throw in some less-owned players from a stack in order to be different, especially if you believe you are attacking a popular stack. Same-handed hitters from that lineup could work because starters will be pulled if they give up too many runs early. An opposite-handed long reliever could likely take their place. This is an especially strong strategy for tournaments, as few people will have that hitter in their lineups. Taking a lesser-owned player is a good way to climb the rankings, as not many other players will get points off that player.

You typically can’t afford the best four or five hitters in a strong lineup, but you can get the best two and choose a couple of the cheaper hitters in a lineup who have a good chance of being involved in the rally, especially if they have either some power or speed attributes.

You can also take a gamble by stacking against a highly-owned pitcher in a tournament, because if your hitters have success, not only will you rack up points for their success, many other players in the tournament who own that pitcher will sink to the bottom of the leaderboard.

There’s one extreme way to use stacking to your advantage. In GPP tournaments, you can stack every team in baseball, enter them all in, betting that one will make up for the losses of the rest. It’s not as easy as it sounds, though. Extreme multi-stacking can cost you a lot of time and money and still not guarantee you success. Even players rolling out hundreds of entries do not come close to covering every possible scenario. It just can’t be done. So, my suggestion is to find that one spot that you feel best about and hit it hard. 

You can also play what’s called a full-game stack. Let’s go back to our example of Wrigley Field on a hot humid day with the wind blowing out. If both pitchers throwing have a high FB% and HR/9 numbers, it would be a savvy play to take as many hitters from both teams as you can afford. Just make sure you don’t take the pitchers, too.

Although stacking is very popular now, it’s not the only way to put together a strong lineup. If you have four hitters you can afford who are in the same lineup and in matchups they can benefit from, great. If you only have two that you really believe in and two you believe in that are on a different team, by all means set up a couple mini-stacks. Some of my most successful lineups have come from looking at the slate and choosing players across three or four teams. As with everything in DFS, there are so many different paths to success. Stacking absolutely works for some players, while for others, it may not be the way to go.

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