The 60-game sprint of an MLB season is off and running after last night’s debacle of a slate. With 11 games on the board today, MLB DFS players will have a lot more to choose from tonight, and we should see both good baseball and entertaining profitable GPPs. If you missed my Quick Hits from last night, the three teams I mentioned there are all among Awesemo’s top-ranked stacks (seriously don’t sleep on the Oakland A’s at this projected ownership). I also give a top home run option from each team on the slate, so be sure to check that content out for a bit more on potential approaches.
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Our goal here is going to be a quick review of lineups in the afternoon — hopefully with some confirmed information — in the hopes of finding a different approach to some stacks or a high-quality, low-owned stack that we can exploit. We’re going to be focusing primarily on Awesemo’s Top Stacks Tool as a frequent reference point. While we may land on popular builds from time to time, we’re generally going to try to be different in this space, so bear that in mind when deploying ideas you find here.
If you haven’t been playing MLB DFS, you might not be familiar with how the stack tool works, but you should familiarize yourself with it. Personally, I think it’s one of the most powerful features on the site. I’ll review each team’s probability of being the day’s top stack and compare it with the projected team ownership that the tool provides. When we see ownership that is trending significantly below the team’s chances of being your best option, it’s a great spot. I’ll also be careful to review the various probability rankings in relation to one another. Some days there isn’t as much difference between third and seventh as you might think, indicating some undervalued opportunities.
We’ll typically be working with projected lineups here, so watch out on the Live Blog for any breaking news, and adapt accordingly.
Baltimore Orioles: 1-3-4 – Austin Hays – Anthony Santander – Renato Nunez
We might as well set expectations right off the start, sometimes these aren’t going to be comfortable plays. The fact is, while the Orioles lineup is objectively bad, these three hitters have talent and should provide enough correlation and scoring potential that we can deploy them as a three-man stack or even stretch to add *gulp* Chris Davis. The Orioles are carrying the lowest projected team ownership among the top-10 ranked stacks on DraftKings, and their 3% team ownership on FanDuel is perfectly reasonable. They carry a better value rating based on the very low prices on FanDuel, so I like the play on both sites but it looks stronger on DraftKings.
Hays has been stalled slightly by injuries, but he’s a slugger this team has been waiting for. The minor league marks the last two years mostly show a hitter who was knocking rust off coming back from injury. In his limited 75 MLB plate appearances in 2019, WRC+ 46% above league average was far more in line with what he showed in his healthy seasons in the minors. He handled big league pitching well, drawing the walk 9.3% of the time and striking out just 17.3% while posting a big .265 ISO (again, extremely limited sample). Santander was something of a surprise, hitting 20 home runs in his 405 plate appearances in 2019. The switch hitter is slightly better from the right side of the plate but will hit left-handed here against Nathan Eovaldi. Still, he carries a reasonable rating in my home run model and Awesemo’s projections and is a three-hitter for only $2,300 on FanDuel.
Related MLB DFS Content
- Spotlight Hitters
- MLB Cram Session Part 1
- MLB Cram Session Part 2
- MLB Cram Session Part 3
- Top MLB DFS Stacks, quick hits for Opening Day
- The MLB Strategy Show
Arizona Diamondbacks: 1-2-4-5-6 – Starling Marte – Ketel Marte – David Peralta – Christian Walker – Kole Calhoun
The Diamondbacks are a great example of something we have to be aware of in the stack tool when looking for MLB DFS picks. If you’re only going by where a team ranks down the list, you’re not looking at it correctly. What we need to pay attention to is their probability of being the top stack and how those numbers relate to one another. For today we have two teams that land above 10% with another small cluster of teams in the 6-8% range. After that teams six through 17 are separated by just two percentage points. If we spot a team like the Diamondbacks carrying significantly less ownership than other teams who are ranked essentially the same, it’s an opportunity.
Chris Paddack is no slouch of a starter, but this team has a ton of power in the top of the lineup. The top six hitters in the projected lineup all project for ISOs over .200. There are a ton of strikeouts for Paddack here as well, and he’s a decent pitching play, but I like the bats here. For his career, new lead-off hitter and big free agent signing Starling Marte has been better against same-handed pitching, posting a posting a WRC+ 19% above league average over that span, while reducing his strikeout rate significantly compared to the opposite hand. He should be involved in the offense here. The pairing with Marte atop this order should be fun to watch all year, and I would be sure to get the both in this stack. Three hitter Eduardo Escobar is fine here if you’d rather play a third baseman, but I prefer him hitting right-handed against lefty pitchers. I think skipping him helps differentiate from the limited other Diamondbacks stacks.
Chicago White Sox – 2-3-4-5-6 – Yoan Moncada – Jose Abreu – Edwin Encarnacion – Yasmani Grandal – Eloy Jimenez
The White Sox are another lineup that is loaded with projected power after adding Encarnacion and Grandal to an already powerful lineup. This is a team that I expect to get popular in MLB DFS, so get on them early before the crowd. Moncada is a player I fully expected to continue his rapid growth. In his second full season, the highly touted Cuban import was able to cut his strikeout rate from an embarrassing 33.4% in his rookie year to a still-bad-but-better 27.5%, while taking his ISO from a .164 all the way to a killer .233 with a WRC+ 41% above league average.
At 37 and on his fourth team in as many years, Encarnacion is someone people might be starting to think of as an aging slugger who is now making rounds as a mercenary for contenders. The truth is 2019 was his best year in the last few, and there is plenty of pop remaining in this bat. In 486 plate appearances with the Indians and Yankees in 2019, Encarnacion posted a .287 ISO, his highest since 2015, while hitting just .234 on a .239 BABIP, translation: This is all power. Encarnacion’s strikeout, walk and home run to fly ball rates were all directly in-line with his career averages and I see no reason to expect a decline other than age bias. If you need to save some salary off the back end of this stack, you can pivot down to Luis Robert, a top-ranked prospect with a ready-now bat.