MLB DFS Core Stacks: Friday, July 12th

MLB DFS tournament play is unlike that of any other sport. Predicting outcomes with precision is difficult and player variance is near its peak, so there are special considerations when constructing MLB lineups in order for you to find success in the long term. With that in mind, our DFS analysts will examine the top stacks to help you optimize your exposures before lock each weekday.

Friday, July 12th

The purpose of this article is to clearly define the best stacks for a variety of tournament formats, while also helping determine which pitcher(s) might work best with the different parts of the order (in terms of pricing) for that stack.

Team 1: The best stack of the night without considering ownership.

Team 2: The best stack to pivot to if ownership on Team 1 becomes too high.

Team 3: The best stack of the night for large-field GPP tournaments. You will be using this stack to try to hit the big first place payout in the largest tournaments on the slate.


Team 1 – New York Yankees

I’m not entirely sure how or why Aaron Sanchez is pitching the first game for the Toronto Blue Jays post-All-Star Break but I’m excited to take advantage of it. Sanchez has been terrible for the Blue Jays this season due to his inability to keep the opposition off the basepaths – his 13% walk rate nearly matches his 17.9% strikeout rate. Aside from walking a ton of batters, Sanchez is also struggling to generate both swings and misses (8.7 SwStr%) and soft contact (17.9%). None of that is encouraging in general but even less so when facing a lineup as potent as the New York Yankees.

New York won’t have the services of the oft-injured Giancarlo Stanton yet they still have five hitters in their projected lineup with ISO’s north of .200 against right-handed pitching over the last two seasons – and both Gleyber Torres (.193) and Brett Gardner (.187) have shown respectable pop against righties. Even in Stanton’s absence the Yankees remain one of the most powerful offenses in the league and remain a good source of the long ball.

Historically Sanchez has been much worse against left-handed hitters (.332 wOBA vs .284 wOBA) but he has generally been terrible regardless of handedness this season. I have no issue playing righty bats against Sanchez tonight despite his wide career splits.

Favorite Five: Aaron Judge, Gary Sanchez, Edwin Encarnacion, Aaron Hicks, Didi Gregorius

Potential SP Pairings

Robbie Ray, Caleb Smith, Gerrit Cole, Mike Clevinger, Danny Duffy, Dylan Bundy, Mike Fiers, Chase Anderson

Team 2 – Colorado Rockies

The Rockies enter Friday with the second highest implied run total on the slate (6.4) behind just the New York Yankees but are currently projected to be much lower owned. RotoGrinders SlateIQ tool has the Rockies total ownership coming in at 41% on DraftKings. Part of the reason for lower Colorado ownership is respect for Sonny Gray who will be toeing the rubber for the Cincinnati Reds.

Gray has been excellent this season for the Reds with a career-high 27.8% strikeout rate to go along with a solid 3.83 SIERA. Despite Gray’s first-half success, there’s still plenty of concern for any pitcher throwing in Coors, let alone a pitcher that relies heavily on vertical movement for success. Gray’s Sinker (19.6%) and Curveball (23.3%) have accounted for over 40% of his pitch selection this season. While both pitches have been plus-pitches for Gray there’s plenty of evidence they’ll lose some effectiveness in Coors’ elevation which may force Gray to rely more heavily on his Fourseam Fastball which is the only pitch that has been a negative for him this season.

As we learned from his time with the Yankees, a non-effective Sonny Gray is one that can be exploited, especially in favorable hitting environments. Colorado makes for one of the top overall stacks of the night and their high price tags in a perceived tough matchup should lead to a healthy ownership discount.

Favorite Five: Trevor Story, Nolan Arenado, Charlie Blackmon, David Dahl, Daniel Murphy

Potential SP Pairings

Robbie Ray, Caleb Smith, Gerrit Cole, Mike Clevinger, Danny Duffy, Dylan Bundy, Mike Fiers, Chase Anderson

Team 3 – San Diego Padres

The Padres are my #YOLO stack of the night as they’re unlikely to garner any ownership at all in a home matchup against Dallas Keuchel and the Braves. Admittedly, I am a bit of a sucker for the Padres any time they get a matchup against a left-handed pitcher simply because they have a ton of right-handed power that plays well regardless of the park. Manny Machado (.268 ISO), Hunter Renfroe (.311 ISO), and Franmil Reyes (.227 ISO) have all shown ridiculous power against southpaws over the last two seasons while Fernando Tatis has been a monster (180 wRC+) with the platoon advantage in a very limited sample this season. Both Austin Hedges and Francisco Mejia have also shown respectable pop against lefties and are cheap options on site’s where you’re forced to roster a catcher.

A home matchup against Dallas Keuchel isn’t ideal for the Padres but it could certainly be worse. Keuchel has made a living inducing soft ground balls (58.8 GB%) but is susceptible to the long ball (14.5 HR/FB%) if the opposition is able to get the ball off the ground. That’s obviously a big “if” for Padres hitters but I still think their lineup has one of the highest ceilings on the slate if Keuchel has any control issues at all.

Favorite Five: Hunter Renfroe, Manny Machado, Fernando Tatis, Franmil Reyes, Manuel Margot

Potential SP Pairings

Robbie Ray, Caleb Smith, Gerrit Cole, Mike Clevinger, Danny Duffy, Dylan Bundy, Mike Fiers, Chase Anderson


1. Houston Astros
2. Cincinnati Reds
3. Los Angeles Angels
4. Milwaukee Brewers

Like the new article? Give us your thoughts and feedback in the comments section below!

About the Author

  • Dan Gaspar (MrTuttle05)

  • Since his addition to the RotoGrinders community, MrTuttle has been continually climbing the Grinders leaderboards and is currently ranked in Top 150 overall. He has qualified for countless live finals as well and has proven himself to be one of the best high-stakes DFS players in the industry. You can find him on Twitter @MrTuttle05.


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