MLB DFS Core Stacks: Tuesday, August 20th

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.

Tuesday, August 20th

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 – Los Angeles Angels

The Angels are back in Arlington tonight (FYI, this will be the second game of a double-header) to take on southpaw Brock Burke in his major league debut.

Burke has stormed through the Rangers minor league system this season, yet has only pitched eight innings (two starts) in AAA. His last two stops have resulted in a 26% K% and 50% GB%. So obviously this guy has the stuff, but those two starts in AAA also came with some control problems.

Everything I have read on him makes it sound like 2020 was the realistic timeframe to get him up in the big leagues, but that has been expedited. Is he ready? We will obviously find out tonight, but the second batter he will face in his first major league start is Mike freakin’ Trout. Good luck bub.

Since we aren’t quite sure what kind of pitcher Burke will be at this level, a lot of this has to do with the Angels being the road team in the best hitting environment in the league not named Coors Field. Vegas seems to be very much on the Angels side too, as they have a slate-leading 6.4 implied run total. We should have this Game 2 lineup in plenty of time before lock time, but ya never know with extra innings, managers, etc.

Favorite Five: Mike Trout, Justin Upton, Shohei Ohtani, Albert Pujols, whoever is in the lineup between Max Stassi and Anthony Bemboom (for extreme salary relief on sites you need a catcher)

Potential SP Pairings

Clayton Kershaw, Shane Bieber, Stephen Strasburg, Sonny Gray, Dallas Keuchel, Cole Hamels, Aaron Sanchez, Michael Pineda, Chris Archer, Jalen Beeks (more so on two-pitcher sites), Dylan Bundy, Kyle Freeland (large-field tournaments on two-pitcher sites)

Team 2 – Los Angeles Dodgers

There is a very good chance we could put this other Los Angeles team as a great option for Team 3, but I am rolling with them here based on how much I like them tonight.

The first thing I want you to do before reading the rest of this section is open another browser tab, go to PlateIQ, and pull up the Dodgers matchup tonight. The first thing that immediately jumps out to me is just the gobs of bright green up and down that lineup.

Hey Justin Turner, nice .188 ISO. That is good enough for last place in this lineup. What a bum, right?

A .321 wOBA for you, Kike Hernandez?? No wonder you hit eighth!

I mean, this lineup is just absurd. Since you already have PlateIQ pulled up, I won’t go into too much length about why I like the Dodgers.

What I will say though is that opposing pitcher Sean Reid-Foley is not a 3.00 ERA pitcher. In fact, not only does his 5.75 SIERA say otherwise, but it also happens to be the worst SIERA on the slate. He is walking way too many batters on both sides of the plate, getting well below average strikeouts (18.7%), and allowing way too much hard contact.

On such a huge slate with plenty of appealing options, I just can’t imagine ownership being an issue here tonight. If I were only to make one lineup tonight for tournaments, there is no doubt in my mind that it would contain a Dodgers stack.

Favorite Five (can I list a Favorite Eight?): Cody Bellinger, Max Muncy, Corey Seager, A.J. Pollock, Will Smith

Potential SP Pairings

Clayton Kershaw, Shane Bieber, Sonny Gray, Dallas Keuchel, Michael Pineda, Jalen Beeks (more so on two-pitcher sites)

Team 3 – New York Yankees

This is shaping up to be another one of those situations where an extreme negative park shift is going to keep ownership much lower than it should be on one of the best offenses in the league.

Against RHP this season, the Yankees rank second in wRC+ (115), second in wOBA (.347), and third in ISO (.216). I’d say that means they are pretty decent at hitting baseballs, wouldn’t you?

However, just because they are going into a pitchers park, that means that aren’t going to really be popping in projection models. And since they won’t be popping in projection models, they are going to fall way down the list of teams that DFS owners are stacking.

But with the exception of Mike Ford (who also just so happens to be extremely cheap), this projected Yankees lineup looks very similar in PlateIQ to that sea of green we were just discussing about the Dodgers. They have guys who are outperforming baselines and guys who are underperforming baselines. So there are a number of ways you can go here based on far back you want to look at data.

The one thing we can know for sure though is that we are going to get a top three offense in baseball, at drastically low ownership, against a pitcher that is prone to some blow-up starts. In two of his last five starts, Homer Bailey had one start with nine earned runs and another with seven.

On certain nights, a ballpark can only do so much to help a pitcher. The Yankees have the kind of lineup that can make ‘park factors’ almost meaningless.

Favorite Five: Gary Sanchez, Gleyber Torres, Aaron Judge, Didi Gregorius, Giovanny Urshela

Potential SP Pairings

Clayton Kershaw, Shane Bieber, Sonny Gray, Dallas Keuchel, Michael Pineda, Jalen Beeks (more so on two-pitcher sites)


1. Minnesota Twins
2. Houston Astros
3. Atlanta Braves
4. Philadelphia Phillies
5. Chicago Cubs
6. Boston Red Sox

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About the Author

  • Andy Means (meansy53)

  • Andy Means, aka meansy53, was a walk-on with the esteemed Duke University basketball team for three years before graduating in 2004. He has a Masters in Accounting from the Indiana University Kelley School of Business and has been playing DFS since 2014 – professionally since 2016. He is a featured contributor for RotoGrinders who has qualified for multiple live finals and displays his extensive basketball knowledge as the lead host of our top premium show – NBA Crunch Time.

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