MLB DFS Core Stacks: Tuesday, June 18th
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, June 18th
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 leverage 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.
THE CORE STACKS
Team 1 – Cleveland Indians
The Indians check in with the highest implied run total on the slate. That shouldn’t be too surprising considering they are in Arlington tonight. This is the second best hitters park in baseball after Coors Field, and it plays extra friendly in the middle of summer when it is really hot like it will be tonight (in the 90’s).
Opposing pitcher Adrian Sampson has made some improvements with his strikeouts this season, especially of late, but the batted ball profile will still result in plenty of problems for him. Overall, Sampson has made 15 appearances this season. In the first 10 games, he posted a 13% K%, 39.2% flyball rate, and 47.2% hard hit rate. In the most recent five games, he has posted a 26.8% K%, 48.9% flyball rate, and 41.1% hard hit rate.
So even if the K’s maintain a little bit (I’d be surprised if they stay this high, for whatever that is worth), he is still prone to all sorts of trouble in this ballpark. The top of the Cleveland lineup comes with plenty of contact bats. And the bottom, while having more strikeouts in it, also has some really cheap price tags to help fill out your stacks.
Lastly, Sampson is backed up by a Texas bullpen with the third worst xFIP according to our PlateIQ Premium Leaderboards. So even if Sampson is able to somehow get through this Indians lineup somewhat unscathed, they can always make their hay against a bad bullpen. I always feel better about taking road teams too, since you are getting a guaranteed nine innings of plate appearances.
Potential SP Pairings
Team 2 – Arizona Diamondbacks
Hmmm let’s see here. Antonio Senzatela with the worst SIERA (5.69) of any pitcher on the slate? Check.
(It actually isn’t that close either. Next man up is Brett Anderson at 5.32. The worst in the league amongst qualified pitchers is Brad Keller. Senzatela hasn’t thrown enough innings to qualify yet despite having 12 starts.)
The second worst walk rate on the slate (10.1%)? Double check. Senzatela has walked 2-4 batters in his last seven starts and in nine of his 12 starts. That is an awful lot of free passes.
And it’s not like he is getting strikeouts or anything either. His 12.2% K% this season (no, that is not a typo) also happens to be the lowest on the slate. Again, if he had enough innings to qualify, that would be dead last in the league.
So what we have here is subtly one of the worst pitchers in the league, which means I am loving some Diamondbacks tonight. The one thing he does well is keep the ball on the ground against righties, but he should be looking at five lefties in the first six hitters according to our projected lineups. And the first two righties he will see (Jones, Walker) are at 41-42% flyballs.
With all of these balls in play and all of these walks, I think Senzatela is in trouble tonight.
Potential SP Pairings
Team 3 – Philadelphia Phillies
This was one of my favorite stacks yesterday for large-field tournaments but, unfortunately, we never got to see what happened since the Nationals organization crapped the bed on handling the weather.
(Side note: I am writing this well before SlateIQ for Tuesday will be released, and today is a MUCH different day than yesterday in terms of pitching, but it is at least worth noting that the Phillies had the highest leverage score yesterday in SlateIQ.)
The reason I like the Phillies is because there is the general sentiment surrounding Patrick Corbin that “he is underpriced;” that is especially so on DK/FDRFT at only $8,200/$15,800. When you look at his overall numbers for 2019, you see a 26.4% K%, which is the fifth highest on the slate.
However, if we peel off a layer and look at his actual splits, things aren’t all that great looking against righties. In 278 plate appearances, he has only posted a K% of 23%, a BB% of 7.9%, and a Hard% of 36.3%. That isn’t exactly ace-level stuff, and the lineup the Phillies were planning to roll out against him yesterday was all righties except for Bryce Harper.
There are two other secondary factors in play here that I like as well. The first being that, if the Phillies can somehow get to Corbin early, he is backed up by the fourth worst bullpen in the league according to our Premium Leaderboard on PlateIQ. Secondly, this is one of the top hitters parks in the league, and for whatever reason it doesn’t get recognition of being that in DFS circles.
Not that we need to worry about ownership on these Phillies bats anyways, but it looks like we have the same type of weather to deal with tonight. It wouldn’t surprise me at all if they are 2-3% owned in the huge tournaments.
The last thing I want to mention is to keep an eye on the status of J.T. Realmuto. He is dealing with a groin issue and wasn’t in yesterday’s lineup. If he sits again, the overall appeal of this stack would take a hit for me.
Potential SP Pairings
OTHER STACKS TO CONSIDER
1. Chicago Cubs
2. Boston Red Sox
3. Texas Rangers
4. Los Angeles Angels
5. New York Mets
6. Washington Nationals
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