Braves Stack No. 16: Hector Noesi is a sacrificial lamb

Introduction
Welcome to Fanatical Stacks, the Rotogrinders award-winning blog that is home to daily Atlanta Braves stacks. Stacking my favorite team allows me to reduce my player pool while still utilizing the knowledge I have of daily fantasy sports. I operate each day as the Braves will smash. That means I’m only searching for two pitchers and three hitters to make my lineups work. I get to root for my favorite team, while also waiting for variance to strike in my favor. You know, like that one time when we put 12 runs on Jose Berrios and the Twins. Too bad I didn’t play that day…

Hopefully this assists anyone considering the Braves or the pitcher opposing the Braves. I’ll also give a few value plays at the end that might make all our lineups work. Generally the Atlanta bats are expensive, so value plays are imperative—especially cheap outfielders.

Hit Rate
The No. 15 stack featured the top five Atlanta hitters against the lefty Caleb Smith, and I wove in pitchers like Marco Gonzales (22.85 DK pts), Cal Quantrill (26.75), Jalen Beeks (10.05), and Drew Smyly (6.75). Obviously my best effort was the Gonzales-Quantrill pairing. Anyway, we had green screens for all three lineups so the current rate of cashing is 8-for-15. One small step over .500!

Braves Update
The Braves were stymied by Sandy Alcantara on Saturday. I only played two lineups and one of them cashed, despite the debacle. Shouts to Mike Montgomery and his disgusting 41.35 points. Anyway, a right-hander on the opposing hill gives us another viable option in Brian McCann, which pushes the likes of Adam Duvall, Ender Inciarte, and Charlie Culberson out of my lineups (most likely).

The Opponent: RHP Hector Noesi
Noesi reads like a sacrifical lamb, IMO. The Marlins need someone to eat up some innings until Pablo Lopez returns, which should be in another week or two. Today could be one of the last starts by Noesi in the majors in 2019, regardless of how he fares. Anyway, Noesi earned the chance to start by allowing five runs on three walks and five hits against the Mets in his previous turn. Yep, sounded ridiculous to me too. It’s just what I said. The Fish need someone to eat some innings. Noesi is the guy.

Noesi has a career 6.34 K/9 (putrid) and a career 3.35 BB/9 (not good). That’s a 16.2% strikeout rate and 8.6% walk rate, if you deal in percentages. He has a career 5.35 ERA. So unless you think a career revival is coming at 32 years old, you can confidently play either handedness of hitter against him (he is bad against both). For what it’s worth, he allowed bombs to a pair of right-handed Mets in his first start of 2019—Wilson Ramos and Pete Alonso.

Best Braves

Just give me the top five hitters, okay? Adam Duvall has cooled considerably, batting 2-for-27 over his last six games (with zero homers). Charlie Culberson rapped out two more hits last night, but still only managed 8 DK points. There’s no power in that bat. Ender Inciarte is merely a somewhat speedy lefty—and speed is a bit overrated against the Fish given the arm strength and pop time of Jorge Alfaro. So I’ll take the top five and move on to the rest of my lineup.

Value Plays

I am offended, DraftKings algorithm. Mike Foltynewicz stymies the powerful Minnesota Twins in his first turn back after a Triple-A reset, and he’s only 7K against the Marlins today? Apparently I am playing six Braves in my lineups today. Lock Folty in everywhere, folks. The plucky Marlins may have stolen a game last night, but Folty should help right the ship today.

The lefty Steven Brault (4700) is on the road against the Cardinals today. Brault returned from a shoulder injury on Tuesday, and allowed two runs over 5.2 innings against the Brewers. He walked one and struck out six hitters, good for 17.6 DK points. Brault worked up to 86 pitches in that start, so he could cross the 90-pitch threshold today. He walks too many bats (4.50 BB/9), but he has a healthy 45.0% ground ball rate and doesn’t allow a lot of homers (0.82 HR/9). Using Brault alongside Folty means I have a lot of dough and can weave in a couple of big outfield bats…

Aaron Judge (4400) is TOO CHEAP. For reference, he is $300 cheaper than Giancarlo Stanton and Aaron Hicks, both of whom are injured right now. He hasn’t had that monstrous game yet, but it’s coming. Toronto is a park where right-handed power plays, and Trent Thornton allows a 1.41 HR/9 to righty bats, as well as a 43.0% fly ball rate and 30.3% line drive rate. Today could be a long one for Thornton…

Whit Merrifield (4700) made this space in the last effort and delivered with a dinger. He’s red-hot right now, with DK points of 18, 16, 10, 8, and 10 over his last five games. Merrifield has a .236 ISO against southpaws, compared to a .157 mark against right-handers. Whit also has a 42.9% fly ball rate in this split, compared to only 28.8% against righty pitching. His opponent is the lefty Daniel Norris, who allows a 39.5% hard contact rate and 1.44 HR/9 to right-handed bats. For the BvP folks, Merrifield is 7-for 19 with three dingers and only two strikeouts against Norris. The stars are aligned.

If I don’t use Brault all the time (probably wise) and work up to a different pitcher, it will probably be Trent Grisham (2100) who makes my lineups click. I don’t love his matchup against the lefty Mike Minor, but for only 2100 I can get a guy who went 3-for-3 and managed 15 points last night. I don’t hate it.

Okay Bravos. Time to bounce back today. If we can’t do it against Hector Noesi and with our de facto ace on the hill, when can we do it?

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