Braves Stack No. 19: The Big Three and Albies
Welcome to Fanatical Stacks, the award-winning Rotogrinders blog that is home to Atlanta Braves stacks only. 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 if 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 we put 12 runs on Jose Berrios and the Twins. Too bad I didn’t play that day…and that’s the deal. Sometimes life comes at you fast, especially with NFL season ramping up (expect some Panthers stacks soon enough). But when I can play, I discuss my Bravos!
Stack No. 18 was so long ago, I can’t even remember it, honestly. But most recently when I actually played, my Bravos beat up pretty badly on the White Sox. Gonna call those contests only one win, for the sake of fidelity. So we are back to 9-for-18, or a .500 record of cashing. And that is conservative, as there are times I’ve hit but not been able to write a post.
The Opponent: RHP Austin Voth
I didn’t know much about Voth, but I’m thankful he is a right-handed pitcher. That is right up the power alley for Atlanta, who have been on quite the barrage over a most productive summer. Voth has shown strikeout ability against righty bats (32.0%) but he also allows more fly balls and home runs in that split, too. Small sample size applies, at only 10.2 innings versus lefties and 12.1 versus righties…but all three homers to righty bats and a 2.19 HR/9 in that split looks fortuitous for Acuña and Donaldson. Meanwhile, Freddie Freeman is too good to bench, Ozzie Albies is red-hot, and Voth isn’t as good against lefties (at least with regard to strikeouts). Could be a good day for the Bravos…
Best Braves: The Big Three
Freddie Freeman (38), Ronald Acuña Jr. (37), and Josh Donaldson (35) are all approaching the 40-homer plateau—a feat that only three other teams have achieved in MLB history: The 1973 Braves (Hank Aaron, Davey Johnson, Darrell Evans), the 1996 Rockies (Andres Galarraga, Ellis Burks, Vinny Castilla), and the 1997 Rockies (Galarraga, Castilla, Larry Walker). Being in the company of HANK FREAKING AARON and two Colorado Rockies teams is some fantastic company. Shouts to MLB.com for the aforementioned information. I mean, I’m not up on my macro-level baseball history, after all.
Anyway, the macro-level approach I’m taking to the Braves ROS is to use those three power bats no matter what…when he wakes up a bit we can weave in Dansby Swanson against RHP and Ozzie Albies against LHP. For now, it is the big three and Albies for me. Anything else is gravy. We are through 19 stacks already…we know who the best bats are. I don’t mind Brian McCann against a right-hander, but if I get my preference I’d rather just roll with Albies for the batting order slot and additional wheels.
Value Plays to Make it Work
The Braves are expensive, so we need some salary relief. Let’s do this.
On FanDuel (since I’m choosing Albies over Swanson or McCann) I am gazing at Amed Rosario ($2,900) vs. LHP Drew Smyly of Philadelphia. Rosario should bat first, and is slashing .320/.373/.541 against southpaws. He has a .221 ISO in this split, compared to a .119 ISO against right-handers. And while his batted ball profile is eerily similar against lefties and righties, his hard contact rate jumps from 32.0% against righties to 41.7% against lefties. Drew Smyly had a solid turn against the Reds on Monday, but this isn’t a matchup I am going to fear. Smyly has been bad to both handedness, and actually allows more homers to lefty bats—but he is bad against both sides. As many Mets as you want to play today, honestly.
Also on FanDuel, Andrew Heaney ($8,800) at the White Sox is appealing. Heaney always is, due to that crazy strikeout stuff. He could make a few mistakes and still have a huge game. It helps that he is opposing Dylan Covey, who is sporting a 6.88 ERA and 1.62 WHIP. Mike Trout is good at baseball. Heaney is the fourth-highest priced guy on FanDuel, compared to the second-most costly on DK. If I don’t pay up for Heaney, I like Gonsolin on FanDuel. He’s way too cheap.
Tony Gonsolin (8600) and Chris Bassitt (9800) open things up only a tiny bit on DK, as the Braves prices are through the stratosphere. Even Ozzie Albies (4900) is costly, and I don’t love him in this split. That is a tough pill to swallow, but Dansby Swanson hasn’t done anything notable since returning from the IL, so he is hard to justify. It helps that Albies is red-hot recently, too.
One move I don’t love but might consider is Jeff Hoffman (5100) at the San Diego Padres. Hoffman has an appealing 9.13 K/9 but has been stung by homers (2.58 HR/9). That is a 3.38 HR/9 to righty bats, but falls to 1.88 HR/9 to lefties. Obviously he is allowing more home runs at Coors, with a 3.00 HR/9 mark compared to 1.96 HR/9 on the road. Away vs. RHH is still at 2.89 HR/9, but versus lefties that number drops to 1.00 HR/9. Three of the top four bats for San Diego are lefties…just sayin’. Hoffman will have to dance around the right-handed Manny Machado and Hunter Renfroe, but it helps that Renfroe has been in a funk lately. You can tell I’m talking myself into it, can’t you? I just think there’s a chance at a decent game and a win today, and that might be worth it for the low salary and for what this move can open up for the rest of your lineup. Alex Bregman against Yusei Kikuchi, for instance…
Lefty hitting Seth Brown (3300) apparently crushed the PCL before arriving in Oakland, and is hitting a smoking .424 in the bigs with plenty of double-digit DK point games to his credit already. I don’t like the park environs, but the opposing pitcher is righty Jordan Zimmerman, he of the minuscule 6.61 K/9 and bloated 6.03 ERA. Zimmerman is far worse against lefties, allowing 100 points more in slugging (.540 to .442) and a lower strikeout rate, higher walk rate, more hard contact, etc. Brown is cheap and fills an outfield spot, so he’s in play for my Braves stack today.
What cheap plays have you found today? I need more outfield possibilities on DK, especially. I’ve been waiting on Harrison Bader versus lefties all year…maybe I can talk myself into that today. Yikes…