Stacks on Stacks for Tuesday, April 18th
Major League Baseball DFS is a different kind of beast. It is the sport with the most variance and can be really difficult to do well if you missed something during the research phase. Being contrarian when chalk routinely does poorly can lead to a very prosperous night. I am going to let you in on a little secret for the first month of MLB DFS, not many people know what the chalk is on any given night. Until more statistics and data is available it is hard to know what to analyze until the sample size is large enough. In the early stages, most DFS players will use Vegas as their compass for what team will be chalky on each slate. This can be a mistake to rely solely on Vegas because MLB Vegas is also filled with variance. If you continuously just stack the players from the team with the top implied run total, you will find yourself on the losing end of a chalky lineup probably more suited for cash games than tournaments. Today we are going to look at stacking some of the teams with tremendous match-ups that are hidden by middling implied run totals. This will help us avoid getting sucked into an approach that the average DFS player will use.
Minnesota Twins, 4.4 Vegas Implied Runs (8th out of 30 teams)
The Twins will be facing off against Josh Tomlin of the visiting Cleveland Indians. Tomlin has had an interesting start to the season as he has given up 13 runs in 6.1 innings pitched. It is really early in the season but these are the types of pitchers we want to exploit until they figure their stuff out. The weather is currently showing a 12 MPH wind blowing out to right-center field. Target Field, home of the Minnesota Twins is a plus for right-handed power hitters but a negative for lefty power. Luckily for the Twins, most of their power comes from their right-handed bats.
Brian Dozier sets the table for the Twins and is one of the more powerful lead-off hitters in all of baseball. He mashes right-handed pitchers with a .373 wOBA and a .273 ISO over the past 12 months. Dozier is only batting .250 on the season but a deeper look at his numbers reveals that he is 11 for 34 against righties this season and 1 for 16 against lefties. Out of those eleven hits vs. right-handed pitchers, four of them have gone for extra-base hits, including two home runs. His dominance against righties this season has been nothing short of superb and Tomlin has been nothing short of a disaster. Tomlin has given up two home runs in his 6.1 innings pitched and the 18.47 ERA and .520 BABIP that he currently holds are comical. Start your stack with Dozier.
Max Kepler is swinging a hot bat and is currently projected to be batting second against Tomlin. Kepler as positive splits against righties as he is a left-handed batter. Kepler will have the 12 MPH in his favor as it is blowing out to right-center field for the game. Over his current five-game hitting streak, Max has five extra-base hits and five RBI. Dozier keeps getting on base and Max keeps driving him in with extra-base hits. This is exactly what we are looking for when we are putting together team stacks. The stack bonus is huge in the standings especially when those players are low owned. If Max can get a RBI double you have the chance to jump 10-12 points in the standings with the double points you receive from Dozier scoring and Max getting the RBI and double.
Miguel Sano has seemingly cooled off after his hot start to the season. A little investigative work uncovers the truth about Sano and his potential to absolutely explode against Tomlin. Over the past two weeks, Sano has a hard hit of 50% and an average batted ball distance of 245 feet. These numbers are actually increasing if you look at it game by game. If Tomlin comes out and starts getting shelled, as he has through both his starts thus far, then Sano is officially on a home run watch for this game. If he were able to belt one into the bleachers with Kepler and Dozier on the bases we would be looking at a three player stack bonus across multiple categories. If they are all owned at 10% or less, which I think they will be on such an enormous slate, it could be a 28 point jump in the standings depending on whether you stacked them on Fanduel or Draftkings.
Robbie Grossman would be the last batter we stack if we were to choose a full four man team stack on Fanduel. We would have locked up the 1, 2, 3, and 5 hitters for the Twins. Robbie has a hard hit of 54% over the past two weeks of the season which is a 20% jump over last year. His exit velocity on batted ball events currently sits at 94 MPH, that is incredibly powerful. He isn’t hitting fly balls like he did last year but his line drive percentage is up to 25%. This usually leads to a lot of doubles and hard singles. A long ball might be a tough ask from Robbie but he does provide stats in other ways. Coming into last night he had seven walks in the past five games and had at least one walk in all five games. I suppose you could say he’s on a walk streak, but that’s lame to track so let’s pretend we aren’t.
I don’t normally like to go with more than a three player stack so I would advise picking the three that fit best in your lineup build for whatever situation you are using them for. If you are doing several mini-team stacks and want to include a couple of Twins I would choose Dozier and Sano, the first and third batters in this lineup. I like them the most because it is much easier to find cheap outfield hitters batting at the top of the order and having two strong hitters for our infield positions is a great way to start any mini-stacking lineup build.
Please follow me @DFSnDONUTS and message me at any time for advice or to discuss a slate. Best of luck and I will see you at the top of the leaderboards!