3 Daily Fantasy Baseball Stacks for Wednesday 5/5/21
Stacks are the backbone of cashing daily fantasy baseball lineups. Correlation drives upside, creating the potential to place high or even win GPPs when your selected stacks explode offensively.
This column will do the digging and the dirty work to determine which stacks are worth rostering each day. Scoring upside will fuel the stacks that get the nod. Sometimes that will lead to chalky selections, but contrarian stacks will get their fair share of love too.
In addition to utilizing the touted daily stacks in handbuilt lineups, numberFire premium members can throw these highlighted stacks into an optimized lineup using our DFS Sharpstack tool. Our hitting heat map tool is also available to premium members looking for more stacking options. It provides valuable info such as implied total, park factors, and stats for identifying the quality of the opposing pitcher.
Let's take a look at the top stacks on today's main slate.
The Minnesota Twins are facing a reliever who's making a spot start. Hyeon-jong Yang is filling in for Kohei Arihara for the Texas Rangers, and I'm salivating at the thought of stacking against a left-handed long-reliever facing the top of Minnesota's order.
Yang's making his Major League Baseball debut this year after spending his career to this point pitching in the Korean Baseball Organization (KBO). According to FanGraphs, he recorded a 4.70 ERA, 8.6 percent walk rate, and 20.0 percent strikeout rate in 31 starts spanning 172 and 1/3 innings in 2020. He's a soft-tosser who doesn't strike hitters out at a high rate, with his strikeout rate plummeting to 15.2 percent in 8 and 2/3 innings this year. A pitch-to-contact approach is ill-advised against the top-shelf lefty-mashers in the top half of Minnesota's lineup.
Namely, I'm fixated on the trio of Byron Buxton ($4,400), Josh Donaldson ($3,100), and Nelson Cruz ($4,000). Buxton's blossoming into the elite player his loud tools and prospect pedigree suggested might happen. He slugged his ninth homer of the season last night, has stolen four bases and has cut back on the strikeouts that have plagued him to this point in his career.
Donaldson and Cruz are well-established lefty-mashers. The former slots behind Buxton in the two-hole, and he's responsible for a .394 on-base percentage, .231 isolated power (ISO), and 131 weighted runs created plus (wRC+) against lefties since 2018. Cruz has a strong argument to the claim of best left-handed-masher in baseball. Among hitters with a minimum of 250 plate appearances against lefties since 2018, he ranks first in ISO (.368) and wRC+ (189). I'm rolling with this trio along with one of the top pitching options tonight.
The Atlanta Braves receive a park-factor boost tonight at Nationals Park. According to the three-year-average park factors used at FantasyPros, Nationals Park has the fifth-highest park factor for runs (1.066) and sixth-highest for homers (1.135). It's a challenging pitching environment even for the best hurlers in baseball, and Erick Fedde isn't in that bucket. Rather, he's more along the lines of an average or worse starter, with a 4.43 ERA and 4.22 skill-interactive ERA (SIERA) this year.
Fedde's batted-ball data paints a slightly more favorable picture of his work. He has a .313 expected weighted on-base average (xwOBA), comparing favorably to the league average of a .328 xwOBA, per Baseball Savant. Still, he's not a pitcher to go out of your way avoiding in his hitter-friendly home digs. Also of note, the right-handed pitcher's been more giving in same-handed matchups than to lefties, yielding a .474 slugging percentage and .346 wOBA to 180 righties faced since last year.
With that in mind, the top stacking options from the Braves start at the top of the order with superstar leadoff hitters Ronald Acuna ($4,300). The 23-year-old is playing at an MVP caliber, slugging his 10th homer of the young season last night. Beyond him, the rest of the top two-thirds of the order has stack appeal, with only the bottom-third of the order a non-option for me.
In the interest of fitting a top pitcher and the aforementioned superstar trio of Buxton, Donaldson, and Cruz on the same roster, I'm especially intrigued by the duo of Austin Riley ($2,400) and Dansby Swanson ($2,300) from the fifth and sixth spots in the order, respectively. They're nifty pieces of exposure to this stack who provide salary cap relief with upside to boot.
Boston Red Sox
The Boston Red Sox provided their home fans fireworks last night, and they're positioned to do the same in their hitter-friendly park tonight. Fenway Park has the third-highest park factor for runs (1.103), and the pitching matchup is soft. Casey Mize has been obliterated this year to the tune of a 5.06 ERA and 4.56 SIERA. For his career, he's sitting on a 6.05 ERA, 4.87 SIERA, and 1.96 homers per nine innings allowed.
Don't expect the bullpen to provide relief, either. The Detroit Tigers rank dead last in ERA (6.60) and have coughed up an MLB-high 1.94 homers per nine innings in 2021. The Red Sox should be able to thump that out of the chute and continue clubbing them until the final out.
My two favorite stacking options in their lineup are Xander Bogaerts ($3,500) and J.D. Martinez ($4,200). They rank first and second on the team in wRC+ and ISO against righties since 2018 with a 139 wRC+ and .242 ISO for the former, and a 138 wRC+ and .246 ISO for the latter. Beyond them, consider stacking Alex Verdugo ($3,100) and Christian Vazquez ($2,400).
Joshua Shepardson is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Joshua Shepardson also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username bchad50. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his/her personal views, he/she may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his/her personal account. The views expressed in his/her articles are the author’s alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.