3 Daily Fantasy Baseball Stacks for Friday 7/21/23
Stacking is an integral part of daily fantasy baseball. Correlation drives upside, giving your lineups a slate-winning ceiling when your stacks explode.
This piece will do the digging and the dirty work each day to determine which stacks are worth rostering on FanDuel's main slate. While we want upside, we also need to factor in game theory, especially in a sport as random as baseball.
Our MLB DFS heat map is a quick way to get a feel for the overall slate and which offenses are in a good spot. You can also check out our daily fantasy baseball projections to identify the slate's best bats.
Let's look at the top stacks for this main slate.
The Cincinnati Reds continue their homestand with a matchup against southpaw Tommy Henry, and we could see fireworks -- from both sides. We'll get to the Arizona Diamondbacks in a second, but this first slot belongs to Cincy as they carry a slate-leading 5.38 implied total into Friday's matchup.
Henry is the owner of a 5.23 SIERA and 16.9% strikeout rate. He's also surrendering a 44.2% fly-ball rate. None of those stats figure to play well at Great American Ball Park against a Reds offense that is showing the 11th-best wOBA (.331) versus lefties.
Matt McLain ($3,800), Jonathan India ($3,500), Spencer Steer ($3,400) and Christian Encarnacion-Strand ($2,800) are the Cincy bats I want. Encarnacion-Strand (+340) and Steer (+360) have the best homer odds on the Reds, per the MLB odds at FanDuel Sportsbook. Steer has a .394 wOBA and 45.2% fly-ball rate with the platoon advantage. McLain has a .436 wOBA in the split while India has put up a .365 wOBA at home this year.
I'll mostly fade Elly De La Cruz ($4,000) while acknowledging that it could backfire spectacularly. The rookie phenom -- who is a switch hitter -- has slowed considerably and has a worrying profile through 165 plate appearances, sporting a .291 expected wOBA (xwOBA), 30.9% strikeout rate, 6.1% walk rate and 14.1% ground-ball rate. Those are really rough numbers, and this is also his worse side as he's got a .255 wOBA against lefties.
On the flip side of that game is the Snakes (5.12 implied total). Arizona gets to take its hacks versus Ben Lively. While Lively isn't as bad as Henry, he's not that good, struggling to a 9.6% swinging-strike rate and giving up a 40.7% fy-ball rate. Great American Ball Park hasn't been kind to him as Lively's recorded a 5.85 FIP at home while allowing 2.35 jacks per nine in the split.
Lefties have mauled Lively for 2.15 dingers per nine. If you immediately thought of Corbin Carroll ($4,000), you're doing this right. A -700 favorite to be named National League Rookie of the Year, Carroll is the night's sixth-best bat, per our model, and he's got a homer with three steals over his previous three outings.
Ketel Marte ($3,500), Geraldo Perdomo ($2,800), Jake McCarthy ($2,800) and Alek Thomas ($2,400) will also hit from the left side versus Lively. Assuming Perdomo leads off, he's a smashing value pick and someone our model ranks as Arizona's top point-per-dollar hitter. McCarthy has 22 steals on the year and is +215 to swipe a bag today.
We definitely shouldn't sleep on the D-Backs' righties, so Christian Walker ($3,400) and Lourdes Gurriel ($3,100) make a lot of sense. Walker has mashed his way to a career-best .361 wOBA and should enjoy the park-factor boost in Cincy.
On a night with three teams boasting implied totals above 5.00, the Texas Rangers (4.87 implied total, fifth-best) might slip through the cracks, but they could break the slate.
Texas is at home against Tony Gonsolin. The Los Angeles Dodgers' right-hander has struggled in 2023, posting a 4.91 SIERA and 18.9% strikeout rate while being tagged for a 41.8% fly-ball rate. After he went 16-1 last year with a 2.14 ERA (even if those numbers weren't fully deserved), Gonsolin might have enough name recognition to keep the masses off Texas -- or that's what I'm hoping, at least.
As is usually the case, the biggest problem with stacking the Rangers is their salaries. They've got five guys at $3,500 or higher, which makes them a tough fit alongside any of the appealing high-salary aces we have available to us. With that said, Corey Seager ($4,300) is a top-tier play on this slate, and early draft percentage projections around the industry have him going completely overlooked. Our projections rank him fifth among all hitters.
Adolis Garcia ($4,100), Marcus Semien ($3,700), Josh Jung ($3,500) and Jonah Heim ($3,500) are quality plays if you have the coin. If you don't have the salary for those guys, Nathaniel Lowe ($3,300), Ezequiel Duran ($2,900) and Travis Jankowski ($2,700) are fine choices, too. Lowe has a .368 wOBA against righties. Jankowski has been running a lot of late, totaling 6 steals in just 40 plate appearances this month.