Stacking has been a popular way to bring down tournaments, and some stacks are even cash game viable. We offer three free top stacks of the night and will provide stacks in a wide range of price tags. We do want to make it known that stacks in Colorado are often fairly obvious and popular stacks. We don't feel the need to break down Colorado stacks and will be more focused on other stacking options. Unless we are struggling to find three others, Colorado stacks will be a top choice but not broken down. We tend to look at park factors, Vegas numbers, starting pitcher and bullpen numbers, and various offensive stats. Feel free to shoot us questions on Twitter at @BrentHeiden1, @JGuilbault11, and @dfcafe.
Quick note before breaking into the Cubs, Houston against Doug Fister is a viable stack, and if splits hold, the lefties would be the ones to mix in with the big bats.
The Cubs are such a unique lineup because 1-9 they are extremely talented. Whenever writing up the Cubs last season, there were a few guys that made honorable mentions, but not the chart. Chicago usually is a chalky stack, and I expect it to be tonight. Skipping out on the front half and going with a 4-5-6-7-8 stack is never a bad idea with the way these guys hit lefties. Javier Baez had a .381 wOBA and .264 ISO off southpaws last season, while Addison Russell had a .346 wOBA but a .409 xwOBA. I didn't start the stack with Ian Happ, but you can certainly do so. He boasted a .200 ISO off southpaws, but is someone I prefer against right-handers. These three names are viable fifth man options on DK, or you can change it up and do the back half stack.
Anthony Rizzo has excellent numbers off left-handed pitching, despite being a lefty himself. He had a .371 wOBA and .245 ISO in 179 plate appearances in 2017. He also posts a modest 14% strikeout-rate, and 79.5% contact-rate. His partner in crime Kris Bryant is a notable lefty masher, as his .405 wOBA led all Cubs against southpaws in 2017. I am on board using these two as pay-up options even at higher ownership. It doesn't stop with them though, Willson Contreras posted a .386 wOBA and .243 ISO last season, with 35.4% of batted balls being over a 95mph exit velocity. The bare-min play on FanDuel and cheap DraftKings bat, Albert Almora should find himself in the lineup against the lefty. That was the case last season, and with a .389 wOBA off southpaws you can see why.
Miami trotted out Jose Urena yesterday, which says a lot about the state of their rotation. It does not get better today. Caleb Smith isn't even updated on FanGraphs that is how irrelevant he is. Smith only has 18.2 innings in the majors under his belt, while the rest of the time he spent in the New York Yankees farm system. He had some moderate success, but nothing has translated in the majors, or even a move to the majors. At 26 years old, there isn't a lot of hype surrounding Smith. He has a fastball, slider, changeup combo, throwing them all pretty evenly. His changeup seems to be his best pitch, while the sliders and fastballs were hammered last season. This is a relatively small sample size, but these Cubs bats all mash fastballs, and Bryant, Rizzo, Contreras can handle the slider well all owning over a .350 wOBA last season. Against the change, Rizzo was exceptional with a .399 wOBA and .201 ISO.
Los Angeles Angels
The Angels are going to be much more stackable this year with Justin Upton, Zack Cozart, and Ian Kinsler in the lineup. We of course have Mike Trout, Andrelton Simmons, and Albert Pujols who combine to make a pretty damn good lineup. Kinsler sat out Opening Day, and we saw Cozart hit leadoff. He continued to mash after a hot Spring Training, and gets a lefty here tonight. Cozart will likely hit leadoff again if Kinsler sits, but if Kinsler plays then it will send him back to 6th or 7th.
Sean Manaea is a tricky lefty, and by tricky I mean he is tricky to figure out from a fantasy standpoint. He can miss bats at times, but the blowup factor is there. He had five starts last season go for five or more earned runs, one coming against this Angels team. Some are waiting for consistency out of Manaea, and for him to really turn the corner. Facing a heavy right-handed lineup that mashes left-handed pitching, I am concerned. Right-handed bats had an average exit velocity of 90.2 last season, and a 36.9% hard-contact rate. If Manaea is off, hitters square him up well. He also has an issue getting ahead in the count, which doesn't generate walks, but he is forced to use the fastball which was pounded for a .361 wOBA. His whiff-rate of 6.5% on the fastball compared to 18-19% on his other pitches is an issue.
Both Upton and Cozart had over a .400 wOBA and .305 ISO off southpaws last season. Absurd numbers, although xwOBA is more in agreement Upton's was truer. If Kinsler is in the lineup, he had a .368 wOBA and .256 ISO off lefties, and just a 10.8% strikeout rate. The strikeout rate should be very low for this Angels team against left-handers. In 2017, none of these names had a strikeout rate over 20%. Trout is obviously in play against most, but he enjoys changeups, with a 42% hard-contact rate and a .437 wOBA in 2017. Hey guys, Trout should be in your stacks. This is why stacking isn't a premium article. The only downside is this ballpark, and the fact it is a night game. However, west coast games in big ballparks usually diminish ownership.
|Odubel Herrera / Nick Williams||OF||$3,600 / $3,500||$2,200 / $2,300||$13 / $12||Low|
My colleague Brent wrote up the Phillies yesterday, who were pretty mild at the plate. I was high on them as well, and I am today. FanDuel continues to have them priced down, where DraftKings brought them up into the mid-range. The Phillies are going to be that stack I pair with ace pitching for most of the year, because I don't expect their price tags to really ever reach an elite level. They are a heavy left-handed team, which bodes well for this new Atlanta ballpark that they built for lefty Freddie Freeman. People might be discouraged to play Philly as a stack against Mike Foltynewicz due to his success last season against them. Over three starts, he allowed six earned over 18 innings. He also notched 16 strikeouts. I am willing to go back to the well with Philly, and I am sure I did all three times against Folty last season.
His numbers against left-handed hitters last season were below average, as they have been in his career. He allowed a 88.9 average exit velocity, and a 33.3% hard-contact rate. The 27.7% line drive rate and 40.7% flyball rate are also concerning for Folty. His fastball sits around 95mph, but has hammered for a .352 wOBA and .196 ISO last season. His slider is solid, but hitters did have a .204 ISO and a .342 xwOBA. A few names like Cesar Hernandez, Carlos Santana, and Rhys Hoskins hit sliders very well in 2017. Their numbers against fastballs are also positive.
The outfield is a bit crowded in Philly, and it led to Odubel Herrera sitting out for Opening Day. This was a surprise, but Gabe Kapler stated that the outfield will be rotating based on defensive strategy. Whether this stays the same throughout the year, we have to see. Herrera or Williams will be in the lineup, and maybe both. Both are cheap options yet again, and I will say Herrera is a better floor player. Williams is geared for GPPs if you are looking for a cheap one-off.