3 Daily Fantasy Baseball Stacks for 4/16/21
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 Washington Nationals lost last night, but their offense hung six runs on the scoreboard. They have another golden opportunity tonight to make the most of their hitter-friendly home ballpark. According to the three-year average used by FantasyPros, Nationals Park ranks fifth in park factor for runs (1.066) and sixth for homers (1.135).
The pitching matchup is favorable for another good offensive showing. Taylor Widener has a 3.77 ERA in 31 innings pitched since debuting for the Arizona Diamondbacks, but his underlying numbers don't paint as favorable of a picture. He has a 4.66 skill-interactive ERA (SIERA) and has been rather lucky on batted balls, sporting a .296 weighted on-base average (wOBA) and a bloated .356 expected weighted on-base average (xwOBA) in his two starts this year, per Baseball Savant. As such, Washington holds an appealing 4.89 implied total.
The right-handed pitcher has held right-handed batters to a .241 wOBA, but he's been beaten like a drum by lefties to the tune of a .630 slugging and .418 wOBA. The sensational Juan Soto ($4,300) is a must-have player in this stack. He's a terror for right-handed pitchers, and he's firing on all cylinders out of the chute this year, sitting on a pair of dingers and a 175 weighted runs created plus (wRC+).
Josh Bell ($3,200) is my second-favorite option in this stack. The switch-hitting first baseman hit directly behind Soto yesterday, slotting third in the order. That spot provides him a high ceiling. Trea Turner ($4,000) is the catalyst atop the order in front of both Soto and Bell. While he doesn't hold the platoon advantage, he is an excellent selection with a 113 wRC+ against righties since 2018 and the base-stealing prowess to add to his point-scoring ledger via that route.
The other hitter who is of interest to me in this stack is slugging outfielder Kyle Schwarber ($3,000). He has the thump and platoon advantage to exploit Widener's shortcomings against lefties. Using the four together is likely to be the chalkiest version of a Nationals stack since it will likely be a traditional one-through-four stack, but there is less of a need to be contrarian with any stack on tonight's slate due to the high volume of games.
A Minnesota Twins stack isn't exactly a matchup-driven pick. Andrew Heaney is an above-average bat-misser, but he does a poor job of keeping the ball on the ground (36.4 percent ground-ball rate this year and a 39.0 percent mark last year), and it's resulted in occasional homer issues, including coughing up 1.89 homers per nine in 2019 and 1.22 homers per nine last year. In that sense, this is a matchup-stack since the Twins have thunderous power in their lineup capable of exacerbating Heaney's homer hiccups.
The top dog in this stack is Nelson Cruz ($4,000). According to FanGraphs, among hitters with a minimum of 200 plate appearances versus lefties since 2018, Cruz ranks tied for sixth in on-base percentage (.419), and he leads the way in both isolated power (.379 ISO) and wRC+ (187). It doesn't appear he has any intention of slowing down in his age-40 season, either, popping four homers with a 226 wRC+ through 43 plate appearances this year.
Remarkably, he hasn't been the hottest hitter on the team this year. That distinction belongs to Byron Buxton ($4,100). The former top prospect has slugged five homers with a 336 wRC+. His batted-ball data is glorious, ranking first in barrels per plate appearance percentage and sixth in fly-ball and line-drive exit velocity out of 173 hitters with a minimum of 25 batted-ball events. He's also no stranger to rocking lefties, owning a .230 ISO and 122 wRC+ against them since 2018. He's been out of the lineup a couple of days to tend to a bulky hamstring, but the fact he hasn't been placed on the injured list leads me to believe he'll be back in the lineup soon -- hopefully tonight.
Others of interest for this stack include Mitch Garver ($2,600), Miguel Sano ($2,800), and my personal favorite remaining top-option, Josh Donaldson ($3,000). The veteran third baseman returned from an injured list stint in the second game of Wednesday's doubleheader against the Boston Red Sox, and he slotted in the two-hole. His lineup spot is great, and he has a lengthy track record of annihilating southpaws.
On tonight's whopping 14-game slate, I don't believe we need to force being contrarian. Having said that, when you use a stack that blows up and isn't used by many other gamers, you have a decided advantage over the field. I readily admit I've expected stacks to be contrarian only to find out they're more popular than I expected they would be. However, I don't expect the Baltimore Orioles to garner a lot of love tonight, and I view that as a mistake.
The O's implied total doesn't jump off the page, and that should help throw gamers off the scent. Further, their offense ranks tied for 25th in wRC+ (72) against righties. A matchup with the highly lucky Mike Foltynewicz should be the elixir that cures their ailing offense.
Folty has the lowest swinging-strike percentage this year among tonight's starters at just 5.9 percent. Additionally, he's not fooling guys into fishing out of the strike zone with a 20.6 percent outside-zone-swing rate, well below the league average of 30.3 percent this year. A pitch-to-contact approach has yielded an acceptable 4.09 ERA from him through two starts (11 innings), but it's not a sustainable approach with the quality of contact he's allowing.
The 29-year-old righty's 4.99 SIERA points to uglier games ahead. Ditto for his 2.45 homers per nine innings allowed and .350 xwOBA. Let the regression begin tonight.
As a bonus, this stack is salary-cap friendly, with Cedric Mullins ($3,500) leading the charge in salary from atop the order. Trey Mancini ($3,100) and Anthony Santander ($3,000) are the only others with a salary of $3,000 or higher. The switch-hitting Mullins and Santander grab my attention out of the three. D.J. Stewart ($2,900) is the other hitter I'm specifically honed in on.
Mullins, Santander, and Stewart all have the platoon advantage against Foltynewicz. However, he's been a disaster against righties, too, so Mancini and Ryan Mountcastle ($2,800) shouldn't be dismissed from stacking consideration. A cheap stack of Orioles blended with one or both of the Nats and Twins has enormous upside with the added benefit of leaving salary on the table for one of the top pitchers.
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.