Aaaaaaand we are back at it on Monday! I hope you all had a terrific weekend. For today’s slate, we have 11 games lined up that are loaded with high score potentials. The weather is always trying to force its way into the conversation, and we might have an issue in the Atlanta/San Diego game. Outside of that game, you should not have to keep too close an eye on your lineups before lock.
Implied Run Totals
Scoring might be abundant today, as we see seven total games with a 5.0 Implied Run Total (IRT) or greater. When I am looking at stacks, here is where I would start. On the flip side, this is also a great spot to target your teams to avoid. Teams with less than a 4.0 IRT are the best spots to avoid. Today, steer clear of Baltimore, Cleveland, and even San Fransisco.
Today is a tricky one for pitching, the aces have question marks and there are so many unknown wildcard plays. The best bet in this instance is to keep it simple. Let’s break down the matchups:
As I have mentioned a few times, the pitching is fairly weak today. Kevin Gausman is fresh of a leave of absence that was not sports injury-related. While I don’t believe that will matter much for his performance today, he does draw a less than desirable matchup against the Dodgers. And, on the other side of the aces, Yu Darvish is making his way back from injury. So, our top two SPs on the slate have some question marks. However, it’s very tough to imagine building a lineup without at least one of them.
From there, we move onto the second tier of viable pitching. Kyle Gibson will be uber rostered today, mainly because of the matchup and his season-long dominance. For the faint of heart players, making Gibson your SP1 in your build is not a bad strategy by any means-I certainly will be doing such. The next heavy rostered SP will be the Fratty Pirate (Ryan Yarbrough), who does the best job on the slate of limiting hard contact. That aspect, plus a home game in Tropicana, should make for a decent point total, even if he doesn’t K too many batters. Let’s hope Tampa lets him toss over 90 pitchers again.
Last, Tony Gonsolin and Shohei Ohtani are similar plays. Both SPs have the raw stuff to rack up Ks in a brief stint, but on another spectrum, it can be very wild. They are definitely not cash-play pitchers and be used strictly for GPP formats. Also, if I had to choose between them, I am leaning Ohtani due to the matchup-even though his roster% will likely be higher.
My stack focus comes in three ways: 1) the chalk, 2) the potential, and 3) the risky play. There is so much suspect pitching on the slate; grabbing a few stacks with different outcomes should be helpful. Also, allow you to spread the risk in your bankroll.
Toronto Blue Jays
- This would be my chalkier stack to play in cash games or GPPs pairing with wildcard-type SPs. They carry the highest implied run total on the slate with plenty of HR upside. The trickier part of trying to stack Toronto is the lineup is very expensive, so my focus would lean towards the leadoff hitter (Marcus Semien) and some following pieces. There is a ton of great value plays today, so go nuts and grab as many Blue Jays as you like. Furthermore, let’s not gloss over the fact that Nick Pivetta is on the mound, and he is well-known for giving up a multitude of long balls.
Tampa Bay Rays
- The number that jumps out is that elevated strikeout rate. Sure, it’s the one component that can kill a rally and rob our stack of a crooked number. However, look at that lineup—there is so much potential for a big score, especially against RHP. In fact, the Rays have five players with ISO’s over .200 against RHP (Austin Meadows, Brandon Lowe, Joey Wendle, Mike Zunino, and Brett Phillips). Additionally, there is still Wander Franco, who is eventually going to break a slate. If I’m grabbing a five-person stack to win a large field GPP, the Rays are my squad. The SPs I would target with this stack would be an expensive, sure-thing SP1, followed by a lower-priced, higher-upside SP2.
- At times, we like to get very risk inclined in our lives, where contrarian stacks come into play. The Pirates are my main stack for this situation because they tend to have a lower roster%. Additionally, today is a little different because there is so much scoring in the forecast. This leads me to believe the chalk will be scattered over those teams, and the Pirates will barely get touched. But why should we stack a team with a .119 ISO over the last 30 days? Well, they may not put the ball out of the park, but they rarely strike out and put plenty of balls in play. Furthermore, they face off against Caleb Smith, who can be very shaky if the velocity isn’t there on his fastball. Again, this is a high-risk maneuver, but the stack would be cheap enough to roster any SPs you want. Core targets: Ke’Bryan Hayes, Bryan Reynolds, Jacob Stallings, John Nogowski.
Here are some of the best value hitters not mentioned above:
I’m taking a page out of my colleague Rich Holman’s (@RichardoPL83) book and provided my favorite cash lineup:
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