Happy Friday! The trade rumors were buzzing, and players are shuffling teams like crazy. This could have quite a DFS impact if SPs are pulled or batters are held out until the completion of a deal. On the flip side, some new players are finally arriving in their new team’s lineups, which could throw some of the data we use for a loop. Oh yeah, I didn’t even talk about the weather. Luckily, the forecasts look forgiving, and we should not see any games impacted by Mother Nature. However, I highly suggest keeping an eye on your lineups before lock time at 7:05 EST and be ready for late swaps with so much going on.
Implied Run Totals
At first glance, Toronto leaps out as having an Implied Run Total(IRT) an entire run higher than the next. This is definitely going to make them a chalkier play on the day. Good luck smashing more than four of them and still building a balanced lineup. However, if we take a step down, the White Sox, Tigers, and Dodgers comfortably have a 5.0 or better IRT. That is most likely where I would start with stacking, but on a 15-game slate, anything is possible. Places I am trying to avoid stacks: Marlins, Rangers, Cleveland, Colorado, and Arizona.
These would be the top eight SPs I would target for your builds. Sure, some fades like Sonny Gray, Patrick Sandoval, and Framber Valdez could smash, but there is an inherent risk that has me fading them. On a more extensive slate, like today, I don’t try to spend up on SPs—but it looks like there are enough value stacks and one-off bats that it’s worth sticking to a safer strategy for pitching.
My SP1 range would be Corbin Burnes, Lance Lynn, Kevin Gausman, and Chris Bassitt. Gausman and Bassitt would be the riskier of the bunch, and Burnes/Lynn would be the cash plays. Lynn has by far the easier matchup between them, so expect the chalk to land on him. If you’re using a stack with a low roster%, feel free to stick with the Lynn here. If you’re getting chalky and using the Blue Jays bats, go with one of the other three to get a little different.
Next is my SP2 range, and that’s where Logan Gilbert, Jameson Taillon, Tarik Skubal, and Tony Gonsolin come into play. The first thing that jumps out, the track record on these SPs is much smaller. Additionally, we don’t know exactly what we are going to get from any of them. This is precisely why I wouldn’t put them in any of my cash lineups. However, in the GPP formats, you need some added risk with a big point total upside. Grabbing two SPs from this tier in a large field GPP could add quite a bit of leverage against the field but also topple your stacks if they meltdown. Either way, the K-upside is tremendous, and salaries are low enough to squeeze in some significant bats.
There is so much suspect pitching on the slate; grabbing a few stacks with different outcomes should be helpful. Also, I narrowed down the matchup timeframes to 14 days since we recently had so much movement. Here are my top three stacks for GPPS.
- The main reason I want a bit of Cincinnati is the matchup. Stacking against any SP returning from the IL is a positive play; let Carlos Carrasco try to shake the rust off against one of the hottest bats, Joey Votto. Also, the salaries are slightly higher for a stack, and that’s not entirely a sinister aspect. Sure, you’ll have to get a little lean on the SPs, but I could also see the field playing fewer Reds. Large field GPPs are where I am going to smash my Reds’ stacks. Core players: Jonathan India, Jesse Winker, Tyler Stephenson, and Joey Votto.
- Detroit has been a different team since installing Akil Baddoo atop the lineup. The ball club has been a nightmare for RHP and continues to put the ball in play while not striking out. This is yet another reason why I love going to Detroit, especially on larger slates. If the BABIP Gods are in their favor, the salaries are usually suppressed enough to throw five bats in a stack easily. Also, they have enough pop to put up crooked numbers(.261 ISO in the last 14 days) and allow you to pay up for SPs. Core players: Akil Baddoo, Robbie Grossman, Jonathan Schoop, and Eric Haase.
- Among the three stacks, the White Sox looks like the worst. However, in terms of stackability, they stand out as one of the better on the slate. These are based on the last 14 days, and players like Eloy Jimenez and Cesar Hernandez weren’t part of the squad. What draws my attention is that the salaries for any stack you build are cheap enough to leave room for a decent secondary stack while paying up for decent SPs. Additionally, they face off against J.C. Mejía, who has lived in the zone a bit too much and can give up multiple HR games. Core players: Tim Anderson, Cesar Hernandez, Yoan Moncada, and Eloy Jimenez.
Here are some of the best value hitters not mentioned above. Also, the value hitters are meant to be players under $3300 on DK and under $3100 on FD—just a step below my cash players.
I’m taking a page from my colleague Rich Holman’s (@RichardoPL83) book and provided my favorite cash lineup. When I target cash players, I try to stick with bats between $3000-$5000(on DK) and $2500-$4000(on FD). If there are outstanding missteps in salaries, we can go a little higher or lower, but the overall goal is to have a balanced lineup. For pitching, I rarely vary outside of my top 3-5 pitchers.
Design by J.R. Caines (@JRCainesDesign on Twitter and @caines_design on Instagram)