The Triple T: Tim’s Top Three
As many of you know, MLB DFS is all about stacking so it only makes sense to focus on that in this article. I will list my favorite plays within each stack to make it easier to build a lineup from the recommendations. There may be more guys on team that can be used and salary will certainly dictate that, but the guys I list are my favorites and can be mixed and matched. When we “stack”, that traditionally means that we play 3-5 guys from a particular team so that we can have exposure among multiple players throughout that lineup of the runs generated. Stacking could come in the form of a 5-3 stack (five players from one team and 3 from another), a 4-4, or even a 5-2-1 or 4-3-1.
We should note that this MLB DFS season will play MUCH different then previous seasons as Covid-19 has made for an abbreviated year which will change how starting pitchers are used, how bullpens are utilized, how lineups and substitutions are managed, as well as the virus itself possibly coming into play and forcing positive tests to quarantine. We have also had an extremely long layoff since last season and just as we build a solid data sample to work with, the “regular season” will pretty much be over! Regardless, I am just happy to have the sport back and it should be a lot of fun. Tread lightly for the first couple weeks as we see how things are shaking out!
Use these MLB plays along with your own research! Remember, this is a GPP-style article (outside of the cash cores) so I take some more chances than others. The format for this article is not set in stone so if there is something you want to see or would like me to consider changing, please let me know. After all, this site is for YOU. Let’s dive in!
*Be sure to compare with your own research from our incredible MLB DFS matchup tool!
Any changes or edits will be marked in Red – check back before lock!
Top Three Pitchers
Pitcher (no order):
Marquez *see below (can use Wainwright if you don’t like Marquez)
Notes: The first thing you might notice is that I haven’t included Castillo in my top guys and anyone that knows me knows how shocking that might be since I am Castillo truther. He has been amazing this season, sporting lowest barrel rate (4%) on the slate and his 15% swinging strike rate is also the highest on the slate. His issues this season have all come in the form of BABIP and he is limiting the longball but the Twins are still not a matchup that I am rushing to attack with him. He could very well do okay but for the price, I think we can afford to let him go to the field tonight. There is also the issue that the Reds don’t have a TON to play for other than seeding and they will need Castillo for the playoffs so they may not push him. On the flipside, the Twins have secured their birth so they could roll out a watered down lineup. Civale, McCullers, and Marquez all carry a little more risk but they save us a couple grand off of Castillo which could go a long way tonight. These three are kind of in the same boat as Civale and the Indians are in the postseason as well as McCullers and the Astros. Marquez is on the other end where the Rox don’t have much to play for other than pride. Civale has the 5th lowest barrel rate (5.8%) and gets a matchup with the Pirates who have been abysmal this season, ranking as the worst offense in the league to right-handed pitching. McCullers has an equally tasty matchup with the Rangers who can’t seem to get anything going against anyone with a pulse. Again, not sure how much these guys are pished because they will both be needed for the postseason but their prices aren’t going to break the bank so we should be okay with them. Marquez is allowing one of the highest hard hit rates but his low launch angel induced (7 degrees) results in a low barrel rate. Marquez doesn’t have anything to play for where the Giants have very much to play for (a spot in the postseason) so Marquez may be a bit riskier than you would like tonight and could even be classified as a boom-or-bust guy. Houck is very risky because he is playing the Braves but man has this kid looked good so far. He has faced some good offenses in his first two and has only allowed 4% barrels through those games – he has the talent and the Braves sat Freeman last night so they may rest a stud or two tonight going into the dance. *At time of publishing, it was thought that McCullers would start for Houston. That doesn’t seem to be the case, or at least he will be on an inning limit so I think as it stands now I will have the most Civale and Marquez followed by Wheeler and possibly Woodruff.
Tonight is a good night to play a few different lineups and spread some exposure out – these are not the only guys I like as Woodruff, Davies, Weaver, Pineda and Wheeler are all also grabbing my attention.
Top MLB Team Stacks (both sites, no order)
* I am going to list my preferred player stack, but these aren’t the only guys I would use as there may be some others that offer us salary relief.
– White Sox (Anderson/Abreu/Encarnacion/McCann/Robert) – Lester has the highest barrel rate on the slate (12%) and the White Sox have been the best team in the league to left handed pitching. They are projected to be without Jimenez which hurts but still have a lot of firepower here.
– Houston (Bergman/Altuve/Springer/Tucker/Brantley) – Gibson is allowing the third highest statcast hard hit rate on the slate and comes into this one with a sub-par 8% barrel rate. The Astros don’t have a ton to play for but you have to think they want to get back to their hitting ways as they back into the playoffs.
– Detroit (Reyes/Cabrera/Castro/Castro/Goodrum) – *Not for the faint of heart* I decided to get a little crazy and here and to be honest this stack probably belong in the boom-or-bust category but it seems like as good a night as any to take chances. Hernandez has not been good to this point, sporting the highest barrel rate on the slate (12%), the highest statcast hard hit rate (46%) and allowing the second highest launch angle. Detroit has been egregiously terrible to righties this season, but a couple of these young guys like Reyes and Castro have been pretty decent of late. If you don’t want to go all in (and that is understandable), perhaps just grabbing Castro and Reyes would be fine and give you some salary relief.
Top Boom-or-Bust Stacks
– Dodgers (Bellinger/Betts/Muncy/Taylor/Turner) – Bundy started the year off great, but has been shaky over his last few starts despite facing some of the weaker teams in the league. Tonight he gets one of the best teams to righties, the Dodgers.
– Royals (Dozier/Soler/Merrifield/Perez/Mondesi) – The Royals have been pretty bad to lefties but Boyd has been worse to righties.
– Padres (Nola/Myers/Machado/Tatis) – Always enticing to get this stack at lower than normal ownership and we should have the money to get them by paying down at pitcher tonight.
Top Three One-Off Plays
– Perez, KC
– Betts, LAD
– Anderson, Chw
Cash Game Foundation
*Since hedging your tourneys with cash games is extremely important in these daily sports like MLB, we have decided to include a cash game (double ups, 50/50’s) section at the bottom of our MLB DFS articles this season. These guys will be my foundation for cash games. I will focus mainly on where I think ownership will be and solid floors more so than who the actual “best” play at the position will be. Some guys have very high ceilings suited best for GPP while also having low floors not ideal for cash games. It is imperative that we play ownership in cash as we just need to beat half the field in these games rather than finish first. We want to pay close attention to where the field is going so if we have a bust at high ownership it doesn’t bury us. I love tourneys because they give me a chance to take some risks, but we want to play it safe in double-ups so I use my cash games to maybe eat some chalk that I may not be particularly high on because, again, we want to play ownership in cash.
Check back later in the day by 6:00pm as we get more of an idea of lineups!
* Per request, I am going to do it a little different today and give a couple options, both a higher dollar guy and lower dollar guy at each spot.
DraftKings MLB Cash Foundation:
P: Wheeler, Woodruff
C: Perez, McCann
1B: Abreu, Encarnacion
2B: Altuve, Marte
3B: Bregman, Machado
SS: Anderson, Seager, Bogaerts
OF: Ownership should be spread out here but I like Robert, Trout, Dodgers OFs and Merrifield
Fanduel MLB Cash Foundation:
P: Wheeler, Woodruff
1B: White Sox 1Bs
2B: Altuve, Marte
3B: Bregman, Turner
SS: Tatis, Anderson
OF: Trout, Dodgers OFs, Yelich, Padres OFs
As always, remember to make sure these players are indeed in the lineup, that weather is okay, and keep an eye on Vegas odds. Don’t forget that baseball is by far the highest variance sport but by truly digging in to the numbers and turning over every stone, we can mitigate that variance. Please follow Top Flight Fantasy Sports on Twitter and Facebook if you haven’t already and good luck!