The Triple T: Tim’s Top Three
Welcome back to the 2021 MLB DFS season! 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 within that team and can be mixed and matched. When we “stack”, that traditionally means that we play 3 to 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. My personal favorite is a 3/3/2 as it allows me to get exposure to three of my favorite teams on a slate.
We should note that this MLB DFS season will play a little different then previous seasons as Covid-19 has made for an abbreviated year last year which could change how starting pitchers are used THIS season, how lineups and substitutions are managed, as well as the virus still being around, leading to positive tests and causing players to quarantine. 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 and we get a solid data set to work off!
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!
Ohtani Lynch (DK)
Notes: Real tough slate tonight as it looks deep at first glance, but then you notice a couple of these guys haven’t been as sharp as you thought. Glasnow is at the top and he has been his usual, dominant self and we have no reason to think that stops tonight. The draw is a little tough against the Angels but in actuality, they only have a few bats worth worrying about, Trout, Rendon, and Walsh (assuming Ohtani doesn’t bat). Glasnow does have a couple red flags in his flyball rate but he is keeping his hard hit rate down so I am willing to overlook it, especially on a slate with limited options. Montas and Maeda faced each other last week and both guys are kind of in the same boat tonight – where we KIND OF want to play them but their numbers just aren’t good. Maeda has the “easier” matchup against Texas so I will list him over Montas but frankly, I am just not even comfortable with Maeda to make him anything other then a boom-or-bust guy. He has allowed 6 homers over his last two starts and is allowing a 45% hard hit rate, one of the highest on the slate. I guess the only reason we are considering him is because of “name value” and matchup, though the matchup may not even be what we think. Over the last two weeks Texas ranks 2nd in wOBA and 3rd in ISO to right-handed pitching so if you use Kenta, proceed with caution and throw in a Texas hedge line just in case because he is a dangerous proposition especially with a heavy wind blowing out in Minny. Buehler has some quetionable weather so keep an eye on that. He isn’t the guy he was a couple seasons ago but that doesn’t mean he still can’t be useful. What I like about Buehler is thhat despite getting hit kind of hard this season, he is keeping the ball on the ground, is showing impeccable control, and is really dominating righties which is where a couple main threats come from on Chicago. If it were any other slate I would probably bypass him but tonight’s slate says we should probably throw him in the mix. Lynch is KC’s top prospect and admittedly, I like this more as it pertains to DK. Lynch has loads of potential but hasn’t pitched above A-ball so it could be rough going. What he has going for him tonight is price. His DK price of $4k allows room for error and it won’t take much to pay off. Cleveland holds their own to lefties but a lot of that production came early on in the season when they had a couple series with Detroit and got to face punching bags Skubal, Alexander, Soto, etc. Lynch could be popular on DK but I will just eat it tonight.
* As I write this, Ohtani has been scratched – take him out of your player pools. Jose Quintana gets the call for the Angels. I would not recommend him as a replacement play.
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.
*As I am writing this, I got an alert that the Cubs game looks very hairy so I am going to leave off the Dodgers in these stacks though they were my favorite of the night. If the weather turns and it looks like they’re playing, by all means put them in play and they would be my favorite.
– Twins (Cruz/Buxton/Garver/Donaldson/Kiriloff) – Cruz, Buxton, and Donaldson all rank in the top 20 in the entire majors in exit velocity while Kiriloff and Garver rank in the top 13 in average batted ball distance. Dunning isn’t awful so I typically don’t target him but he is allowing a 44% hard hit rate and a heavy wind should be blowing out tonight in Minny. Dunning induces a decent groundball rate which is scary, but the Twins as a team lead the majors in barrel rate meaning they get under it with good launch angle often. The winds should help them tonight and Dunning gives way to one of the worst pens in the league.
– Padres (Tatis/Machado/Myers/Grisham/Nola) – I could be wrong but I expect this stack to be the highest owned non-Coors stack as they get Tyler Anderson and the Pirates. Anderson actually hasn’t been bad but he is another guy that is allowing only modest flyball rates, but these five guys all have ISO’s of over .176 to lefties this season with nice hard contact numbers. The Padres come into this one with the 5th highest hard hit rate in the league
– Giants (Dickerson/Tachman/Belt/Posey) – I am hesitant to list the Giants here because I always want to avoid Coors on big slates but I am going to crack and do it anyway just because SF has already gotten to Marquez a couple times this season and they werent even at Coors. Marquez and Sanchez both allow very low flyball rates so this game could disappoint people tonight so I absolutely wouldn’t blame you for going elsewhere to get different but I am listing them because their prices are hard to ignore, especially on DK. Tauchman is minimum price for some reason and the rest of the guys haven’t received the traditional “Coors boost”. The 20% flyball rate to lefties isn’t something I usually attack but the hard contact to them approaching 40% is why we would have reason to go here. Again, Marquez can get hit hard but it doesn’t usually seem to come in the form of homers so if you like other upside stacks, go for it.
Top Boom-or-Bust Stacks
These are stacks that I anticipate will be lower owned but have huge potential. They are usually all-or-nothing stacks that we play shooting for a tourney takedown
– Mariners (Lewis/Seager/Marmolejos/Haniger/Trammell) – Kremer has been…”acceptable” to righties and Seattle has a bunch so we should be cautious but we can’t mistake Kremer for a good pitcher as he is anything but. He carries a low swinging strike rate which is good because the bulk of Seattle’s issues come from the strikeout. To lefties, he is allowing a huge .400 ISO and 44% flyball rate so even if you wanted to do a Marmolejos/Seager two-man stack I wouldn’t mind that approach. Kyle Lewis and Kyle Seager both rank in the top 15 in the entire league in average batted ball distance while Marmolejos is right there at #30 – three guys in the top 30 in distance, you can’t beat that and this is actually a beatable matchup for them. If this one is too “out there” for you, you can try KC but beware of 1) a heavy wind blowing in there and 2) a heavy groundball pitcher in Civale.
– Oakland (Chapman/Canha/Laureano/Murphy/Olson) – Matz hasn’t been bad to start the season but he also hasn’t been tested a ton. He has faced all teams that aren’t great to lefties – LAA, TB, Tex. The one team he has faced that IS good to lefties, Washington, hit him around pretty good. He now gets an Oakland team that ranks 7th in wRC+ and 3rd in ISO to lefties this season. They can load up with righties and that’s bad for Matz as he has a K rate of 34% to lefties but just 19% to righties with a 1.42 HR/9 and xfip approaching 5 to righties. I am looking for low-owned, high upside stacks tonight and I think Oakland fits that bill.
– Blue Jays (Guerrero/Springer/Bichette/Semien) – You would think that running a stack full of righties against a righty would be bad news…until you look at Montas’ numbers this year. Montas has been bad to both sides but particularly righties as he is allowing them a whopping .313 ISO and .625 slugging and a rate of over THREE homers per 9 innings. His K percentage to lefties is over 30% but drops down to an astounding 9% against righties, a number that gave me such pause because it was so low that I had to go double check if it was correct. These four guys have an ISO of at least .211 to righties this season and the Jays rank first in the league in exit velocity.
Top One-Off Plays
– McMahon or Blackmon, Col
– Arenado, STL
– Santana, KC
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.
***will make an update here at 12:00pm! ***
FD Cash Core: I think Maeda and Glasnow will have the ownership tonight. I would lean Glass in cash just because Maeda has been so awful. Tatis, Yelich if that game plays.
Other cash plays: Meadows, Machado, Nola, Kiriloff, Donaldson, Cruz, Chapman, Laureano
DK Cash core: Glasnow, with the coors game PPD I don’t see any “must have” bats in cash, ownership should be pretty spread out. Milwaukee bats could have some if that game plays.
Other DK Cash: Yelich, Meadows, Tatis, Cruz, Donaldson, Kiriloff, Chapman, Machado
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!