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!
Boom-or-Bust: Ynoa, Cobb
Notes: Big slate with some good pitching at the top but not a lot toward the middle and bottom. Right off the bat we need to make you aware that deGrom‘s game looks hairy right now in terms of weather so keep an eye on that one. If it plays, deGrom will be facing a lineup loaded with righties which is good for him as he comes into this one with an absolutely eye-popping 51% K rate to righties which could be the highest I have ever seen from anyone with the innings under his belt that he has. The guy has been amazing and tonight should be no different. I actually hope that game plays as it will challenge people’s builds as they try to force in his tag. If he is out, going to Bauer on DK is the next best thing. While I have my reservations with him, he is the best arm left on the board and the bonus for him is that he gets to pitch a shortened 7-inning game which could put him in line for a complete game. If deGrom’s game is canceled, Nola should be uber popular on Fanduel. Yelich is back for the Brewers but lets face it, they’re still a below-average offense that sports the 4th highest K rate to righties this year. The other option that I think gets ownership if no deGrom is Pivetta. Pivetta has some pretty huge flyball rates which scare me to death playing in Fenway but Detroit is probably the best matchup on the board. This is DFS though and anything can happen so I suppose that Detroit can go off but they do come into tonight with the 2nd highest strikeout rate to righties and the 2nd worst wOBA to them. Pivetta is never “safe” but its the best matchup you’ll get on the night in a chilly Fenway. Ynoa has balled out in all but one of his games but he is still allowing pretty high hard contact. Aside from that, he has the third highest swinging strike rate on the slate and gets a Washington team whos bark is bigger than their bite. They are relatively harmless to righties as they have the 5th worst wOBA and 2nd worst ISO to them this year. Aside from Bell and maybe Schwarber, the power is very limited so if Ynoa can get by those two guys, he should be able to get out of this one with a respectable score.
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.
– Padres (Tatis/Machado/Myers/Grisham/Nola) – I tend to favor lefties against Mitch Keller more than righties and that is the downside with this stack – their best bats come from the right side. They do have some lefties that can mas like Grisham, Hosmer, and Cronenworth so I feel comfortable mixing them in with Machado and Tatis. Keller is allowing a slugging percentage approaching .600 to lefties to go with a 6.00 xfip and high flyball rate and Keller gives way to an awful pen so SD is set up real nice here.
– Atl (Freeman/Ozuna/Acuna/Albies/Swanson) – Joe Ross is traditionlly a groundball guy but this season he is allowing higher flyball rates than usual. He has been bad to both sides, allowing righties a huge 41% hard contact (2nd highest on the slate) and 1.86 HR/9 while giving up a huge .536 slugging and 2.31 HR/9 to lefties. Atlanta comes in with the 2nd highest ISO and 3rd highest wOBA to righties this season.
– Toronto (Guerrero/Bichette/Grichuk/Springer/Hernandez) – I admit, this one may be more of a “boom-or-bust” stack as Irvin hasn’t been awful, but I am having trouble getting off them tonight. It’s true, Irvin hasn’t been bad, but I also think he hasn’t been tested much. In his five starts, he has faced three of the bottom ten teams in ISO to lefties this year, TB, Bal, and Det – three teams that are not good offensively. In his two starts against, Houston, a more capable team offensively, he got exploded on. Irvin is allowing 40% hard contact and a 35% flyball rate to righties and faces 8 or 9 of them tonight, 7 of which obliterate southpaws. Bichette has a .316 ISO, Guerrero .250, Grichuk .346, and Gurriel .227. Springer and Teoscar have just recently joined the lineup and we know how good they are to lefties and while Semien has actually struggled to them this season, he traditionally crushes them. This stack probably won’t have much ownership at all which is why I like them a lot in tourneys. They’re a big risk but I think it is one worth taking on such a wide open slate.
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
– Oakland (Chapman/Canha/Laureano/Murphy/Olson) – On the opposite side of that Toronto game is Oakland who sports the 3rd best ISO to lefties and get a below-average one tonight in Kay followed by a bad Toronto pen. These five guys listed above all have ISOs of .258 or better to lefties except Canha who has a .152 but is still historically good to them. They should be a little more popular then Toronto and while I like Toronto better for tourneys, Oakland carries just as much upside.
– Red Sox (Martinez/Verdugo/Devers/Bogaerts) – I feel like this stack might have the most ownership given that its Detroit but Fulmer actually hasn’t been too bad. In fact, he is sporting the highest swinging strike rate of his career and his fastball is back up to 95, an increase of 2 mph over last season. He hasn’t been going deep for some reason but even if he gives the Tigers four solid innings, because the Sox are at home, that leaves just four innings against this bad pen. I am not thrilled with paying these prices for four innings of production (assuming Fulmer can hold them until then) Now there is a chance Fulmer craps himself but there hasn’t been evidence of that happening this season so I just don’t think they are a “sure thing”.
– Yankees (Stanton/Judge/Urshela/Hicks/Torres) – This is another ‘reach’ but I think it is a good night for those kinds of plays. Greinke has held his own but he hasn’t had the toughest schedule to this point, facing the Angels twice, Seattle twice, and Detroit. Because he relies on contact now, he is always playing with fire and one of the biggest reasons the yanks have struggle to get going is the strikeout which could become less of a concern tonight. I realize this is big risk so I wouldn’t blame you for bypassing them and going with KC against Hentges or Seattle against Lopez.
Top One-Off Plays
– Bohm/Hoskins, Phi
– Reyes, Cle
– Merrifield, 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 6:00pm! ***
FD Cash Core: Nola, Freeman, Acuna, Torres
Other cash plays: All Braves, Y Alvarez, Stanton, Odor, Bohm, Tatis, Turner
DK Cash core: Pivetta, Nola, Meadows, Freeman
Other DK Cash: Dozier, Acuna, Tucker, Swanson, Y Alvarez
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!