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: Peterson, Miley
Notes: A few great arms to choose from at the top so how do we decide? I need to start off by saying that if Max were facing 20 other teams, I would be fading him but he gets Arizona who isn’t imposing even if he hasn’t been great. He is allowing very high flyball rates and hard contact but he always makes up for any damage with his strikeout floor (2nd highest rate on the slate). He does come with some risk but not anymore than Glasnow does (who I also don’t mind as well). I favor Max over Glass because max does have the better matchup tonight in my opinion despite how bad the Mets have looked. Glasnow could make more sense on FD over Max as Glass comes with a $2,000 discount so that definitely has to be considered. I think if choosing between the two on FD, I definitely have to consider Glasnow given that price difference. Kershaw is a nice price on both sites and gets the Marlins tonight – at this point, I would roll out my grandmother if she were on the bup against the Marlins, that’s how bad that offense is. We just saw one of the worst pitchers in the game, Merrill Kelly, be decent against this squad and now they get Kersh. He lacks the strikeout upside that a guy like Max or Glasnow have but he is as solid as they come. I might favor Glasnow over him on FD since Glass is cheaper but on DK, Kershaw is almost $1k cheaper so I would take Kershaw there. Musgrove is a lot cheaper than all of them and I wanted to include a “mid-range” guy on here but you do have to realize that with that lower price comes more risk. The Cards will be rolling out a boatload of righties against Joe and he comes into this one with a real nice 35% K rate to righties (only Max and Glass are better on the slate at 39% and 36% with a minuscule WHIP of just .68 to them, by far the best on the slate against righties. Peterson is very interesting as Tampa has struggled mightily against southpaws this season. Peterson’s xfip of 3.13 is the fourth best mark on the slate and Tampa sports the 2nd highest K rate on the slate to lefties (31%) with only Detroit being worse. They also come in with the 7th lowest ISO so if there is a matchup where Peterson is going to excel, it is this one and you get him real cheap on both sites. I listed Miley as well but thats obviously a real deep punt and not one I’d play in my first one or two lineups. People might think I am chasing the no-no but fact is, Miley has been pretty good for a couple seasons now. He has increased his changup usage substantially as well as throwing a lot more cutters and sliders and its paying off in softer contact and less flyablls. That will come in handy in Coors. He lacks the strikeout upside but he can give 6 solid on any night in my opinion.
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.
– Yankees (Judge/Stanton/Torres/Voit/Hicks) – Should be pretty popular but hopefully the humungous slate offsets that. They get Kremer who’s 4.47 xfip is one of the higher marks on the slate and his 42% flyball rate is the second worst on the slate. The Yanks roll a ton of righties and Kremer gives up a 40% flyball rate and 38% hard contact to them, the fourth highest marks on the slate. The park is also a huge benefit to the Yanks. If it looks like they’re going to be popular, don’t be afraid to target some of the lower batters in the order to set yourself apart.
– Astros (Altuve/Bregman/Alvarez/Tucker/Brantley) – Benjamin could very well be the worst arm on the slate. His 6.64 xfip is awful and the worst mark on the slate and his 50% flyball rate and 2nd highest hard contact will go him no favors against an Astros team that ranks third in the league in wRC+ to lefties. Benjamin also gives way to one of the worst bullpens in the league.
– Cubs (Contreras/Bryant/Rizzo/Baez/Bote) – Skubal could very well be a good pitcher down the road but right now, he just doesn’t belong in the league. He shows flashes for a batter or two or an inning or two here and there but this guy is getting creamed. His 56% flyball rate is not only the highest on the slate but the highest in the league among qualified arms. He also leads the slate in hard contact and that 56% flyball rate goes to a whopping 63% to just righties. I am not sure why the Tigers continue to roll him out but we will keep taking the low-hanging fruit with batters facing him.
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
– Blue Jays (Guerrero/Semien/Bichette/Hernandez/Grichuk) – VV’s hard contact to righties (26%) isn’t bad but his 47% flyball rate, HR/9 over 3, and xfip approaching 5.00 to them doesn’t bode well against a team full of righties in a stadium that rivals Coors for run production.
– Cleveland (Ramirez/Rosario/Reyes/Naylor) – As much as he has held his own, I am just not buying Flexen being a good pitcher. The Indians come into this one with sneakily one of the best ISOs to righties this season and in particular over the last two weeks. This is a true boom-or-bust so buyer beware!
– Oakland (Olson/Lowrie/Chapman/Canha/Brown) – Shoemaker’s 5.14 xfip is the 4th worst on the slate and Oakland comes in ranking as the number 2 team in average batted ball distance. Shoemaker is particularly bad to lefties, allowing 40% hard contact (most on the slate to them) and a 41% flyball rate to them so Olson, Lowrie, and Brown are all set up nice.
Hon mention: Boston (Martinez/Bogaerts/Devers/Verdugo), Nationals (Soto/Turner/Bell/Schwarber)
Top One-Off Plays
– Cruz/Donaldson, Min
– Taylor, Mil
– Hoskins, Phi
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: Glasnow or Musgrove, Story
Other cash plays: Max
1B: Guerrero, Voit, Hoskins
2B: Moustakas, Biggio, Semien
3B: Suarez, Biggio
SS: Story, Semien
OF: Judge, Stanton, Trout, Winker, Hernandez, Taylor, Kelenec, McCutchen, Soto
DK Cash core: Musgrove, Moustakas, Taylor (Mil)
Other DK Cash P: Glasnow, Max, Kershaw
C: Barnhart, Diaz
1B: Moustakas, Hoskins
2B: Semien, Arraez, Segura
3B: Guerrero, Biggio
SS: Story, Suarez
OF: Reds, Hernandez, Kelenec, Stanton, Judge, Blackmon
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!