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!
FD Boom-or-bust: Morton
DK Boom-or-Bust: Morton, Skubal
Notes: Tonight we have a slate that is absolutely loaded with arms at the top and not a ton of weather to worry about (maybe a little hairy in Washington but that seems to be it, though you may want to double check). In listing these guys I did, I tried to include one in each top tier – for example, on Fanduel deGrom and Max were about the same price so I sided with deGrom. On DK, Giolito and Woodruff were about the same so I sided with Woodruff. I wanted to leave some options at different prices instead of just listing the three most expensive on each site. deGrom will be tough to fit in on Fanduel so I am leaning toward fading him on there and going with Max or Giolito. deGrom I think has the most solid floor on the slate and the floor of Giolito is dangerously low for the price, but he does offer a similar ceiling so I may be willing to take that risk if it gets me a couple better bats but I will have to see where my builds take me. There is not a ton I love down low on Fanduel outside of Morton so I will most definitely be getting one of the top arms in my primary lineup. deGrom has a tough matchup against SD but he did just fan 11 guys in this same matchup so we know the potential is there but at the end of the day, guys like Woodruff, Giolito and Max all have better matchups than Jake.
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.
– Astros (Bregman/Correa/Tucker/Gurriel/Alvarez) – When I listed them, Shoemaker was slated to start so I was licking my chops. Ober has since been named the starter and that is a slight downgrade for us but this stack is still very much playable. Ober limited the longball throughout his time in the minors but it was mainly at the lower levels and he isn’t a highly touted prospect so the Astros should have no issues with him. Unfamiliarly is always scary but the White Sox roughed him up in his first start and that was without Abreu. He fared better in his second start but this will be his toughest test by far. He is allowing huge flyball rates and hard contact rates to lefties and Tucker, Alvarez, and Brantley are all still underpriced, especially on DK.
– Dodgers (Muncy/Bellinger/Betts/Taylor/Smith) – The Dodgers have dropped off considerably to right-handed pitching as they have been without Seager and Bellinger hasn’t looked right but this is still a team loaded with potential and one that always seems to go low owned on huge slates. They are a team that is yearning for a “get right” spot, especially after missing that boat against the Pirates and Folty provides that tonight. He has been a little better of late but he is still among the league leaders in average batted ball distance allowed. Folty is allowing a huge .300 ISO to lefties this seaosn while striking them out at just a pitiful 12% rate so focus on the lefties here tonight (Lux is a cheap piece) but his 5.43 xfip to righties over the past month shows he doesn’t discriminate when it comes to being sub-par.
– Boston (Verdugo/Renfroe/Martinez/Bogaerts/Devers) – I have to admit…this is one I am on the fence about. You can maybe swap this stack for Reds below in the boom-or-bust section as I do consider the Sox a boom-or-bust. Stripling started the year off terribly but has improved a lot but it is no coincidence that one of his worst starts came against this same team. The Sox come in ranked 4th in hard hit rate to righties over the last month while displaying the league’s second best ISO to them. Stripling features a slider to righties 30% of the time while allowing a huge .667 slugging percentage on the pitch and the Sox have five guys (all listed) with at least a .231 ISO on the pitch this season.
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
– Reds (Suarez/Castellanos/Stephenson/Winker/India) – The Reds have been much better to righties this season than lefties but their results against lefties may not tell the entire story. They rank in the bottom third in ISO to southpaws this year but they haven’t struck out a lot to them (24%, middle of the road) and they rank 4th in hard contact to them. They do have the third lowest BABIP to them which tells me that coupled with that hard hit rate, they could just be running into some bad luck and could see positive regression against them soon. Soft-tossing Freeland gives them that opportunity to right the ship in a nice hitter’s park in Great American.
– Blue Jays (Bichette/Semien/Guerrero/Hernandez/Grichuk) – As uneasy as I am about Boston in their matchup, I am with Toronto in theirs. I have been targeting Richards for a while now because he just isn’t very good and I have been getting it tucked up my rear every time. Richards is getting hit very hard but he is getting by from inducing groundballs and keeping the ball in the park. I think his luck could run out tonight though against a Toronto team that comes in as the number one team in both ISO and wOBA to righties over the last month.
– Brewers (Yelich/Garcia/Narvaez/Vogelbach/Adames) – Man oh man do I hate this Milwaukee offense with a passion but it is hard not to at least play a piece of it with Chase DeJong on the hill. DeJong is awful and comes in allowing an eye-popping 51% flyball rate through his first couple starts and gets a Brewers team that is surprisingly a top ten team in ISO over the last month.
Hon mention: Orioles (Mountcastle/Santander/Franco/Mancini/Galvis) – Yarbrough isn’t a guy that I like to target as he induces a ton of weak contact but along with that weak contact he has allowed a huge 8 homers in his last four starts, cause for concern especially facing this team of newfound lefty-mashers. Baltimore comes in as the second best team in ISO to lefties over the last month!
TOP ONE OFFS
Ramirez, Cle – Cleveland is in a good spot against Dunn and a couple guys there are really cheap but they’re also kind of uninspiring outside of Ramirez.
Abreu, CWS – The White Sox are notorious lefty killers but Skubal actually hasn’t been too bad and Chicago’s lineup just keeps getting more and more watered down (no Jimenez, no Robert, and now no Madrigal). That leaves us with old trusty Abreu and a bunch of light-hitting or free-swinging guys.
Walsh/Stassi, LAA – Kelly has the reputation of a gas can which could make the Angels a little popular tonight but truth is, Kelly hasn’t been awful lately and the Angels are just blah to me outside of these two guys.
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: deGrom (I’d say Max but he has weather issues), Alvarez, Yelich
Other cash plays:
1B: Muncy, Vogelbach
2B: C Hernandez, India
3B: Ramirez, Rendon, Suarez
SS: Correa, Suarez
OF: Yelich, Alvarez, Tucker, Upton, Soto, Bellinger, Castellanos
DK Cash core: deGrom (I think Morton or Ohtani are the cash SP2 but I won’t core them), Y Alvarez, Castellanos
Other DK Cash:
C: Stassi, Stephenson
1B: Muncy, Vogelbach, Bradley
2B: India, Altuve
3B: J Ramirez, Suarez
SS: Correa, Anderson, Rosario
OF: Astros, Castellanos, E Rosario, Bellinger, Upton, Yelich, Betts, Larnach
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!