MLB DFS: Breaking down the top daily fantasy baseball hitters and team stacks on FanDuel & DraftKings for April 5, 2021
Digging into today’s MLB DFS slate to highlight your best bats to stack.
In this article, we will cover two to three teams that we think are the most stackable for MLB contests. If you are newer to DFS or MLB, or just want a general refresher on the impact of stacking in MLB, check out our research done this off-season where we analyzed over 2,000,000 lineups to determine how many times a team of four or five hitters stacked from the same team won contests. In brief, 80.3% of winning lineups across 71 Main Slate tournaments (from 2020) had a stack of at least four players. 71.9% of that 80.3% had a stack of five players. It is pretty clear that stacking is the main strategy to focus on when it comes to MLB, therefore we will be approaching our hitters content from a stacking perspective.
Los Angeles Angels (vs Houston)
The Astros are trotting out Luis Garcia as their fifth starter as Jake Odorizzi hasn’t yet debuted. Garcia is an arm that is more meant for the bullpen or in a long-relief role right now in his career, as in his very limited appearance last season he never went more than five innings. That being said, though he only appeared in five games last year, he looked solid with a sub 3 ERA – but only had nine strikeouts over 12 innings. Though there is promise with Garcia, I am worried this is a bit too much a bit too fast – with only five major league appearances under his belt, is he ready for a starting role for a playoff-contending team? This isn’t a knock on his talent or skill or potential, it just seems risky. Garcia showed a very live arm in Spring Training but also was hit around to the tune of five earned over 5.2 innings. His WHIP this spring was an ugly 1.941. Top to bottom, the Angels are a team who can rake at any given point, with two MVP candidates in Rendon and Trout and complementary pieces all-around. We also have a breakout candidate in Jared Walsh, who hit two home runs last night including a walk-off. Walsh in his data set is has a .462 ISO and .430 wOBA against right-handed pitching. Garcia shut down RHH last season, allowing them to go just 1-for-21 – but this data is too limited for me to ultimately consider. The Astros pitching staff has been great to start the year, allowing just eight earned over 36 innings, but when we consider all things, the Angels are still the team with the highest projected run total on this slate (though it is not by much). Dexter Fowler at $3,300 is a big starting point for me here, as his price can offset some higher-priced bats. Jared Walsh seems like a must-have in any stack and that isn’t me just riding his momentum of last night (he also has a home run against Garcia in two career at-bats). Shohei Ohtani won’t play tonight so we lose a strong split candidate, but that means Albert Pujols likely DH’s tonight and though he is a bit boom-or-bust, he is also cheap – adding him and Fowler won’t make it too difficult to get to Trout and Rendon. For tournament sake, I like the opposite side of this matchup too with the Astros who have scored at least eight runs in all of their games so far this year.
Milwaukee Brewers (at Chicago)
The Brewers are a tough team to peg on any given night and as a Brewers fan myself a hard team to write about as my negative bias towards the team usually shows through. You likely will never see a Brewers write-up when I am overly confident in them, mostly because I have suffered through every game for the last legitimate 20 years of my life. Of course, there have been plenty of ups, but also plenty of downs. This year’s Brewers team on paper is deep and loaded with talent. Milwaukee has four gold glove winners and what should be one of the best defensive outfields in baseball – however, defensive metrics won’t get us fantasy points. The Brewers lineup has a lot of power in it, though it was quiet through the weekend with the lone home run coming off the bat of Jackie Bradley Jr. However their mound opponent tonight in Trevor Williams is no stranger as the Brewers have faced him several times as he has managed to stay inside the NL Central. Williams looked good this Spring, only allowing two earned in 13 innings and also only allowed one home run. Why do I mention home runs? Because it has been Trevor Williams most glaring problem over the past two seasons. In 2019 with the Pirates, Williams allowed 27 home runs over 145 innings – or a home run roughly every 5.3 innings. But in 2020 this number jumped to allowing a home run every 3.6 innings. That’s right, Williams allowed 15 long balls in just 55 innings pitched last season. Williams finished 2019 with a 5.38 ERA and 2020 with a 6.18 ERA. I try not to hold 2020 against pitchers as it was a strange year for most, but the home run numbers here are staggering. Through Williams’ success was him keeping his sinker low in the zone and throwing it more – his sinker has since dropped to his second least thrown pitch since 2018. His slider rose in usage a ton, with it being thrown 27% of the time last year. In all, the career splits aren’t too drastic here – left-handed hitters are seeing him slightly better at a .277 career clip, while righties are at a .249. However using just last season as an example, RHH hit .344 against Williams while LHH just .260. Some Brewers have seen Williams pretty well in their careers, Keston Hiura is 4-for-7 lifetime with three of those four hits being home runs. Kolten Wong has seven hits in 18 plate appearances as well. Outside of Christian Yelich, all prices on Brewers hitters are pretty cheap. Kolten Wong and Jack Bradley Jr. should both be in the lineup tonight and are both just $3,700 – Keston Hiura (if he can lay off a high fastball for once in his life) is one of my favorite calls to go deep tonight. Which Trevor Williams are we getting tonight is the biggest question and only time will really tell until we can answer that question, but for DFS purposes, hoping we get 2020 Williams could lead to the potential for a lot of long-balls.