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Stack Your Stack ⚾ August 1

Larejo123

Even the sharpest DFS players cannot elude this simple fact: You are the public

When we talk about DFS strategies, and how to think like a contrarian, we often mention what the public thinks and why they could be wrong. This is where the term fading the public comes from, for instance. 

But the irony in public opinion is that we are the public. I am the public. You are the public, and the best DFS players and bettors are also the public. We have to be honest with ourselves always. And this is one of the most honest truths you can tell yourself as you form your strategies in any contest.

I wanted to start today’s article with that statement because I don’t think we all use it to our advantage enough. There is the irony that we are essentially fading ourselves, but also beauty in the fact that we don’t have to look far to figure out what the public may be thinking. Oftentimes as you start your process for building lineups, the very first thought you have when looking at a game or player, is exactly the public opinion.

This is a key tenant of playing DFS: take your first reaction, label it as a public opinion, and then start to think about ways where that thought or reaction could be wrong. This type of thinking is what will set you up to embrace variance, debunk public perceptions, and win when others will lose.

Let’s jump into today’s MLB main slate…

Sunday, August 1st

With the trade deadline now behind us (what a wild few days!), we can exhale a bit at least knowing our players shouldn’t get pulled mid-game or scratched from the lineup last minute. As a quick aside, I took Tuesday thru Saturday off from MLB DFS as I was away with my family, so I may be a little stale but my mind feels clearer than it has been since April. And don’t worry, that doesn’t mean I missed Sevy Zavala’s 3-HR game (is that not the best example of an Alen Hanson happening?!).

We should start to see all the new faces in new places in their respective lineups today. A few probable starters are TBD but by the time you read this article, the Blue Jays, Marlins, and White Sox will have all announced. From the current crop of starters slated for Sunday’s afternoon games, here are the ‘leaders’ in stats allowed over the past 21 days:

  • Hard-hit %: Mitch Keller 48.3 // Brett Anderson 47.1 // Mike Foltynewicz 44.4
  • SIERA: Spenser Watkins 5.59 // Vladimir Gutierrez 5.55 // Marco Gonzales 4.99
  • Barrel %: M. Gonzales 15.3 // Adbert Alzolay 11.7 // B. Anderson 11.0
  • Fly Ball %: Tyler Alexander 46.1 // Foltynewicz 44.7 // Gonzales 44.2
  • HR/FB most: Alzolay 25.8 (whoa) // Foltynewicz 20 // Gonzales 18.7
  • HR/FB least: Watkins 7.7 // Kyle Gibson 9.9 // Cal Quantrill 10.3
  • LOB %: Watkins 84.6 // Gibson 79.7 // Gutierrez 79.2
  • Walk rate: M. Keller 12.7 // Gutierrez 10.5 // Erick Fedde 10.4

Let the fun begin. Gonzales, Folty, and Gutierrez are all over these metrics for all the wrong reasons. A game stack with the Rangers and Mariners worries me with how bad those offenses are, but the poor metrics on the pitching side do dictate we could make that play. The Alzolay HR/FB rate is almost as insane as Shohei Ohtani’s >100% HR/FB rate the last few weeks. He’s been giving up home runs as if he’s supposed to do that. The other game stack which jumps out is the Orioles and Tigers. You all know how I feel about stacking bad offenses, so I don’t love the metrics all pointing to TEX/SEA and BAL/DET game stacks but the data is the data.

If you’d rather go the route of stacking good offenses (I don’t blame you, and I’ll go here too), going after the Keller’s (with the Blue Jays and Phillies), along with the Yankees vs. a TBD Marlins starter and Braves against Brett Anderson are where we should be.

*all stats from the last 10 days

Phillies vs. Pirates (M. Keller)

McCutchen may not play today after leaving yesterday’s game. The barrel rate on Harper and Hoskins makes them mandatory. A > 50% hard-hit rate also throws in Bohm and Realmuto. The biggest negative would be the rock-solid HR/FB rates recently, which doesn’t show a real regression coming for future home runs but while all the top-performing hitters are between 15-27%, nobody is over 50% or anything crazy. The matchup with Mitch Keller and his high hard-hits and walk rate is very nice.

Blue Jays vs. Royals (B. Keller)

I didn’t expect Teoscar to be at the top of the hard-hits list but 61% is no joke, along with his 26% barrel rate. Springer’s barrels are right there as well with a team-leading seven in the past 10 days. Vlad, Grichuk, and Gurriel look good too. Semien has been quiet recently for how productive his season has been, and Biggio continues to also underperform.

Yankees vs. Marlins (TBD starter)

In addition to the players above, we also have Anthony Rizzo and Joey Gallo who don’t show up because of their changing teams but both should be in the lineup Sunday.  Rizzo already has two HR’s in two games and sports a .444 ISO with 17 hard-hits while Gallo has been unlike himself recently only at 33.3 HH%. I’d look to Judge, Rizzo, and Odor as starting pieces.

Game stack: Tigers and Orioles
Game stack: Mariners and Rangers 

After running through those four teams, Texas is the one offense that really doesn’t look great on paper today with only Jonah Heim over.214 ISO, and only Nate Lowe over 50% hard-hits. I prefer the Orioles/Tigers stack.

I’ll hope to catch you all in the MLB Discord channel later today showing off your wins later today! Good luck!