Happy Sunday! I am sad to report this will be the penultimate time we gather here as our OWS team is gearing up for NFL Week One in a few weeks. The MLB season is long, this is the 19th issue of Stack Your Stack, and with the NFL right around the corner, it makes too much sense to pivot and provide best-in-the-industry NFL content. And let me tell you, this lineup of NFL content coming your way is going to be incredible. We’re going to win all the money.
We’re at a strange point in the MLB season. The contenders have loaded up their rosters more than a month ago, and the bad teams are even worse and even more willing to let their rookies have a long leash with nothing to play for. That’s why we’re seeing many crooked numbers from offenses these days. It’s wonderful from an entertainment perspective but it really raises the total needed to win GPPs. When guys like Luis Urias are putting up 55 points in one day, you know something is out of whack.
As we’re building out lineups today, keep this in mind. The variance in expected outcomes is near a season-high, we can get 0-4’s or 2 HR games from players who are not household names. Play for the ceilings, trust your process, and try to build lineups that can thrive on correlation.
Today’s main slate has a wide range of pitchers. This should lead to much ownership concentration on the known-guys (who have established names) and picking on the rookie pitchers. On slates like this, from a pitching perspective, the middle-tier of guys is where there could be some leverage to be had.
Aaron Nola, Lucas Giolito, Sonny Gray, and Sean Manaea should dominate ownership. They are all great plays as they hold four of the top five K rates on the slate (over the last 21 days). However, Eduardo Rodriguez holds an ungodly 41% K-rate over his last few starts, and is in the best form coming into today. He’ll be my top pitcher. I’ll add guys like Triston McKenzie, Eric Lauer, and Nestor Cortes Jr. also intrigue me today because they are in this mid-tier purgatory where people won’t play them, but also won’t look to stack against them. Plan accordingly.
Other top indicators over the last 21 days from our starting pitchers as we look to hunt for whom to pick on:
● SIERA: Charlie Barnes 6.13 // J.A. Happ 5.45 // Nestor Cortes 5.24
● Hard-hit rate: Paolo Espino 52 // Barnes 46.9 // Happ 43.5
● Barrel rate: Espino 18 // Kolby Allard 13.5 // Luis Patino 13
● BB Rate: Eduardo Rodriguez 14.3 // Kris Bubic 11.8 // Happ 10.8
● Fly Ball %: Patino 65.2 // Cortes 56.3 // Triston McKenzie 51.5
As mentioned, E-Rod has the highest K-rate on the slate, plus a great matchup with the Orioles. So although his walk rate also leads the slate, I’ll ride with him today. Happ has been a gas-can most of the year, no matter who he has been pitching for. Espino gave up all the home runs last time out vs. Philadelphia as well but that inflates his barrels and hard-hits. The guys here who the data points to are absolutely Happ, Barnes, and Espino.
In addition to the 18 pitchers profiled in the above data set, there are two other pitchers making their 2021 debuts today: Dillon Peters against the Brewers and Drew Hutchison vs. the Indians. Both of these guys are no strangers to MLB, but have not pitched at this level in 2021 yet and I would not be surprised to see either struggle today. Don’t be afraid to lean on these two offenses today as well. The pitchers aren’t known commodities so the public won’t go there immediately. They’ll most likely look for more comfort in the Red Sox vs. Akin or stack against Happ or other bad pitchers.
Frequently, we see more ownership around the offenses going against the gas-can pitchers (Red Sox will probably carry the ownership weight today vs. Akin), but it can be the rookies or the guys who have no recent stats who get overlooked (i.e. Brewers).
Here are my favorite stacks to target today (data pulled today only from qualified batters, meaning the samples are larger but less profiles included)…
I like the Brewers a whole bunch today. Avisail Garcia came back yesterday to hit a home run, we talked about Urias’ success last week and we have Adames and Yelich in great form. They are also coming off a doubleheader with Pittsburgh yesterday, so I can see a lot of tired arms going out there today, in addition to Pittsburgh giving Peters a very long look.
I’ll load up on this later game as a lower-owned game stack as Patino and Barnes just have not shown good indicators on their future performances. Tampa’s offense has been hotter than Minnesota’s but guys like Austin Meadows, Jorge Polanco, Randy Arozarena, and Max Kepler will be staples for me as they all have multi-HR games on the season.
Good luck today!!