Thursday, Dec 8th
Bye Week:
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Stack Your Stack ⚾ August 22

Larejo

Welcome to the final edition of MLB Stack Your Stack on One Week Season. The MLB season is not ending for another six weeks, but we are collectively shifting full-tilt toward the NFL and it’s going to be one incredible ride. Thanks for hanging out with me each Sunday this season, I sincerely hope you’ve learned something from my ramblings, and refined your process for MLB, just in time to profit this upcoming NFL season.

For today’s article I really have one goal: leave you all with some lasting process advice, and prepare you to make some serious cash over the rest of the MLB season. Before I pull up my bulleted list (again, I know – they say it takes 7-8 times to read a marketing message before you truly retain it!), let’s do a quick reflection on how often variance strikes in baseball. I did this back in April, but it bears repeating because proper reflection can only help illustrate the future.

The following instances were the last 10 teams to score 10 or more runs (opposing SP):

  • 8/21: Texas Rangers at Boston Red Sox (Eduardo Rodriguez)
  • 8/21: Houston Astros vs. Mariners (Logan Gilbert)
  • 8/20: Astros vs. Mariners (Yusei Kikuchi)
  • 8/20: New York Yankees vs. Minnesota Twins (Charlie Barnes)
  • 8/19: Los Angeles Angels at Detroit Tigers (Matt Manning)
  • 8/19: Detroit Tigers vs. Los Angeles Angels (Jose Quintana)
  • 8/18: Atlanta Braves at Miami Marlins (Jesus Luzardo)
  • 8/17: Tampa Bay Rays vs. Baltimore Orioles (John Means)
  • 8/17: Washington Nationals vs. Toronto Blue Jays (Alek Manoah)
  • 8/16: Atlanta Braves at Miami Marlins (Braxton Garrett)

Your very next move after reading this article is to pick a pitcher or two to stack against. Look at this list. Ask yourself: who would you have been on given your current process? I can guarantee it would not have been the Rays or Nats on 8/17, the Astros on 8/20 or 8/21, or the Rangers on 8/21. Those pitchers are too good (most of the time). I can tell you from my process, I would not have been on the Nats, Angels, Tigers, or Rangers right out of the gate because of my usual desire to not stack bad offenses. That takes me out of the running on 4/10 and also based on Kikuchi and Gilbert being relatively solid this season, I could add another two there I would miss as well.

The question then becomes: am I doing this wrong or is my process good enough? And the answer is, it depends. I didn’t mention above how poor the bullpens are of the Mariners, Tigers, Marlins, and Orioles. It’s been said here before but many will also contend you stack against bullpens, not starters. There’s a ton of credence behind that, why ignore the 3/9 or 4/9 innings? But bullpen data is much harder to identify, arms come and go all the time, so it’s very easy data to ignore.

The point here is variance is always going to outduel you. Be ok with that. All we can do collectively is set ourselves and our lineups up so they are in position to capitalize on that variance and hope our process lands us with a higher percentage to be right than wrong. If you’re a GPP player like me, you hope you’re wrong most of the time and VERY right that one out of 100 times. For cash players, just be right more than you are wrong and you’ll be in a great position.

Know what you are playing for, keep constant, and keep refining.

MLB DFS, at least according to the 2021 SYS articles, states:

  • Stack an offense, every time (4 or 5 hitters, depending on site)
  • Compliment your 5-man with a 3, 2-1, or 1-1-1. Your probability of hitting every roster spot decreases as you move from 3 to 1-1-1 but your ceiling arguably gets higher. You introduce more randomness while decreasing correlation but you build a guaranteed unique lineup.
  • Game stacking in every sport, where applicable
  • Never enter only one entry in an MLB MME tournament 
  • If creating multiple lineups, pick different offenses for each. You want each lineup to have a shot at first place. Welcome the variance.
  • You are the public. Your first thought or reaction to a game or a name is likely the same thought the rest of us are having. Decide whether to embrace or contradict yourself.
  • Hot streaks for pitchers usually last 4-5 appearances, hot streaks for hitters are entirely unpredictable. (expected wOBA for the next game is the same whether they hit .500 or .200 over the past five games)
  • Find your Alen Hansons. I’m not explaining this one, you’ll have to go back in the archives. (hint: play random guys)
  • Guess less, correlate more.

Sunday, August 22nd

The first thing to state on this slate is Hurricane Henri. The Yankees have already postponed their game with the Twins, and the Red Sox will most likely follow suit, leaving us with only eight games on this main slate. With how white-hot the Astros are at the moment, I’d expect their matchup with Tyler Anderson to carry some high ownership, to go along with the Blue Jays who have Drew Hutchison and the dangerous Tigers bullpen to contend with. (editor’s note: ownership in MLB is overblown, play who you want!)

Here are your worst-performing pitchers over the past 21 days:

  • SIERA: Hutchison 8.99 // Adrian Houser 6.67 // Sean Nolin 5.30
  • Hard-Hit %: Hutchison 55.6 // Steven Brault 51.2 // Touki Toussaint 46.7
  • Barrel %: Brault 14.6 // Hutchison 11.1 // J. Means 10
  • Fly Ball %: Hutchison 55.6 // Toussaint 51.1 // Tyler Anderson 46
  • HR/FB highest: J. Means 26.3 // Nolin 25 // Carlos Hernandez 23.1
  • HR/FB lowest: Matz, Houser, Framber Valdez 0
  • Walk %: Hutchison 23.1 // Houser 21.7 // Steven Matz 10.1

I have to mention Hutchison’s data is based on 9 events total, over the 1.2 innings, he lasted in his start last Sunday against the Indians. It’s a very small sample, but his results equaled his poor underlying metrics. Hard-hits, barrels, fly balls, not good. I’ll give the Blue Jays a twirl today as they are in too prime a position, especially considering the lack of quality arms in the Tigers bullpen. The second jump out here to me is Houser. He has the Nationals on Sunday, and he’s had an above-average season. But his high SIERA, to go with his 0 home runs allowed over the same time period, and an extremely high walk rate should spell success for Washington’s hitters. To go along with Houser, we have Nolin facing the Brewers. Similarly high SIERA but the only difference is he actually has allowed home runs recently.

:: stats from past 10 days, minimum 20 plate appearances :: 

Blue Jays vs. Tigers (Hutchison)
Nationals vs. Brewers (Houser)
Brewers vs. Nationals (Nolin)
Bonus: Rays vs. White Sox (R. Lopez)

Lopez has a .167 BABIP over his last 21 days, to go along with a 45.5% fly ball rate and a 38.7 hard-hit rate. The real kicker, however, is he leads the pitchers on this slate with a 90.3 exit velocity allowed. Not even Hutchison can claim that (89.2).

That’s all for me today, and this season but of course you can still find me hanging out in Discord. Catch you all during football season soon!