Public narratives develop often in the sports world. Believing or not believing in those narratives can be a constant battle. It’s counterintuitive to go “against the public” but often in hindsight we realize it may have been more obvious than we thought.
In my opinion, psychological discipline can be an underrated aspect of building DFS lineups. When we scroll through salaries of given players, sometimes there are obvious mispriced plays. Mispriced players make for roster locks. Those roster locks lead to “chalk” forming, and then we must individually consider whether we believe the chalk or want to fade it.
I wanted to start there just as a reinforcement when we see narratives forming in these sports and how we can possibly take different angles. To bring this back to MLB, I’ll keep this intro short by bringing back my “commandments” from last week and then diving right into the Sunday main slate together…
There should be heavy ownership on Corbin Burnes and Trevor Bauer at pitcher today. Fundamentally, they are both excellent plays in excellent form, but I will personally side with Burnes over Bauer regardless of matchup, because in the last 14-day Bauer leads all starters on this main slate in Barrel % allowed (18.4%), he’s second to Caleb Smith in Fly Ball % (52%) and tied for the most Home Runs/FB allowed at 25%. He’s also given up the third-highest amount of Hard Contact at 52%. Bauer is a great play, but don’t be afraid to fade him with this Atlanta matchup or play a single or double batter stack against him today.
As we go hunting for our own stacks today, however, I have a fairly short list which is forming. Let’s look at the top targets (stats over the past 14 days):
I love this slate. Many of the same names popping up again and again. For my money, stacks against Urena (White Sox), Gant (Reds), and Velasquez (Nationals) are where I will start.
It’s important to note from Urena that he’s coming off the IL with a forearm strain so his numbers above are slightly skewed. This should limit his pitch count which is good, and even if he is typically a ground ball pitcher, he’s been giving up a lot of fly balls in his last two starts. The reality is as good of a real-life pitcher he has been this season (4.14 ERA is respectable), he’s always been bound for a bust start and has only had one this season (May 15th vs Cubs).
The White Sox have six hitters with a HH% over 40% in the past seven days and none of those hitters include Tim Anderson or Jose Abreu. Abreu only has a .150 BABIP over this timeframe and if he can get some more lift, he’s due to get some extra-base hits today. I’ll drop the stats below but the big picture is if Urena is throwing more fly balls, and the White Sox can increase their recently high ground ball rate, we could see a breakout. Also of note are Yasmani Grandal’s video game numbers with 3 Home Runs in his last 7 plate events.
The Reds have four players above the 40% HH threshold over the past week, including the Greek God of Hard Contacts, Nick Castellanos. Eugenio Suarez and Kyle Farmer look due for some positive outcomes to me, and Tucker Barnhart’s high fly ball rate as well could dictate a home run today. I’ll also note Jonathan India’s recent performance. He was a highly touted prospect and has been relatively quiet until recently with his offensive performance.
Juan Soto’s performance has been literally off the charts. The near 70% HH rate and a 26.7% barrel rate is eye catching. He’s a top 5 player in baseball, and will be for a long time. Like the White Sox, they also have six players over 40% HH rates (Soto, Schwarber, Trae, Gomes, Zimmerman, and Robles) though I’ll say Robles is a guy who always gives me fits because he hits the ball hard and in the air, consistently, but always right into fielder’s gloves (I’m not even mad, I’m impressed). I’d lean here to a five-man Soto, Turner, Bell, Zimmerman, Gomes if they are all in the lineup today.
And to round out the hitter analysis, I’ll try to always include the advanced metrics with my formula for HR’s: high FB%, low HR/FB, high Barrels, and high Hard-hits (look for GREEN-GREEN-GREEN-GREEN below). It looks like Bo Bichette, Gavin Lux, Yordan Alvarez, Nelson Cruz will go into my HR prop pool for today.
To get to the short notes now, we have a pitcher set up with ownership heavy on Burnes and Bauer but there’s merit to at least fading Bauer. We should have some decent owernship as well on stacks of Twins (Singer), Rays (Dunning), Marlins (Kuhl), and Royals (Ober). I like the White Sox (they should be one of top 3 stacks here), Reds, and Nationals best.
For game stacks, in my view the Cleveland/Baltimore, HOU/TOR, and WSN/PHI games should be stacked but my favorite will be DET/CWS with an overperforming-regression-about-to-hit Cease and Urena as the starting pitchers.
Reminder to always check starting lineups! Good luck to all today, go crush it!!!