What if you could give someone a dollar and receive $909.09 in return? That would be…sweet. Now what if you could do that 33 times in a row in a single night? That would be…sweeter.
In tonight’s big Tuesday Slugfest, one DraftKings user will be walking home with over 909 times their $33 investment—a cool 30 grand. In a 10,000+ man league, there’s a good chance the winner will have a few low-ownership players in his lineup—a handful of unpopular players who help to differentiate his team.
One strategy I’ve discussed in the past to help differentiate a lineup is to stack two different offenses together. With the popularity of five and six-man stacks increasing, I think we’re seeing a little more lineup overlap than ever before. Even though it’s probably theoretically optimal to stack six players from an offense (in terms of maximizing points), that might not be the most optimal strategy in practice if everyone else is doing it. Remember, the goal in GPPs isn’t to score as many points as you can; it’s to score more points than everyone else, which is a similar but still different approach.
Tonight, try to use two mini-stacks together—one from an expensive high-upside “chalk” offense (like the Rockies) and another from a less conventional offense. That way, you can potentially benefit from having a contrarian lineup without actually needing to forgo very much value to do it.
Houston Astros (vs Wandy Rodriguez)
I’m not entirely sure how high the Astros’ ownership will be tonight—I know it won’t be extremely low—but it could be the case that last night’s dud will scare some people away who were recently burned by them. There’s a pretty strong correlation between ownership and recent performance on the individual level, so I’m thinking we’ll see Houston’s ownership below what we would if they had a decent performance last night. However, projected at 5.1 runs, Vegas likes them tonight even more than last night. This is a high-upside offense in a great spot, so if you anticipate even moderate usage, you should be on them.
Colorado Rockies (vs Josh Collmenter)
There’s again a significant chance of thunderstorms in this game, but not at the 100% level that we saw last night. As it stands right now, I’d say this game will get delayed, but ultimately played tonight. Granted, I know absolutely nothing that you don’t know about weather patterns, but that’s my guess. I also have literally all day to just sit here and look at radar and forecasts from a dozen sites, so I got that going for me.
If you agree with that assessment that the game will probably be played, I think the Rockies (and potentially the Diamondbacks) make for a smart stack tonight given that the rain will inevitably scare some people away. It’s a situation similar to that with Houston; it’s not that ownership is going to be low, but just that it probably won’t be as high as it should. Now, if the rain clears up completely and we know ownership will be through the roof, you could probably make a strong argument to fade here.
For the sake of saving some money so you don’t need to punt both pitching spots, I like the idea of a lefty Colorado stack (maybe with LeMahieu added in).
LA Dodgers (vs Matt Garza)
I’ve been stacking the Dodgers pretty much any time they’re in a decent situation just because the prices are so attractive. You can play all of their top bats and still fit two awesome pitchers (or a couple stud batters) into your lineup with ease. Vegas currently has the Dodgers at 4.2 runs with plenty of home run upside playing in Milwaukee tonight. I also like the idea of pairing a mini Dodgers stack with another mini stack from an offense like Colorado to give you upside and a unique combination.
2B Jose Altuve, Houston (vs Wandy Rodriguez) – $5300
My hope here is that people will be turned off by Altuve’s price and the fact that he’s facing a southpaw. His ownership when facing lefties is too low, in my opinion, even though it’s typically still moderate, because Altuve gets on base so much more versus southpaws than righties. He also has decent power against left-handed pitching, and all of the external factors are going his way tonight (including the ballpark and home plate umpire).
3B Alex Rodriguez, NY Yankees (vs Marco Estrada) – $4000
How often can you get the player with the highest percentage of hard-hit balls in the league at this price? A-Rod is fine versus right-handed pitching and he has a high home run probability tonight in Toronto. With decently warm temperatures and little chance of rain, the roof should be open, too, which typically aids the flight of the ball.
OF George Springer, Houston (vs Wandy Rodriguez) – $5100
I don’t see Springer being highly owned outside of Astros’ stacks given that he’s probably slightly overpriced. If you’re going to stack an offense like the Dodgers, I like the idea of also rostering Springer since that will be unique and, other than his price tag, he’s in a really good spot vs Rodriguez tonight. Springer has a 12-month running wOBA of .362 and ISO of .256 versus lefties. The power in particular matches up really well with the ballpark in this matchup.
P Michael Pineda, NY Yankees (vs Toronto) – $7600
I’m always interested in high strikeout upside at a moderate price. Pineda is by no means a lock against a Blue Jays offense that can go off at any time, and thus I wouldn’t use him in cash games, but Toronto’s lineup is dominated by right-handers who can strike out in bunches. They’ve whiffed 0.23 times per at-bat this year and Pineda’s 8.0 K/9 is a notch below that of Zack Greinke. It would be one thing if Vegas loved the Blue Jays tonight, but projecting them at only 3.7 runs right now, I’m comfortable with Pineda in GPPs when I want to save a little cash.