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MLB GPP Stacking Strategy

MLB GPP Stacking Strategy: Don't be a Stupid Stacker
By Dave of

The title of this post may be a bit misleading. In no way, shape, or form am I going to rant against "stupid stacking," today - there are enough anti-stackers who lament the ruin of daily fantasy baseball via team stacking on the DFS chat rooms and forums. Instead, I want to present some advice culled from a year of MLB GPP stacking experience. In short, I want to teach you how not to be a stupid stacker, but to be a smart one.

Rule Number 1 - Don't Pick a Closer From the Same Team as the Offense That You Stack

I don't know how many times I've beaten someone else who stacked the same offensive lineup that I stacked, merely because his closer didn't pitch and mine did. Look, if your stacked lineup does score enough runs to put you in the top 5 in a gpp, then that means your offense had at least 8 runs scored. Very rarely in baseball does a team score 8 runs or more and then they still require their closer to pitch the 9th inning. Closers don't see action in 9-3 games and that is exactly the sort of game you need if you expect your stacked lineup to make a GPP leaderboard.

On the off chance that your offense is in the lead in a 11-10 shootout, your closer is now a risk to blow it for you since the opposing offense is hitting that day, or if he does pitch in that 9-3 game, he's in the dreaded "non-save situation" to "get some work in" and that is rarely a good situation for a closer, who is accustomed to pitching in tense situations.

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Rule Number Two - Don't Overthink Your Stacked Offense

It can be very tempting to look at batter splits and BvsP matchups and say to yourself "Maybe I should not take Adam Dunn on my White Sox stack today, since he is 8K, has a poor history against this pitcher, and Dunn hits poorly against lefties." Sure, it makes sense, abstractly - you ignore Dunn, stack the White Sox and spend that 8K on another hitter in a good matchup from a different game. Here's the problem. You are playing for an offensive outburst from your White Sox if you stack them in a guaranteed prize pool league (GPP), and if they do have one (say both Rios and Konerko hit 3-run bombs in the 1st 2 innings), that starting pitcher who owns Dunn will only end up facing him one time anyway, since he'll be long gone by Dunn's 2nd AB. And then, when Dunn hits 2 homers off relievers, you'll watch in horror as your slam dunk White Sox stack doesn't cash despite scoring 12 runs, because 5 of those RBI's ended up coming from Dunn, and you don't have Dunn because you got too cute.

Even worse, you will probably end up losing to my White Sox stack in the process. If the Sox don't score much (because that SP gets lucky against the other big White Sox bats and does what he is supposed to do against Dunn) your White Sox stack is dead in the gpp water anyway.

Rule Number Three - Zig When the Other Stackers Zag

These days, the stacking strategy is widely used in large-entry gpp's on Draftstreet. Your competition are other stackers (such as myself), as well as the traditionalist hacker. This means that your slam dunk Rangers stack facing that horrible SP in Texas is going to have competition from a large number of other Texas stacks, so even if Texas scores 12 runs, you might find your entry barely cashing (or worse, bubbling) as a result of not getting lucky with that final hitter, or having a bad pitching outing. They are all zagging, just like you, so you need to zig, if you want to beat them. If you can identify a different offense, one that is less likely to score 12 runs, but still looks like a good option, you may want to ignore Texas in that gpp and run that other offensive stack out there. Not only will that team be cheaper (allowing you to get better non-stack hitters and better pitching), but if it does hit for 10 plus runs, you'll not only beat those Texas stacks, but you might be the only one who stacked that team - i.e. your chances of winning the gpp are higher with that offensive stack than with the Rangers offensive stack, while your chances of cashing are lower.

You could take the Rangers with one of your other 2 entries in that tourney, but I would rather take 2 other team stacks (other than the obvious stacks like the Rangers) in that gpp, and if I feel that strongly about the Rangers, then I'll put my Rangers stacks in a couple 6-man leagues. That way, if the Rangers do their likely damage and your 3 zigs don't hit gpp pay dirt, you'll win enough off those 6-man leagues to profit for the day. Meanwhile, if the Rangers don't crush it, but one of your zigs comes through, that gpp victory will pay off with a BIG profit for the day.

Rule Number Four - Don't Go 2-2 With Pitching

This rule actually depends upon the pitching lineup for the day, but on most days, you should be able to spend 35K (In a 100K salary cap lg.) on pitching and get 3 solid 8-10K SP's along with 1 closer and score more points than if you take the top 2 SP's and cross-your-fingers with your closer choices (while still spending 35K). Indeed, because an SP's points ceiling is much higher than a closer, and because of the extreme amount of luck required to actually pick 2 closers who pitch (much less pitch well), you will want to go 3-1 with most of your gpp entries.

Follow these 4 strategic rules on a daily basis for an entire season, and I promise you that you'll make more $$$ in your MLB GPP's than if you occasionally break them.

Daveinchi, as always, bringing the pain!

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