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Daily Fantasy Baseball Strategy: Stacking MLB Teams

Pro's and Con's of Stacking MLB Teams
by Tim of

While stacking MLB Fantasy Teams isn't a brand new trend it has clearly become the "Bryce Harper" for compiling daily rosters. It's bold, brash and certainly full of potential for making you a star in guaranteed prize pool leagues (GPP's).

In case you are still in a fog, stacking is simply loading your team with an entire roster from the same ball club. For example selecting hitters 1-8 from a national league team or all nine hitters from an AL unit.

The very topic of should you or shouldn't you has dominated chat rooms and DFS forums during MLB season. Some daily players remain defiant and complain to administrators that the strategy should not be permitted. Naysayers claim it's a lazy tactic and requires no skill. Truth be told the former carries some weight. If you don't have the time to research and want to join a GPP, quickly decide on a team you think will score in the neighborhood of 8 runs and get 14 hits. Select that roster and hope for crooked numbers in the box score. But in reality selecting a stacked roster requires a lengthy thought process and gives you several options.

The list of cons to this strategy is short. Obviously if you had stacked the heavy hitting Detroit Tigers lineup on 5/29/12 you weren't cashing anything. It might have made sense in the beginning... You were choosing a visiting team thus guaranteeing nine at bats from your roster. Those swings were coming in Fenway Park and they were against Daniel Bard, who entered with more walks allowed than strikeouts and a WHIP of 4.69. Unfortunately the Tigers managed just three runs on nine hits.

They struck out six times and walked four, not far off what you would expect in those categories but Detroit's starting unit totaled just 21.5 fantasy points.


Clearly the biggest challenge is to stack a team that will have a highly productive night offensively, never an easy choice and usually not the one that looks obvious. Unless of course you are presented with a scenario such as Memorial Day's wind blowing out to center in Wrigley Field at 25-35 mph. No reason to go into detail when the over/under in the friendly confines is 13.

The goal when you stack is to get one big inning such as a five run frame with seven hits and sprinkle it with another run or two elsewhere. Watch the benefits pour in as you rack up points from every base on balls, base hit, run and RBI.

When a hitter doubles with the bases loaded you are likely to grab 11 points from that at-bat, because all those runs belong to your roster. Ideally that hit comes from someone hitting maybe 7th in the lineup as then you are likely one of the very few to own him.

If you stacked Milwaukee and Ryan Braun ropes a 3-run double, you and 23 percent of the others in the GPP may own the Milwaukee slugger.

If you stacked Baltimore, you would much rather Chris Davis deliver the big blow than Adam Jones, giving you points the huge majority doesn't receive.

Many scoffed at the Seattle Mariners stacks on May 29, 2012. But it made perfect sense. For starters, using a team with mostly cheap salaries allows for many other promising options. The likes of Kyle Seagar, John Jaso, Dustin Ackley and Michael Saunders are all low-priced players. Plus you were using them at hitter friendly Rangers Ballpark in Arlington against Scott Feldman, a pitcher not in Texas' starting rotation to begin the season and one who walks his share and possesses a very mediocre WHIP each season.

Using the nine Mariners' salaries allowed you to fill the roster with a stud such as Adam Jones or Ryan Braun. It also left plenty of room for higher priced starting pitching.

Most would shy away from Seattle from the start, but you must dig into the situation presented. The Mariners are more than adequate outside of Safeco Field and in fact entered Tuesday night's contest as eighth best in the majors in total team home runs on the road. They are also top five in runs scored as the visitor.

If you went into that day's action headstrong on owning Justin Verlander and his huge price tag (19,496)(These prices were from a DFS site that was bought out and no longer exists, which no longer exists, they were bought out by Draftkings), stacking a lineup such as the Mariners also allowed for that. Again you are taking the heart of an order that did not have a single player who cost more than 7.4K (Seager). The lineup also included John Jaso (6.6K), Brendan Ryan (3.9k) and Saunders (5.3k). The winner of a GPP that day chose not to take Jesus Montero or Alex Liddi and instead filled his roster with Albert Pujos, Ian Kinsler and previously mention Adam Jones. While Kinsler didn't produce it is still nice to "fill" your final roster spot with a guy who carries a price tag of 10.3K. Dropping a couple players from Seattle proved beneficial.

It now seems many fantasy players are stacking regularly, or others are at least accepting the idea that it is here to stay. However, stacking in head to head matchups still seems taboo in most players' minds.

That argument doesn't make sense unless you're bothered by claims that H2H stacking is lame, but doing so in GPP's is fine. The idea is to win and a win takes the most points possible no matter how you get there, so what difference does it make the type of league you join?

Percentages would indicate winning a guaranteed prize pool tournament is much less likely if your roster is filled with big bats from several different teams. You may have Joey Votto, Giancarlo Stanton, Prince Fielder and Robby Cano and get just 12 points combined from that foursome. No way they compete with a stacked roster of Mariners who totaled 10 runs on 14 hits Tuesday Night. That Seattle stack allowed the same fantasy player to finish first, second and third in a $5 GPP. Not a bad evening's work!

In summary, the roughly 96 points a Mariners stack totaled would have won any league, H2H or otherwise. So why shy away from using the tactic at any time? Stack away and live for crooked numbers. You will reap benefits quickly.

If you liked this article, you will definetely want to check out DaveInchi's piece on MLB GPP Stacking Strategy!

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