DraftKings MLB Course 104
Stacking is the backbone of top finishing GPP lineups. A full-blown, five-man stack isn’t a preferred strategy in cash games, but hooking teammates or stacking a trio of players from projected high-scoring lineups plays well in cash contests, too. Correlation is the key for stacking. Using hitters who are in the lineup one after the other increases volatility by boosting the scoring ceiling and lowering the scoring floor. The enhancement to volatility is why full-blown stacks are a better move in GPPs than cash games, as cash game rosters should be looking to smooth out variance while GPP rosters should be embracing it for the almighty ceiling.
Explanation of Correlation
Circling back to the idea of correlation, what that means is that teammates who hit near one another in the lineup directly impact one another’s scoring. For instance, if a player gets on base, he’s reliant on the hitter — or hitters — after him driving him in. Conversely, hitters can’t drive in runners who aren’t on base. Yes, they can hit a homer and drive themselves in, but if they have ducks on the pond in front of them, they’ll score more points with their round-tripper. Thus, that’s where correlation and the variance created by it comes into play. If a lineup runs into a stud performance from the pitcher on the bump opposing them, it’s going to hurt all members of the stack. However, if a pitcher throws a clunker, having as many pieces of a stack is ideal for maxing out the DraftKings points scoring opportunities.
Coors Field Stacking
Often times, the most popular stacks on a given slate will be those attached to the highest team betting over/under totals. However, that’s not always the case. For instance, if the team or teams with the highest over/under total are playing at Coors Field, stacking will be expensive due to the salary spike implemented by DraftKings on hitters playing in Colorado. Games at Coors almost always receive love from gamers in the form of ownership, but if a slate is filled with stud pitchers who have a high salaries and it lacks palatable middle-tier or bargain arms, the Coors-fueled ownership inflation isn’t guaranteed to be large. In those cases, gamers might look for a similar team over/under total attached to a cheaper team stack.
Down-order and Wrap-around Stacking at Coors
However, another sneaky move is to stack lower in the lineups at Coors Field. Despite the presence of a pitcher in lineups in National League parks, a down-order stack or wrap-around stack is a potential option for slotting in a top arm and a Coors stack on the same team. Of course, there will always be a sizable percentage of gamers who hold their nose picking risky bargain arms in the name of chasing the tantalizing ceiling at Coors Field. Colorado isn’t the only location for popular stacks, but it’s the most obvious. Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati, Yankee Stadium in New York, Fenway Park in Boston, and Globe Life Park in Arlington in Texas are four other hitter-friendly venues that sharp gamers stack at frequently.
Stacking Away Coors Without Completely Fading
Shifting focus back to the hypothetical ace-heavy slate with a high-scoring projected game at Coors Field, another alternative strategy under this scenario is rostering a top arm, one big piece from Coors (hoping that player is the top scoring option from the stack), and a cheaper stack in another ballpark. It’s often not hard to identify the most popular stacks on a given slate. The factors that drive ownership for stacks include quality of opposing pitcher, park factors, and team over/under total.
A contrarian stacking maneuver is stacking against the top pitcher or pitchers on a slate. Often times, those stacks will deliver duds because they’re facing elite pitching. However, they don’t have to deliver often to be worth the risk. Having a stack that mashes against Max Scherzer, for instance, is likely to be low owned. When that stack delivers the goods for you, you’ll have less competition for the top spots in a GPP as a result of the low ownership rates of the member of the stack. Additionally, these stacks tend to be a bit cheaper since the hitters are priced down a bit on DraftKings as a result of the tough pitching matchup.
Down-order and Wrap-around Stacking Strategy
For those who are hell bent on using what project to be the higher-owned stacks, there are ways to differentiate from the pack. One way is starting with a bottom-of-the-order hitter instead of using the standard top-of-the-order or heart-of-the-order stack. This works better in American League parks since they utilize a designated hitter. Instead of just stacking the top five hitters in a lineup or two through six hitters, trotting out a stack with the eighth and ninth hitters along with the top three hitters creates the same correlation dynamic. Furthermore, since you’re banking on that team scoring a bunch of runs, the bottom-of-the-order hitters should be treated to an extra at-bat or multiple extra at-bats than they would be in a low-scoring or average scoring game.
Pivoting From a Key Piece of a High-ownership Stack
Another opportunity for using a high-ownership stack while being unique from the masses is dropping a popular hitter from the stack. Continuing to use Colorado as an example, gamers could choose to drop Charlie Blackmon, Trevor Story, or Nolan Arenado from their stack and pivot to a different high-ceiling option at their respective positions. While you can’t pick a pitcher or pitchers who get bombed and expect to win a GPP or finish high in the money, a high-scoring stack can mask a lack of scoring from pitching. Finally, hitting on a high-scoring stack and having a little luck elsewhere on your roster is frequently the formula for hitting big in GPPs.