How to Stack in MLB DFS: Tips for Effective Stacking

Welcome to our multi-part guide to playing MLB DFS! You can find our primary MLB DFS strategy guide here, but I’ve broken down some specific concepts in greater depth as well. We’re talking about how to stack in MLB DFS today, and I will dish out my strategy tips for building stacks that offer the greatest return on investment. While these are primarily tips for hand-building MLB DFS lineups, our MLB DFS Sims tool can do the hard work and analysis for you, and I strongly encourage you to check it out. Let’s dive into our tips for effective stacking in MLB DFS.

How to Stack in MLB DFS: Tips for Effective Stacking

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How to Stack in MLB DFS: Tips for Effective Stacking

I’ve found that simply playing the highest-projected lineup in GPPs is not profitable in the long run, regardless of the quality of projections. Instead, you’ll want to focus on forcing players who are correlated into your lineup rather than instead of projection alone. The strategy, which we call stacking, “stacking,” involves having multiple players from the same team in your MLB DFS lineup.

The primary correlation is between batters on the same team whose positive correlation stems from a variety of factors. For one, the number of at-bats in a game varies, so each successful at-bat creates another opportunity to get fantasy points. For another, batters have the potential for extra points with runners in scoring position. Pitchers also shorten their delivery with runners on base, leading to less effective pitching. And finally, once the game gets out of hand, teams will play guys from the back end of their bullpen rotation rather than wasting innings from their best relievers on a game that’s already been lost.

For a stack to work, there must be a team (or multiple teams) with an outlier performance that night. Since that is more likely to happen on a large slate, you should stack your players together more when there are more games to choose from. The best way to choose a stack is to focus on a team’s implied total based on sportsbook lines and the team’s chance of winning. Those are updated automatically on our MLB DFS top stacks tool.

The most popular strategy is to stack at least one team, but usually two with the maximum number of players allowed in each (DraftKings allows five-player stacks and FanDuel allows four-player stacks). If you fully stack your lineup and pick ones with reasonable projections, you can be certain that you’ll have a great shot to win at the largest-field tournaments.

There is a drawback to stacking too much though: you can increase the overall projection of your lineup if you sub out an overpriced player in a stack for an optimal play, say, Mike Trout for example. Also, you may eliminate some possibilities that could be strong. Suppose two teams are playing at Coors Field but neither has a player listed as a shortstop in the lineup that day. If you put together two full stacks, you won’t end up with any of this potentially favorable combination in your lineup.

A popular strategy since 2018 is to multiply the projections of your batters by a constant before building rosters to create lineups that spend a higher percentage of your salary cap on batters. The theory is that higher-priced batters have higher volatility compared to budget bats than high-priced pitchers to budget ones.

For a batter to be exceptionally volatile, he must have power or base-stealing potential. On the other hand, pitchers are all extremely volatile. I think there’s something to this because a lot of times a team might be overpriced but still projected to do very well on a given day, and they will be overlooked by people who just optimize by median projections. If the chance that they will be the best stack of the day exceeds their ownership they are usually a good play regardless of the lack of value.

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Author
Alex is better known to fantasy players by his handle "Awesemo" from seeing him in every big tournament in the industry. Playing poker professionally from 2009-2015, he heard that daily fantasy was the next big game picking up steam, and he quickly saw the potential of the relatively new game. Growing his bankroll from 2015-2016, he made a big step in 2017 by claiming the #1 overall ranking on RotoGrinders for the year. After completing his primary objective, he was looking for what's next. Attending dozens of fantasy events, Alex realized that everyone was repeating the same story: wanting to be a great DFS player while holding down a full-time job. He realized that the resources available to fantasy players while great weren't enough to help hobbyists get to the level of competing with the top pros. Having met Tom Kennedy during the FanDuel Scottish Open, the two decided to take on the realm of fantasy content along with co-founder Eddie Lai. Alex creates his own projections for each sport he plays, publishing rankings derived directly from them updated for each major slate. He also writes strategy content for how to become a better DFS player in his Game Plan series. You can contact Alex by emailing [email protected].

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