MLB Stacks & Plays from CheatSheetPros!
QUICK NEWS AND NOTES:
MLB Blitz continues headed into the holiday weekend! I didn’t get an article out yesterday and I apologize. I started looking at the slate and there were so many double header 7 innings games that I just gave up and focused on my FF draft I had that evening. But we have a big 12 game slate starting off at 6:05 pm central so let’s dive in and take a look at it!
PITCHERS I AM LOOKING AT:
There are several inexpensive pitchers I like today so I’m going to hit on a few studs that you can mix in. All the high end guys have been up and down this year but every pitcher on the slate comes with risk. If I love a pitcher and I am looking at locking him in I will always let you know and today I don’t have anyone I’m locking in but mixing and matching with my favorite stacks.
LUCAS GIOLITO – Gio is on fire this year and the highest priced pitcher on the slate today. He is a -230 favorite so he is likely to get the “Win” which is +4 points on DK. KC has faced him several times and racked up 120 team Abs hitting only .167 with a 33% strikeout rate. Gio’s last 5 starts he has put up 20, 60, 43, 7, 24 and 27 DK points. We were all over him when he tossed his “no no” vs. PIT with 13 Ks. In his last 3 he has 8, 13 and 13 strikeouts giving up plenty of upside even if he does give up a few runs. KC is hardly a power house team ranking 28th in the last 10 game power rankings and 28th in last 14 runs per game.
GERRIT COLE – Cole hasn’t been at his best this year giving up 9 ERs over his last two starts and putting up only 9 and 15 DK points. However, this is Gerrit Cole and he is bound to bounce back strong. Prior to his last two starts he had around 20-25 DK points per start and he has massive strikeout upside. Even in his rough last few starts he has put up 7, 9, 10, 8 and 10 strikeouts. Tonight he gets to face a BAL team that has a 23% strikeout rate over the last 14 days and rank 20th in the last 10 game power rankings. They are 3-7 in their last 10 games. In 46 team Abs vs. Cole they are hitting a lowly .196 with a 24% strikeout rate. Cole still has an xFIP of 3.69 on the year and allowing a low .224 batting average. Definitely someone to mix in because that 30+ DK point game is coming.
KENTA MAEDA – Maeda gets to face the Tigers today and they have been decent this year at 17-19 and logging some big wins. Maeda has a massive 17.2% swinging strike rate which is 3rd best on the slate and ahead of Gerrit Cole. He does have a really low .200 BABIP which would indicate that regression is coming but his xFIP is sitting at only 2.80. He is allowing a 0.75 whip and .163 batting average. The Tigers have a 23.9% strikeout rate over the last 14 days and Maeda has put up 8, 7 and 12 strikeouts in his last 3 giving us a shot at a solid floor. He just faced DET on the road and went 6.0 with 3 ER and 8 strikeouts and now he gets to face them at home. Prior to that start he had 24 and 38 DK points outings combining for 13.0 innings, 2 ER and 19 strikeouts. Worst case I think you get 20 DK points and the win but he could go nuts and push 3-3.5x.
JUSTUS SHEFFIELD – When writing this they have two different starting pitchers for tonight. If Justus is starting I like him as a decent punt option at 7600. Prior to his last start at LAA where he got blasted he put up a solid 21, 15 and 29 DK points combing for 18.0 innings, 2 ER and 16 strikeouts. TEX is a pillow fight of a matchup ranking 25th in our last 10 game power rankings and 30th in most of the last 14 day game stats that we have. If Nick M. is starting just look elsewhere.
KRIS BUBIC – Don’t be alarmed when you see my ChiSox stack but Bubic just faced CHW and went 5.1 innings, 2 ER and 8 strikeouts for 19.2 DK points and that is 3x value against a freaking powerhouse of a team! I don’t think I’ll have any shares of him but it is worth throwing out there if you are looking for a low owned GPP dart. I can’t imagine many people are going to take a rookie pitcher vs. the ChiSox.
TREVOR CAHILL – Cahill has been up an down this year with his last 3 starts hitting 8.5 points @ ARI and then another vs. ARI at 24.2 DK points and the 12 points @ LAA. Let’s focus on his last two starts since they were both against the team he is facing today. On the road he only went 3.1 innings, 2 ER and 4 strikeouts and it said he was dealing with some joint inflammation, so he had to exit early. The HOME start (where he is tonight) he went 5.1 innings, only 1 ER and 8 strikeouts. When he is priced at only 6600 if he can give you 24 DK points that is pushing 4x value. To give you another example do you think there is a greater chance of Cole hitting 40 DK points or Cahill hitting 24? You need the best bang for your buck! Now don’t leave 5,000 salary on the table and pivot down to Cahill from Cole that would just be stupid. ARI is ice cold in our rankings, 24th in the last 10 game power rankings and they are 29th or 30th in our last 14 team stats that we post on our sheets. Basically, it should be a soft matchup.
SETH LUGO – I was writing about Spencer Howard here at 5900 and then decided to remove him. He has a really high BABIP which should come down but these NYMs just rocked him on 8/14 and they are running hot right now. So I’m going down to my final pitcher and it just happens to be on the other side with Seth Lugo. Lugo is a gam at 5600 on the slate today but we have to be careful because I don’t know how many innings he will get. It looks like he had two starts on 8/25 and 8/30 and went 3.0 and 3.2 innings and only allowed 1 ER (combined) and had 12 strikeouts, Wow! He has a swinging strike rate this year of 17.8% which is #2 on the slate behind Giolito. He has an ERA of 2.12 and an xFIP of a slightly lower 2.06, 0.94 whip and allowing a .197 batting average. His K9 rate last year was 11.7 and this year it is up to 12.2. He is slightly better at home too! Last year his K9 rate went from 10.7 to 12.7, allowed batting average from .232 to .150 and xFIP of 3.98 down to 2.51 at HOME! He is a -160 favorite tonight but has a tough matchup vs. the red hot PHILLIES who rank #1 in our last 10 game power rankings. This is a risk/reward GPP play but these Phillie shave to cool off soon!
STACKS TO CONSIDER:
CHICAGO WHITE SOX VS. KRIS BUBIC (21ST Bullpen) – I know this is a fantasy sports article but I’m crushing it betting White Sox, White Sox run line and parlaying them with other games. White Sox had a few low scoring games and slid back to 11th in the last 10 game power rankings but still rank 7th in run per game, 4th in team batting average, 6th in OBP+ISO and 5th in wRC+ across their last 14 games. Our model has this game at 7.0 to 3.7 so the White Sox are an easy stack coming in at 4580 for the top graded 5 man stack. You can get this stack cheap if you fade either Tim Anderson (5600) or Jose Abreu (5400). The 4580 includes both of them so it is do-able at that price point.
PIRATES VS. ANTHONY DESCLAFANI (12th Bullpen) – I know what you’re thinking… Holy shit Haze has lost his mind, he has the Pirates in a stack. Pirates ranks 21st in the last 10 game power rankings and they are a horrible 12-25 on the year. But this is a fun stack because you can fit two $10k+ pitchers with it. You can stack the 5 highest graded hitters for only 3380 per player. So let me show you some math. This 5 man stack will cost you 16,900 and then you can use around 20,000 for two stud pitchers and have around 13,100 left for the other 3 hitters. If you take a low end catcher for 2,100 that means you can pitch two 5,500 players to fill in the holes. That is a fun lineup because every likes picking studs from the top of the salary range with 2 stud pitchers. Then what if PIT happens to drop 5-7 runs?? So PIT has faced Desco 61 times and they are hitting .328 off him with a lower 20% strikeout rate. Desco in 21 innings has a 7.71 ERA this year with an xFIP of 5.99, a very low 6.0 K9 ratio (down from 9.0 last year) and allowing a 1.67 whip and .282 batting average. This should be like soft toss batting practice for the Pirates. I mean in his last 3 starts he has put up -7, 4.9 and -18 DK points. In those 3 starts he has combined for only 10.0 innings, 19 ERs and 19 strikeouts. OH SNAP! I just noticed his -18.1 Dk points was against this same PIT team, WOAH! He only last 2.0 innings and gave up 9 EARNED RUNS with 1 strikeout. Take a $1-$3 single entry and stack the PIT team. Josh Bell (3500) is 6 for 17 off Deco with a HR, Polanco (2900) is 6 for 19 with a HR.
SAN FRANCISCO VS. MAD BUM (25th Bullpen) – So once again I have different information as some sites are showing Mad Bum as the SP and some are showing Taylor Clarke. Mad Bum should be returning from the DL due to his back strain and facing his former team. 3 of his last 6 starts were negative DK points and his last two were -7 and -7.4 and he combined for 6.1 innings, 13 ERs and only 4 Ks. For his sake I hope that 3 week stint helps him turn things around. SFG rank 5th in our last 10 game power rankings mainly due to that massive run in Colo. I like the SFG stack even if Clarke is throwing. If it is Clarke he still has a 5.32 ERA and 5.56 xFIP and allowing a .265 batting average. The bullpen has an xFIP of 4.91 with a 1.57 whip and allowing a .266 average. STACK IS CHEAP coming in at only 3940 per player for the top 5 man stack. You can fit two stud pitchers in this stack and still have around 10k left for the 3 spots. I like to pivot down on the C position in the 2,000-2,500 range and then spend up at the other spots.
LOS ANGELES ANGELS VS. BRANDON BIELAK (24th Bullpen) – I typically don’t stack the Angels but if they are facing Bielak I like it! I have another place showing Urquidy as the SP. Either way stack comes in at 4260 and they are 14th in our last 10 game power rankings and 11th in runs per game over the last 14 days. Mike Trout (6000) is on fire putting up almost 17 DK PPG over the last week and 12.6 over the last 14 days. If it is Bielak he has put up -8 and -11 DK points in his last two starts and those combined for a TOTAL of 2.0 innings, 10 ERs, 4 BBs and 2 strikeouts. Gulp!
CHEAP HITTERS UNDER 4000 ON DK TO FILL YOUR ROSTERS:
MICHAEL BRANTLEY (3500) – Getting hot putting up 10, 21, 16 and 25 DK poins in his last 3 starts.
GIO URSHELA (3600) – 14, 8, 14 and 14 in his last 4 starts.
JEFF MCNEIL (2500) – Almost min priced and put up 10, 9, 13 and 12 in 4 of his last 5.
LOURDES GUIRREL (3900) – He has been up and down but 4, 17, 19, 7 and 20 in his last 5 is pushing 5x value.
SPORTS BETTING PICKS:
Today I am going to do something new and add some of the sports betting picks that I like on the MLB slate. Now you can parlay them, bet the money line or bet the run line that is your decision but here is what I am looking at for the day.
TOP TIER BETTING PICKS:
PADRES (+100) – Ranking 2nd in our last 10 game power rankings they send Chris Paddack to the mound who has 42.2 innings with a 3.37 xFIP. Oakland is a little rusty after the covid break they had and they send Mike Fiers to the mound who has an xFIP of 6.01 and allowing a .282 batting average. Padres as even money and they are “red hot” right now. They have 43 team Abs hitting .326 off him with a micro-low 14% strikeout rate. Oakland has the better bullpen but our model has this at Padres winning 6.3 to 3.4 of Oakland.
WHITE SOX (-230 / RL -160) – This is a game that you likely have to mix into a parlay. White Sox are smashing everyone right now and they roll out their ace pitcher in Lucas Giolito vs. the Royals and their 28th ranked last 10 game power ranking. Our model has this at 6.9 to 3.7. Gio has 120 team Abs vs. KC and only allowing a .167 batting average and a solid 33% strikeout rate. 5 of the projected starters for KC with 10+ Abs are batting under .200 off Giolito. Lopez is 2 for 10, Mondesi is 1 for 17, O’Hearn is 2 for 13, Soler is 1 for 13 and Whit is 4 for 23.
DODGERS (-185 / RL ??) – Colorado has been cold with their 18-20 record and 6-14 across their last 20 games. They rank dead last in our last 10 game power rankings. On the road they have a wRC+ of 73.5 and vs. RHP a 78.0 so I’m not worried about them blowing up. Dodgers are 4th in our last 10 game power rankings, 3rd in runs scored per game, 3rd in OBP+ISO and 2nd in wRC+ all over the last 14 days. Dodgers also have the #1 bullpen compared to the 28th of the Rockies. Our model has this game 6.1 to 4.0. Dodgers at home have a wRC+ that jumps from 101.8 to 134.8 and vs. RHP they sit at 128.6 so they are solid all around. I’m not really worried about any LAD starter they put out but Tony Gonsolin isn’t too shabby with a 0.51 ERA, 0.79 whip and .153 batting average. However, advanced stats show his xFIP of 4.11 and his low BABIP of .214 is going to come up. Even if he gives up a few runs the bullpen will shut this game down before Colorado can run away with anything. LAD line is too low!
SAN FRANCISCO (-135) – Giants skyrocketed in the rankings after that Colorado outburst! They are 5th in our last 10 game power rankings and rank top 4 in our last 14 team stats. They are facing the Diamondbacks who rank 24th in our last 10 game power rankings and bottom 2 in our last 14 game team stats. Offensive advantage for SFG. Both bullpens are 25th and 26th so not great. Cahill has been decent with a 2.51 ERA but his xFIP indicates he is closer to a 4.50 pitcher. His low BABIP of .167 is going to cause that xFIP to rise. The HOME start vs. ARI (where he is tonight) he went 5.1 innings, only 1 ER and 8 strikeouts. 5 of the projected hitters for ARI are batting under .200 on the year. Giants first 5 projected hitters are batting .299, .277, .292, .295 and .341.
SECOND TIER BETTING PICKS: These are more “lean” plays that I like.
PIRATES (+130) – For the record our model has CIN winning this game which is in line with Vegas. However, I disagree with it after doing some research. CIN is 27th in our L10 game power rankings and they are only 27th in last 14 runs per game and holding a high 25% strikeout rate. They face Williams who has allowed a 5.50 ERA but his BABIP of .340 indicates he has been “unlucky” and his ERA should be closer to 4.66. He has always been better at HOME (where is he is tonight) and so far his home ERA is 1.64 with a 3.83 xFIP vs. his road 7.33 RA and 5.05 xFIP. PIT ranks 21st in our L10 game power rankings and 17th in runs per game over the last 14 days so not great but slightly higher than CIN. CIN has a slightly better bullpen coming in at 12th vs. 20th of PIT. However, Desclafani has been torched recently with his last 3 starts combing for only 10.0 innings while allowing 18 ERs and 10 walks. He just faced PIT on 8/13 and went 2.0 innings and got blasted for 9 ERs in that span putting up -18.1 Dk points. 90% of the Vegas money is on CIN but I’m taking PIT +130 as this is more of a coin flip game in my opinion with a slight lean to PIT and getting plus money.
NATIONALS / BRAVES OVER 9.5 RUNS – Vegas has this game as ATL -260 which is incredibly high in my opinion. We have ATL winning 6.8 to 5.7 and putting up 12.5 total runs. Nationals at +230 isn’t a terrible bet but you have to parlay it with the over because Fedde is going to give up 4-5 ERs in this game so if the Nats win IT WILL GO OVER! Fedde can’t shut down ATL but I’m not laying -260 on them against a hot Nationals team. Both teams are in our “red hot” category and rank 2nd and 14th in our last 14 runs per game. Both teams are 5th and 7th in our team batting average last 14 days. I understand Max Fried (L) is a good pitcher and on the outside you see a 1.60 ERA and 1.00 whip allowing a .199 batting average. However, his xFIP is 3.55 indicated he is still a good pitcher but not a 1.60 ERA pitcher. So my question is how do the Nationals do vs. LHP? They have a wRC+ that jumps from 94.1 to 129.6 vs. LHP so that is good, they have also been better on the road this year going from 78.8 at home to 120.0 in wRC+. When facing LHP their team batting average jumps from .251 to .304 an their wOBA from .318 to .372 and the OBP+ISO stat also goes up 100 points. Fedde for the Nationals has given up 10 ER combined in his last 2 starts which combined for 11 innings with 5 strikeouts. GAME TOTAL OVER 9.5 RUNS and I also like a small parlay of NATIONALS +230 with the OVER 9.5.
Thanks for reading,