MLB DFS: Cardinals, Guardians Top Leverage Stacks for Friday


August 12

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Stack optimal probabilities are calculated using each team’s top six projected hitters.

Team stacks seeing the most leverage: Cardinals, Guardians

The St. Louis Cardinals’ team stack finds itself atop the leverage board ahead of their pivotal matchup against Eric Lauer and the Milwaukee Brewers. The Cardinals have been surging lately as they enter a series with serious implications at the top of the NL Central and for the NL Wild Card race. They are peaking at the right time, and for August, they lead the league in wOBA and wRC+ along with having the third-best ISO. Their strikeouts have been very limited at a league-best 16.3% clip this month, but they are also walking at the highest rate in baseball during the same stretch at 11.1%. 

Lauer is a solid pitcher with flashes of great stuff but can be pretty dreadful sometimes. His strikeout production is average at roughly 24%, although he struggles with giving up power. Tonight will be his third time facing the Cardinals, and he did not fair well in his first two matchups, allowing seven earned runs over 11 innings. The low ownership we are seeing on this stack is due partly to how expensive it is, but you are getting a surging offense against a pitcher they already got the better of, making this a stack worth the cost. 

The Cleveland Guardians’ team stack joins the Cardinals near the top of the leverage board as they prepare to face Jose Berrios and the Toronto Blue Jays. Berrios has been a letdown for the Blue Jays as we have seen regression with his strikeout production and him giving up significant power. His expected ERA, allowed Barrel%, and allowed HardHit% are at some of the worst marks among all pitchers in baseball, so it is difficult to find a silver lining in his performances. 

Cleveland has not had a strong August, struggling at the plate. For the month thus far, we see them near the bottom of the league in ISO, wOBA, and wRC+ even though their low strikeout rate has held steady. They’ll have a prime opportunity to break their slump against a struggling pitcher who can’t get anything going for himself. We’re seeing the Guardians stack expected to be minimally owned while it might be a little more expensive than it should. However, if you are looking for a high upside play, then fading a pitcher in distress always holds value.

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