3 FanDuel MLB DFS Stacks for Tuesday 5/21/24

Aidan McGrath
Aidan McGrath@ffaidanmcgrath

Stacking is an integral part of daily fantasy baseball. Correlation drives upside, giving your lineups a slate-winning ceiling when your stacks explode.

This piece will do the digging and the dirty work each day to determine which stacks are worth rostering on FanDuel's main slate. While we want upside, we also need to factor in game theory, especially in a sport as random as baseball.

The MLB DFS heat map at numberFire is a quick way to get a feel for the overall slate and which offenses are in a good spot. You can also check out our daily fantasy baseball projections -- which are powered by numberFire -- to identify the slate's best bats.

Let's look at the top stacks for today's main slate.

MLB DFS Stacks

Houston Astros

Implied Total: 4.89 | Opposing Pitcher: Griffin Canning

The Houston Astros have started to work their way back up the standings after a disastrous start to the season and are now just four games out of first place in the division. They'll get another shot to vault up the standings this week with a softer matchup against the 18-29 Los Angeles Angels. While Houston didn't start off the series on a particularly positive note, they have a good chance for revenge tonight with Griffin Canning on the mound.

Canning, a righty, has pitched to a 5.21 ERA with a 1.35 WHIP so far this season. He's struggling to strike out batters, doing so at a concerningly low 16.8% clip while walking 8.9% of opposing hitters. He's earned his rough ERA, with all of xERA (5.06), FIP (4.99) and Skill-Interactive ERA (SIERA) (4.93) backing up his 5.21 ERA.

The Astros have been demolishing right-handed pitchers this season and have been hot lately, averaging a strong 6.0 runs per game over their last week-and-change. They're in a prime position to pad the stat sheet and have both studs and values to offer for DFS stacks.

On the studs side of the equation, Kyle Tucker ($4,600) has been a star this season. He's already up to 15 home runs and has a 1.039 OPS to date. His high salary is a bit prohibitive, but he has as much upside as anyone today. Tucker seems to have an edge over Canning, as well -- he's squared off against the Angels right for 11 plate appearances in the past, striking out just once while notching a home run and posting a .818 OPS against him.

The Astros' other top names have slightly more accessible salaries. Yordan Alvarez ($3,800) and Jose Altuve ($3,700) are projected for great nights, with 14.1- and 13.3-point projections on numberFire. Alvarez has homered just once in the month of May but has now doubled in back-to-back games while also drawing three walks. He seems to be locking in, so I like his game-best +280 odds to hit a home run in this one.

Behind them, Jeremy Pena ($3,300) is enjoying a breakout season while Alex Bregman ($2,900) has bounced back from his slow start to the campaign. Both of them offer relatively low-salaried access to the Astros' stacked lineup.

If you're looking for even more value, the back end of Houston's lineup has sneaky upside. Jake Meyers ($2,700) has started to earn everyday playing time and has turned in two homers with five RBI in his last four games. And rookie Joey Loperfido ($2,500) should crack the lineup against right-hander Canning. He's managing a .817 OPS through the first 43 plate appearances of his career, with one home run and five RBI.

Baltimore Orioles

Implied Total: 4.86 | Opposing Pitcher: Lance Lynn

The St. Louis Cardinals have gotten some decent production out of 37-year-old righty Lance Lynn this season, but it has been a bit of a bumpy road. The veteran has pushed his K% back up to 21.3% after it fell to a 17.2% mark a year ago and has given up home runs at an acceptable 3% rate this year after allowing them at an inflated 5% or greater rate in his previous three seasons.

But those gains seem to have come with a tradeoff -- his walk rate has spiked to 9.9%, his highest mark since 2018. As a result of that elevated walk rate, he'll carry a steep 1.48 WHIP into tonight's tilt with the visiting Baltimore Orioles, a loaded offense that can do some damage.

You can find DFS values up and down the Orioles' stacked lineup, but the centerpiece for any O's stacks has to be Gunnar Henderson ($4,400), whose 14.3 projected FanDuel points are the fourth-highest among batters on today's main slate. The reigning AL Rookie of the Year is making a strong case to be the AL MVP -- he currently has +500 odds to win the AL MVP -- and is now leading the Majors in home runs (16) after hitting one in each of his last four games.

Ryan Mountcastle ($3,200) and Anthony Santander ($3,000) are projected for the second- and third-most FanDuel points in the Orioles' expected lineup while Cedric Mullins ($2,700) and Ryan O'Hearn ($2,800) look like they could be excellent values at their sub-$3,000 salaries.

It doesn't stop there. Jordan Westburg has a $3,300 salary and is projected for 11.9 FanDuel points. He has recorded a .883 OPS with a .526 SLG against right-handers this season. This could be a big spot for left-handed hitter Colton Cowser ($2,800), too. While Cowser has cooled off from his white-hot start, the young outfielder has still managed a .925 OPS versus right-handed pitching and has a 1.018 OPS on the road.

Oakland Athletics

Implied Total: 3.93 | Opposing Pitcher: Cal Quantrill

If you're looking to get a little spicy with your lineups today, consider putting together an Oakland Athletics stack for their matchup with Colorado Rockies righty Cal Quantrill. This game may have the lowest total on the slate (7.5 runs) and is sadly not being played at Coors Field, but the A's could peg the Rockies for a fair number of runs in this one.

Quantrill has been better on the road, though he's still working with a 1.32 WHIP and a 4.61 SIERA on the season. He doesn't generate strikeouts -- his 16.7% K rate ranks in the 15th-percentile -- and he walks an above-average number of opposing hitters.

Oakland's biggest weakness against righties has been an elevated teamwide 26.5% strikeout rate in the split -- the third-worst mark in baseball. Since Quantrill typically doesn't strike out a lot of batters, we could see a good night from Oakland's top bats.

Brent Rooker ($3,500) is projected for a team-high 12.5 FanDuel points in this one. The breakout 2023 hitter is back at it again in 2024, with 11 homers and a .935 OPS on the season. He usually bats cleanup, making him a nice core piece for any A's stack.

Abraham Toro ($2,800) has found himself a nice role in Oakland's lineup as their leadoff hitter. He has an easy-to-like salary and is projected for 9.4 FanDuel points. The switch-hitter has been worse against righties to open the year, but he has also performed significantly better at home, which should balance things out for today's game.

Shea Langeliers ($3,000) has shown off slate-winning upside already this year in his three-homer game against the Texas Rangers earlier this season. He's up to 10 dingers on the season and trails only Rooker (32) for the team lead in RBI (26). He's been hot with a 1.040 OPS over the last week, is up to a .961 OPS versus righties on the season, and is the proud owner of an elite 97th-percentile barrel rate (17.4%) on the season.

As of early Tuesday, the projections at numberFire consider JJ Bleday ($2,600) the second-best point-per-dollar value play on the slate while teammates Tyler Soderstrom ($2,300) and Seth Brown ($2,400) rank sixth and 10th, respectively, in point-per-dollar value.

Brown has been striking out on over 30% of his opportunities this year, but his risks could be mitigated by Quantrill's low K rate. Bleday has been a tough out at the plate this year, making him a nice option for stacks, while Soderstrom has a .855 OPS against right-handed pitchers.

My favorite Athletics hitter to target today is Zack Gelof, whose slow return from an early season injury has led to him having a modest $2,700 salary. He's been striking out too much in his second season, but a matchup with Quantrill could help him get back on track. Gelof flashed some real upside in his rookie season last year, notching a 4.7% home run rate while stealing 14 bases.

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The above author is a FanDuel employee and is not eligible to compete in public daily fantasy contests or place sports betting wagers on FanDuel. The advice provided by the author does not necessarily represent the views of FanDuel. Taking the author's advice will not guarantee a successful outcome. You should use your own judgment when participating in daily fantasy contests or placing sports wagers.