3 FanDuel MLB DFS Stacks for Wednesday 5/1/24

Aidan McGrath
Aidan McGrath@ffaidanmcgrath
3 FanDuel MLB DFS Stacks for Wednesday 5/1/24

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

Texas Rangers

Implied Total: 5.00 | Opposing Pitcher: Trevor Williams

Washington Nationals veteran Trevor Williams has been surprisingly effective to open up his age-32 season. Despite a career 4.43 ERA and an even rougher 5.55 ERA in 2023, Williams is hurling to a 2.70 ERA so far in 2024. It would be a career-best mark for the veteran -- whose previous season-best ERA was 3.11 back in 2018 -- if he keeps it up.

Sadly, I don't think he will. While Williams has done what the Nats have needed him to do, he's done it against some of the worst offenses Major League Baseball has to offer. Of his five opponents to date, only the Houston Astros rank better than 21st in runs per game. He's been punching down a bit to start the year.

I think his fortunes could change in today's matchup with the Texas Rangers, who as a team are striking out against right-handers at the third-lowest rate. He won't get as many easy punchouts against the reigning World Series champs as he was getting against the Oakland Athletics.

Marcus Semien ($3,600) is projected for a team-high 14.9 FanDuel points in this one and could be a pretty nice value at that salary. He's hit leadoff reliably and should be in position to score some runs in tonight's matchup.

Behind Semien, the Rangers' left-handed bats look pretty enticing for DFS. While Corey Seager ($3,400) still seems to be finding his power after working back from a late winter sports hernia injury, Nathaniel Lowe ($2,800), Evan Carter ($3,400), and Josh Smith ($2,700) have all seemed to find their stride lately and get a boost against right-handed pitchers like Williams.

Lowe in particular has hit the ground running since returning to the lineup, managing a .860 OPS through his first 37 plate appearances. Carter has started to look like the player who helped take the Rangers to a title last year, and Smith has surprisingly been the team's most effective hitter against right-handers as his .880 OPS leads the team against them, edging out Adolis Garcia's ($4,000) .877 mark so far.

Garcia sat the last time Texas faced a right-hander, while Carter moved into the cleanup spot in his stead and Smith jumped up to fifth. It shows how deep the Rangers' lineup goes and makes them a high-upside team to stack today.

Houston Astros

Implied Total: 4.71 | Opposing Pitcher: Triston McKenzie

Cleveland Guardians right-hander Triston McKenzie looked like a rising star in 2022 but had his 2023 season derailed by injuries. He began the year on the IL due to a shoulder injury and then spent most of the rest back on the IL due to an elbow sprain. He didn't look right when he was on the mound last year, and unfortunately, his numbers this year closely resemble those from a season ago.

Through his first five starts this year, McKenzie's 1.68 WHIP is the worst mark of his career. He's thrown to a 4.91 ERA and has a rough 5.62 FIP backing that ERA up. The 6.00 skill-interactive ERA (SIERA) he's logged to date would rank worst among qualified starters.

He's not getting strikeouts this year, notching Ks against just 17.7% of his batters faced. And today, he'll be tasked with taking on an Astros team that has struck out against righties at the lowest rate in the league (16.6%). He could get in trouble early in this one.

While the Astros have struggled overall this year, the top of their lineup is still lethal, and their offense as a whole has the sixth-best weighted Runs Created Plus (wRC+) league-wide despite ranking just 16th in actual runs per game.

Yordan Alvarez ($3,900) is under the $4,000 salary mark, so he should make the cut for any Astros stack you build today. He's projected for a team-high 13.9 FanDuel points, with Jose Altuve's ($4,000) 13.8-point projection coming in just behind his. Kyle Tucker ($4,000) is also projected for a stout 13.7 FanDuel points, meaning the Astros' stars comprise a full 25% of the players projected for 13 or more points on today's main slate.

The back half of the Astros' lineup hasn't been quite as effective as it has been in years past, but they could still post numbers against the Guardians tonight. Rookie Joey Loperfido ($2,200) impressed in his debut last night while replacing Jose Abreu at first base, going 1-for-5 with 2 RBI and an elite 94.9 MPH average exit velocity on his balls in play.

Alex Bregman ($2,700) finally snapped his cold streak and hit his first home run of the season last night. He's projected for 12.1 FanDuel points against the Guardians.

Baltimore Orioles

Implied Total: 4.63 | Opposing Pitcher: Luis Gil

Luis Gil has had an encouraging start to the season as a starter with the New York Yankees, but he'll be tasked with facing down the offensive juggernaut that is the Baltimore Orioles in tonight's game. He's getting an impressive number of strikeouts (12.8 K/9) but is also walking batters 17.6% of the time, more than twice as often (8.5%) as the average MLB pitcher. It's a high-variance style that could get him into trouble against the Orioles' elite young lineup.

Meanwhile, there's not much separating the Orioles' offense from the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Atlanta Braves at this point. Only the Braves (5.43) are averaging more runs per game than the Orioles (5.41), and only the Dodgers (126) have a higher wRC+ as a team than they do (119).

You can build a stack out of pretty much any Orioles hitter that cracks the order today. The issue they're running into is that they have so many viable bats, so it's hard to fit them all into a nine-man lineup on any given day. We'll lay out some names to keep in mind here, but make sure to check their final lineup before first pitch to make sure your batters get the nod today.

Gunnar Henderson ($4,500) is the highest-salaried player on the squad today but is also projected for a solid 12.5 FanDuel Points. While his salary makes him a bit difficult to stack, I wouldn't fault anyone for targeting the white-hot hitter today.

Behind Henderson, Anthony Santander ($3,100) could be queued up for a strong outing. He's projected for the second-most FanDuel points on the team with 12.1. Gil has leaned heavily on both his 4-seam fastball and his changeup so far -- Santander has crushed changeups this season, according to Statcast data.

After those two power hitters, I particularly like Adley Rutschman's ($3,300) and Cedric Mullins' ($3,200) chances at putting up good fantasy numbers. Rutschman has been drilling 4-seamers and is 77th percentile in whiff rate, which could make him a tough out for Gil. For Mullins' part, the veteran has an .869 OPS with all 6 of his home runs coming against right-handers like Gil this season.

The last Oriole I'll single out is Ryan O'Hearn, whose $2,900 salary makes him the easiest player to squeeze into Baltimore's pricey stacks. He's been hitting third against right-handers and has the second-largest gap between his actual SLG and his expected SLG (-.210) among qualified batters despite recording an already-strong .552 SLG this year. I'm eyeing his +600 odds to hit a home run on FanDuel Sportsbook.

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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.