Fantasy Baseball Trade Analyzer: Hitter stacks you should try to acquire

Yordan Álvarez #44 and José Altuve #27 of the Houston Astros
It might be time to start stacking Astros in fantasy baseball. (Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images)

Those who play fantasy football know that June is the start of Best Ball season. Best Ball leagues are unique types of contests where managers draft and essentially forget their teams, as they automatically have their best point producers inserted into their lineup each week.

In Best Ball contests, the concept of stacking is popular. Managers attempt to get multiple players from the same NFL team, which gives their lineup plenty of boom-or-bust potential throughout the season. Managers who can stack three or four players from an offense that exceeds expectations are likely on the fast path to glory.

I know what you’re thinking — cool story Fred, but what does any of this have to do with fantasy baseball?

Well, stacking may be the necessary approach this month for teams that have fallen behind in their standings. Let’s say that you’re sitting in sixth place. Your roster isn’t hot garbage, but it also needs to heat up soon in order to climb out of the pack. Using the trade market and waiver wire to stack players from one team could be the aggressive plan you need to bring your team out of the doldrums. In theory, if the team you target catches fire, your players will all surge together. And if their real-life team fails to heat up, you haven’t lost anything, since you weren’t on track for the podium in the first place.

Here are a few stacks that could be attainable right now. Ideally, managers will figure out where they already have some portion of a stack and then make a couple of deals to finish it off.

Houston hitters have been clear underachievers in terms of run scoring, as they sit 4th in homers, 2nd in batting average, 5th in OPS but just 10th in runs scored. Managers who have at least one of José Altuve (10 HR, 9 SB, .295 BA) or Yordan Álvarez (13 HR, 3 SB, .290 BA) could add to that stack by making reasonable offers for Alex Bregman (9 HR, 2 SB, .236 BA), Jeremy Peña (5 HR, 9 SB, .292 BA) and Yainer Díaz (7 HR, .257 BA). The final piece to this stack would be to add Jake Meyers (20% rostered) from the waiver wire.

There is an easy case for buying low on Braves hitters right now, as we saw the potential of this lineup when they blew away the competition last year. Sure, the club must now play without injured leadoff man Ronald Acuña Jr., but the rest of this group is healthy and continues to profile as one of baseball’s deepest lineups. Ideally, managers with overachiever Marcell Ozuna (18 HR, .316 BA) could make buy-low offers for players such as Michael Harris II (5 HR, 8 SB, .248 BA), Austin Riley (3 HR, .225 BA), Matt Olson (9 HR, .241 BA), Ozzie Albies (4 HR, 4 SB, .259 BA) and Sean Murphy (1 HR, .132 BA). None of these struggling stars rank among the top 200 players to date in 2024, which should make them readily available in each league. Even without already having Ozuna in tow, adding Braves and hoping for a summer turnaround is one of the best stacking strategies.

No matter how you slice it, Statcast believes that the Cubs have been one of the unluckiest offenses in baseball this year. The club ranks among the bottom 10 teams in terms of the gap between their actual marks and expected marks in batting average, slugging percentage and wOBA. Trading for Chicago hitters will not require a massive expenditure, and there are several men to choose from. Christopher Morel (13 HR, 6 SB) offers a nice blend of power and speed and has been the club’s most valuable fantasy hitter in 2024 despite being labeled by Statcast as the unluckiest player on the team. Cody Bellinger has thus far underachieved (.765 OPS), but we saw last season that this streaky slugger can be a difference-maker when on a roll. Seiya Suzuki (7 HR, 3 SB, .264 BA), Ian Happ (6 HR, 5 SB, .218 BA) and Dansby Swanson (6 HR, 4 SB, .226 BA) have all disappointed to varying degrees and have the potential to be much better going forward. After all, this is a team that finished sixth in baseball in runs scored last year, brought back most of its contributors and has few players who are at an age of expected decline.

This is my least favorite stack among the options in this article, but it’s a viable path for those who have nothing to lose. Specifically, I’m talking to managers who have Vladimir Guerrero Jr. or Bo Bichette and have been unable to move them on the trade market. If that’s the case, these managers might as well pick up both members of Toronto’s underachieving star duo and hope that the team turns things around in the summer. There has been some bad luck in the Blue Jays underwhelming season, as the club ranks 29th in BABIP and 30th in HR/FB rate.

There is plenty of motivation on all sides for Guerrero Jr. and Bichette to turn things around, as both men will be free agents in 1.5 years and the Jays must make a decision this winter in regards to the future construction of the club. Managers could stack these two stars with an easy-to-acquire George Springer and underrated leadoff man Davis Schneider. And with extremely low acquisition costs, these players could return positive values simply by being respectable going forward.