6/10/2014 12:00 A.M. ET
Use stacking strategy to dominate DraftKings
By Jonathan Bales / Special to MLB.com
The Official Mini Fantasy Game of MLB.com is your best opportunity to learn the daily fantasy baseball ropes -- free of charge -- while also locking in some upside with the potential to win tickets to actual MLB games, including the All-Star Game and World Series.
In the Official Mini Fantasy Game of MLB.com -- a tournament with many users -- you want as much upside as possible so that you can take down a large field. One of the easiest ways to increase your lineup's ceiling is through stacking.
Stacking is the act of playing multiple batters from the same MLB team. In the Official Mini Fantasy Game of MLB.com, you can fill six of your eight hitter spots with players from the same team. The reason stacking works is because the production for players on the same team is correlated; if one player has a good game, it's more likely his teammates will as well since they're hitting in the same conditions off the same pitchers.
There are different ways to stack your lineup. Let's look at a few ways you can group teammates to improve your chances of winning.
Picking hitters who bat near one another
One of the most popular forms of stacking involves picking hitters who are near one another in the same batting order. When you play a combination of 1-2-3-4 hitters, for example, you'll typically have exposure to both speed and power.
Also worth noting: Such a combination can result in "double points." That is, you can set yourself up to receive points from multiple players on the same play. If you have a No. 3 hitter who goes deep with the leadoff man and No. 2 hitter on base, you'll receive points for all of the RBIs from the No. 3 hitter, as well as points for the runs scored by the players who were on base.
Stacks based on splits
Another way to stack your hitters is to go for more of a value-based approach, seeking players who match up well with the pitcher and have a decent price tag. One popular split to use is simple lefty/righty. Most righty batters hit lefties the best -- while lefty batters often struggle vs. southpaws -- so it can make sense to build a stack that's based around lefty/righty splits for that game. If you can pick hitters who are near one another in the order, that's even better.
With certain offenses, you can pick just about any group of hitters that you'd like and still have room to work within the confines of the Official Mini Fantasy Game of MLB.com salary cap. With others, such as the Tigers or Blue Jays, the individual player salaries can be prohibitive. You can't just load up on Miguel Cabrera, Victor Martinez, Torii Hunter, Austin Jackson and Ian Kinsler in the same lineup because you'll quickly run out of cap space.
If you really want to target a certain team but can't afford all of the high-priced bats, consider moving to the bottom of the order. This isn't optimal, of course, but there are multiple benefits in practice.
First, you can gain access to hitters in an offense that might be projected to perform really well on a given day. Their suboptimal lineup placement aside, lower-of-the-order bats can still benefit from the presence of big bats earlier in the order. Second, you usually can get hitters who are placed late in the order at a cheap price, meaning you can spend more on pitching. And finally, bottom-of-the-order stacks aren't overly common, meaning you can create a unique lineup that's crucial to winning large-field tournaments.
Jonathan Bales contributes DraftKings-related content to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.