The MLB trade deadline has passed, and we’ve seen some of the more significant trades of the last few years in 2021. Some of these will have some pretty substantial DFS impact as a few teams got a lot better. Let’s look at the clubs that made key moves and how they apply to DFS for the rest of the season.
New York Yankees
The New York Yankees made arguably the most significant impact additions to their offense in a sizable effort to right the ship for a playoff push. By obtaining Joey Gallo from the Rangers and Anthony Rizzo from the Cubs, they have not only added two top-level bats to an already reasonably potent offense. They’ve also added two left-handed bats. They sorely needed to add more lefties to their overly righty-heavy lineup. Especially considering that they play half their games at lefty-bat-friendly Yankee Stadium.
Before making these moves, it is safe to say that the Yankees offense was frankly scuffling and a bit overrated, particularly with any injuries in play. Rarely was the Yankees offense all that DFS relevant despite its reputation as a potent offense. Add in a few injuries or a random day off for a key player, and at times it was downright dismal.
Those days should be over, and I would look for the Yankees to be one of the top offenses in baseball for the rest of the season. They are far more stackable now, and it could pay off to stack them early and often before their prices and ownership rise.
The Braves have clearly not given up on their season with the unfortunate loss of Ronald Acuña Jr., who is out for the year with a torn ACL. They’ve added a slew of offensive help to make a push for first in a weak NL East division.
Adding Joc Pederson from the Cubs (albeit a bit before the deadline), Eddie Rosario from Cleveland, Adam Duvall from the Marlins, and Jorge Soler from the Royals, the Braves will be one of the most potent lineups in baseball.
With Acuña out, their lineup was looking relatively sparse and falling out of favor among DFS players. We will want to pounce on the new-look Braves before the field gets used to their new, highly powerful squad.
Los Angeles Dodgers
Don’t sleep on the acquisition of Trea Turner, who came along with Max Scherzer in the Dodgers’ blockbuster deal with the Nationals. The Dodgers offense, when healthy, was already arguably the best in baseball. Turner has quietly been one of the absolute best players in the game this year and brings a combination of plus skills to the plate.
The Dodgers are now beyond stacked. Players of the caliber of red-hot stalwart offensive bat AJ Pollock, 2021 All-Star Chris Taylor, and 2019 NL MVP Cody Bellinger may have to vie for playing time. Their lineup will be better able to withstand potential injuries and off-days for key players. The Dodgers are another team that should contend for the top projected stack of the night more often than not.
Tampa Bay Rays
While the Tampa Bay Rays curiously traded away some key pitching pieces, this isn’t as relevant to DFS as their big offensive move. Adding the powerful veteran bat of Nelson Cruz (albeit a few days before the deadline) from the Twins will make the Tampa Bay offense considerably more potent and stackable.
Not only is Cruz one of the best power hitters in the game, even in his old (by baseball terms) age. In the context of the Rays, his addition makes a big difference in their DFS viability. They are a team built more on role-players than superstars and with a bit of pinch-hit risk in their lineup. Adding a bonafide power bat without pinch-hit risk makes 4-and-5 man Rays stacks considerably more viable.
We should adjust our perception of the potency of the Rays offense as a whole before the field fully catches up to their new look with Cruz.
San Francisco Giants
Like the Rays, the Giants have been a very successful offense in real life but have been oddly less-than-optimal from a DFS perspective. They pinch hit about as much as anyone in the league, making it hard to stack them in good conscience. They are also a team that gets it done with many pieces chipping in with small contributions rather than having a bonafide core of star players.
At first, it looked like the San Francisco Giants might be quiet compared to some of the other contenders. Still, then they made a big splash move by obtaining Kris Bryant from the Cubs.
Adding a star bat with no pinch-hit risk to the middle of the lineup makes the Giants offense better in real life and far more stackable from a DFS perspective. They tend to go overlooked in DFS, and now would be the time to take advantage of this and stack them up in the coming month before the field has time to adjust.
New York Mets
In trying to keep pace with Atlanta in the tight NL East, the Mets acquired Javier Báez from the rebuilding Cubs. This will give them a one-two punch in the middle-infield of Francisco Lindor and Javier Báez and some much-appreciated additional offensive firepower.
While they didn’t do as much as the Braves to bolster their lineup, the Mets adding Baéz is a significant move. It will make their offense considerably more viable from a DFS perspective.
The moves that the Athletics made seem to have gone a bit under the radar, much like everything in baseball in Oakland. This makes them all the more worth noting from a DFS perspective since Oakland always goes under-appreciated by the field.
Starling Marte is a star player and a key acquisition for the Athletics. Since he spent the first half of the season in Miami, he has gone somewhat unnoticed, as does everything baseball in Miami. Still, Marte is a considerable offensive force that can pad the stat sheet in multiple ways. He will make Oakland far more stackable on a night-by-night basis.
Oakland is another team that tends to pinch-hit for platoon players, so adding another bat that will stay in the lineup makes them more playable in DFS.
They didn’t only add Marte, although his acquisition was their most significant splash move. They quietly picked up Yan Gomes and Josh Harrison from the Nationals. While not big names, both are beneficial offensive cogs that will deepen in their roster and improve their overall offensive efficiency.
Boston Red Sox
Because he has been on the IL of late, the already stacked Boston Red Sox acquiring the big bat of Kyle Schwarber from the rebuilding Nationals has gone largely overlooked.
We should not forget that he was on a historic home run tear before his injury. He has long since established himself as one of the more potent power hitters in the game.
Boston will be even more dangerous than they already are when Schwarber gets healthy and enters their lineup.
The Brewers tend to go under the radar. Still, they have quietly been putting up big offensive numbers. The addition of Eduardo Escobar from the Diamondbacks will only improve their lineup and make it more stackable in DFS.
The DBacks have been a struggling team this year, and Escobar has been stuck in the doldrums down in Arizona. Still, let us not forget that Escobar can be one of the better hitters in baseball at his best.
A change of scenery to a contending club with some potent bats around him should be just what the doctor ordered for Escobar. The Brewers just became even more stackable in DFS and should continue to fly under the radar to some degree.
- White Sox acquire César Hernández from Cleveland.
- Padres acquire Adam Frazier from Pirates.
In DFS, one of our best assets is to pick up on new information before the rest of the field. By being abreast of the trade deadline and the impact key acquisitions have on the viability of team stacks, we can gain an advantage over our opponents going down the stretch.