MLB-Cheat-Sheet

A massive 15-game slate is on tap for Friday night with a relatively quiet night of weather. This will also feature some elite pitching options to choose from including Gerrit Cole and Max Scherzer. Let’s get into all the information you’ll need for tonight and as always, you can reach me on the ol’ Twitter machine @SBuchanan24.

Game Notes

Largest Favorite

Note: This section highlights the pitcher whose team is the largest favorite on DraftKings Sportsbook.

Gerrit Cole, $11,900, HOU (-295) vs. TOR (+255) — The Astros are massive favorites tonight as they host the Blue Jays at Minute Maid Park. After a disappointing outing against the Athletics, Cole came back with a vengeance in a matchup against the Orioles, throwing seven innings while allowing three runs (one earned) on four hits while striking out 14. Now he faces a Blue Jays team that has the sixth highest K% in the league against righties at 24.3% to go with a .300 wOBA and a .177 ISO. The only blip for Cole has been his issues with home runs. On the season, he’s allowed 15 with 10 of them coming at home. This Blue Jays team doesn’t have a ton of power but guys like Justin Smoak ($3,500) always pose a power threat. Nonetheless, Cole is a fantastic option and has a legitimate chance of earning his eighth game with double-digit strikeouts.

Highest Total

SD (+100) at COL (-114) 12 runs — Another day with Coors Field and another huge total. I was dead wrong about this game last night, thinking it had a chance to go under 11.5 runs. Instead, they scored 15, so that didn’t go well. The Rockies are slight favorites against Cal Quantrill ($5,000) who has made five starts with mixed results. In his limited appearances, lefties have smashed him for a .433 wOBA with a 5.09 xFIP and three of the four home runs he’s allowed. Quantrill has pitched better on the road than he has at home but that certainly means nothing going at Coors.

I like this total a lot more than I did last night with Jeff Hoffman ($6,100) taking the mound for the Rockies. As you’d expect, Hoffman has been wrecked at Coors Field and brings with him a .399 wOBA with a 4.14 xFIP with three of his six home runs allowed. While the Padres offense against righties is nothing special, I think I could grab three hits off Hoffman myself.

Weather Concerns

KCR at MIN (Target Field) This looks as if it’s the only real concern on this slate. They’ll be dealing with scattered storms all throughout the night, and if any of them land over the park, we could be in for some trouble. This is worth checking on closer to lock when they have a better idea of where these will be popping up.


Splits to Start

Pitchers vs. Left-Handed Batters

Worst vs. LHB, wOBA, xFIP
Cal Quantrill, .433, 5.09
Eduardo Rodriguez, .428, 3.68
Dan Straily, .391, 7.018 Max Fried, .251, 3.38

Best vs. LHB, wOBA, xFIP
Best vs. LHB, wOBA, xFIP
Lucas Giolito, .218, 3.81
CC Sabathia, .236, 3.79
Max Fried, .251, 3.38

Pitchers vs. Right-Handed Batters

Worst vs. RHB, wOBA, xFIP
Dan Straily, .462, 6.82,
Jeff Hoffman, .449, 4.74,
Shelby Miller, .432, 7.27,

Best vs. RHB, wOBA, xFIP
Cal Quantrill, .206, 2.44
Lucas Giolito, .235, 3.32
Max Scherzer, .238, 2.02

Top Hard-Hit%

This section will populate with the hitters that have the top hard-hit% over the last seven days. This percentage can help distinguish who is swinging the bat well over the course of the past week. I’ll be updating this daily so we have a consistent flow of names in this section.

Name, Team, Salary, Hard-Hit%
Mitch Garver, MIN, $5,300, 77.8%
Tyler White, HOU, $3,100, 75%
Ryan Braun, MIL, $4,300, 75%
Justin Turner, LAD, $4,000, 73.7%
Marwin Gonzalez, MIN, $4,100, 73.7%


Lineup Starters

Pitcher to Build Around

Gerrit Cole, HOU vs. TOR, $11,900 — As the odds are set, I also believe that Cole is the top option on this slate. This Toronto lineup doesn’t scare you in the least and the strikeout potential that Cole has in this matchup is really hard to leave on the board. I think a lot of people will be flocking to Lucas Giolito ($11,100) in this range and rightfully so. However, I am worried about his matchup a bit against the Yankees. Earlier this season, they did tag him for six runs (four earned) through five innings. I’ll pay the extra $800 and grab Cole in this spot instead.

Heavy Hitter to Pay For

Mookie Betts, BOS vs. BAL, $5,200 — The Red Sox have the benefit of facing Dan Straily ($4,800) at Camden Yards tonight. Pitching at home has been nothing but pain for suffering for Straily. Through 31 2/3 innings, Straily has posted a .484 wOBA with a 7.21 xFIP and 14 of his 15 home runs allowed at Camden Yards. With that in mind, taking Betts in this spot feels like a no-brainer. Betts has a .381 wOBA with a .219 ISO with five of his 11 home runs against righties on the road.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Betts is not in the lineup for tonight’s game.

Save Big by Drafting…

Stephen Piscotty, OAK vs. SEA, $3,700 — It’s always Piscotty when he draws a matchup against a lefty. Tonight, he’ll be taking on Marco Gonzales ($5,300) who has really had a rough go of it as of late. On the road against righties, Gonzales has a .325 wOBA with a 5.23 xFIP and five of his 10 home runs allowed. Most importantly, Pisoctty has stellar numbers against lefties. He’ll step to the plate with a .404 wOBA, a .206 ISO and three of his eight home runs.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Piscotty is not in the lineup for tonight’s game.

Stack Em Up

TEX vs. CIN (Tyler Mahle) — A lot of lefties in this Rangers lineup which is likely bad news for Mahle. On the season, Mahle has a .370 wOBA and a 4.93 xFIP against lefties. Not to mention, this game is taking place in one of my best hitters park in the league at Great American Ball Park. The majority of the lefties in the Rangers lineup aren’t that expensive either, making this an affordable and enticing stack to consider on this massive 15-game slate.


Favorite Prop Bet

HOU score first and win (+104)

Love getting plus money on this bet with the Astros scoring first against Aaron Sanchez and winning this game. The Blue Jays average 0.37 runs per game in the first inning, which is the third worst in the league. The Astros currently average 0.57, which ranks 13th. Gerrit Cole has also been extremely tough the first time through the order, posting a .290 wOBA with a 2.76 xFIP. If you’re really digging the Astros to win but don’t want to take the steep moneyline, I think you can consider this one.

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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is Steveazors) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.

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