MLB-Cheat-Sheet

Thursday brings us a, well, rather ugly night of pitching. As you scroll through the list of pitchers available, you likely will be shaking your head numerous times and suddenly find yourself at the end of the options. Don’t worry, we’ll try and pull through this together. Let’s get into all the information for tonight and as always, you can reach me on the ol’ Twitter machine @SBuchanan24.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Tonight’s game between the Red Sox and Yankees has been postponed due to rain.

Game Notes

Largest Favorite

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

Hyun-Jin Ryu, $11,200 LAD (-278) vs. NYM (+240) — No surprise to see Ryu and the Dodgers as the largest favorites with how well he’s been pitching. His most recent outing against the Pirates was disappointing, scoring just 13.5 DKFP by allowing two runs on 10 hits through six innings. Tonight he’ll face a Mets team who, against lefties, has a .346 wOBA with a .230 ISO and a 26.1 K%. As you’d imagine, all three of those numbers rank amongst the highest in the league, and the Mets’ ISO is the second-highest. However, they’ll be tasked with facing a pitcher who has allowed a microscopic .197 wOBA at home this season with a 2.25 xFIP. Personally, I think this is a matchup I’ll avoid. While Ryu has been very good, the Mets also have been one of the better teams against lefties. They almost cancel each other out, so with that in mind, I’ll bite the bullet and look elsewhere.

Highest Total

KC (+128) at TEX (-143) 10 runs — The Rangers are favored in this one as they take on Jakob Junis ($5,800) at Globe Life Park. With an implied team total of 5.5 runs, the Rangers are tied with the Dodgers for the highest on the slate. Junis hasn’t found much success at home or on the road and brings to this start a .370 wOBA allowed and a 4.59 xFIP through 28 2/3 innings. Lefties have gotten the best of him as well with a .361 wOBA and a 4.62 xFIP. In case you forgot, this Rangers lineup is loaded with them. They should be considered one of the best stacking options on this slate as Junis has allowed at least three runs in four of his past five starts.

Weather Concerns

MIL at PIT (PNC Park) — I’m no weatherman, but the forecast for Pittsburgh doesn’t look very appealing for a baseball game. Rain will be in the area throughout the evening, meaning the threat of a postponement is very much in play. Unless something changes during the day, I’d plan on crossing this game off your list.

BOS at NYY (Yankee Stadium) — UPDATE: This game has been postponed due to rain. No doubt this game should start in a delay, but what happens after is what will make or break if it will play. The second band of rain has the possibility of hitting the stadium later in the evening, which would make the chances of this game playing slim. Again, I would plan on not considering this game, but as always, check again before first pitch.


Splits to Start

Pitchers vs. Left-Handed Batters

Worst vs. LHBwOBAxFIPBest vs. LHBwOBAxFIP
Manny Banuelos.4135.14Hyun-Jin Ryu.2022.44
Jerad Eickhoff.3946.47Chase Anderson.2724.80
Jakob Junis.3614.62Martin Perez.2903.85

Pitchers vs. Right-Handed Batters

Worst vs. RHBwOBAxFIPBest vs. RHBwOBAxFIP
Manny Banuelos.4205.00Felix Pena.2153.32
J.A. Happ.3605.03Joe Musgrove.2284.81
Jason Vargas.3465.89Charlie Morton.2373.66

Top Hard-Hit%

This section will populate with the hitters that have the top hard-hit% over the past 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.

NameTeamSalaryHard-Hit%
Jason CastroMIN$340083.3%
Eric ThamesMIL$430077.8%
Ben GamelMIL$410075%
Ryan CordellCWS$300066.7%
Pete AlonsoNYM$400062.5%


Lineup Starters

Pitcher to Build Around

Carlos Carrasco, CLE at CWS, $9,500 — This is a tough slate for pitching. I think Carrasco is your best option, and even with him, I’m not all giddy and excited to play him. To his credit, he does face a team with high strikeout potential. The White Sox enter this game with a 26.2 K%, which is the third highest in the league against righties. However, you can’t feel great about Carrasco overall. His road numbers could be a bit better, but he does have a 3.50 xFIP, so maybe he’s been a bit unlucky. We have seen him handle this lineup already for 31.1 DKFP in five shutout innings with six strikeouts. At the time, he was $10,100, so we’re getting a good discount here. I also imagine he’ll draw some heavy ownership, which does bring down his appeal in tournaments. Looking at the rest of the choices, however, you don’t have many options to turn to.

Heavy Hitter to Pay For

Shin-Soo Choo, TEX vs. KC, $5,300 — Choo is getting older but still manages to rake against right-handed pitching. As I mentioned earlier, this is such a great spot for the Rangers against Junis. Against righties, Choo has an impressive .412 wOBA with a .272 ISO with eight of his nine home runs. With the struggles Junis exhibits against lefties, I think Choo is basically a must on this slate.

Save Big by Drafting…

Avisail Garcia, TB vs. MIN, $4,100 — Man, this slate is forcing me to play a pitcher I’m not excited about AND roster bats against Martin Perez ($9,000). This is a start I really don’t feel good about for Perez, as the Rays have hit lefties very well this season. Garcia has been a big reason for that and has a .323 wOBA and a .255 ISO with three of his 10 home runs within the split. He’s cheap enough to strongly consider and likely will be batting cleanup, making him all the more enticing.

Stack Em Up

LAD vs. NYM (Jason Vargas) — Ladies and gentlemen, Jason Vargas ($6,400) is on the slate! To be fair, Vargas hasn’t been the total dumpster fire we all have come to know and love. He’s been decent on the mound but doesn’t go deep into games. He’s yet to log more than 5 1/3 innings in any of his starts. With a bad bullpen behind him, I think stacking the Dodgers would be a fantastic idea. Against lefties, the Dodgers have a .339 wOBA with a .192 ISO. Hopefully, the Dodgers can “Make Vargas Bad Again.”


Favorite Prop Bet

Minnesota Twins OVER 3.5 runs (-114)

When was the last time we saw the Twins under 4.5 runs? It might have been recent and I didn’t notice, but that’s not the point. They have a tough matchup against Charlie Morton ($10,000), but we’ve seen lefties give him some issues. This Twins lineup is full of lefties and has a legitimate chance of giving Morton some issues. With a lineup averaging a league-leading 6.9 runs per game on the road, I’m more than happy to get this bet at close to even money.


Put your knowledge to the test. Sign up for DraftKings and experience the game inside the game.


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.

Odds and lines subject to change. See website for actual odds.

If you or someone you know has a gambling problem and wants help, call 1-800-GAMBLER.