MLB-Cheat-Sheet

Thursday brings a short five-game featured slate with a starting time of 6:35 p.m. ET. Make sure your lineups are locked and ready to go a bit early today as the Mariners/Yankees game is the first one that starts. Luckily for us, all the weather issues are on the early slate of games, so we shouldn’t have any issues in that realm. Let’s jump 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.

J.A. Happ, $8,100, NYY (-177) vs. SEA (+155) — As you’d expect on a five-game slate, the pitching options aren’t overly deep. Happ and the Yankees are the largest favorites tonight as they host the Mariners at Yankee Stadium. It’s been a rough stretch for Happ at home thus far, pitching four of his eight starts and amassing a .416 wOBA with a 5.04 xFIP. Overall, righties have been hitting him hard, tagging him with a .347 wOBA with eight of the nine home runs he’s allowed and a 40% hard-hit rate. I think this is a bad spot for Happ as the Mariners enter this game as one of the best hitting clubs against lefties, sporting a .356 wOBA with a .218 ISO but oddly just a 24.6% hard-hit rate, which is the lowest in the league. Regardless, I don’t see this being a spot where I want to use Happ by any means.

Highest Total

TEX (+135) at HOU (-155) 9 runs — This game, along with Mariners-Yankees, is tied for the highest game total at nine runs. I must admit, I was a bit surprised to see the Astros not only favored but with a team total of 4.5 runs. We should give some love to Mike Minor ($9,400), who has been pitching out of his mind and way beyond any expectations. His road numbers aren’t as “good” as his home numbers, but we still are talking about a .268 wOBA allowed with a 4.22 xFIP. He also has faced this Astros club once already, tossing seven shutout innings, scattering just five hits and striking out seven for 29.6 DKFP.

To be fair, the Astros are in a much better place offensively then they were at the time — and the numbers show. The Astros sport a .361 wOBA with .214 ISO and a 37.7% hard-hit rate. I’m on the fence about this spot. Minor has been pitching well but this is by far the toughest matchup he’s had in quite awhile. I’m going to be a wimp and hedge here, stacking the Astros in one spot while using Minor in others.

Weather Concerns

No weather concerns for tonight!


Splits to Start

The following stats now reflect numbers from the 2019 season

Pitchers vs. Left-Handed Batters

Worst vs. LHBwOBAxFIPBest vs. LHBwOBAxFIP
Mike Leake.3494.13Michael Wacha.3174.63
Mike Minor.3233.76Mike Soroka.2452.74
J.A. Happ.3124.56Patrick Corbin.2542.97

Pitchers vs. Right-Handed Batters

Worst vs. RHBwOBAxFIPBest vs. RHBwOBAxFIP
Mike Leake.4615.61Mike Soroka.2093.20
Rich Hill.4604.42Joe Musgrove.2124.26
Michael Wacha.3734.93Mike Minor.2604.12

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%
Hunter PenceTEX$4500100%
Francisco CervelliPIT$270085.7%
Kurt SuzukiWAS$340066.7%
Adam EatonWAS$370066.7%
Austin BarnesLAD$360063.6%


Lineup Starters

Pitcher to Build Around

Mike Soroka, ATL at ARI, $9,000 — The Diamondbacks are strong against left-handed pitchers but are middle of the road when it comes to righties. Entering this game, they sport a team .314 wOBA with a .180 ISO and a 23.4 K% within the split. Soroka also has been doing a great job missing bats, posting an 11% swing-and-miss rate through his first four starts. I imagine being the fourth most expensive pitcher on this slate, the three guys above him — Rich Hill ($9,700), Mike Minor ($9,400) and Patrick Corbin ($9,200) — will draw plenty of attention, which makes me curious where Soroka will land in terms of ownership. Regardless, I like him a lot in this spot.

Heavy Hitter to Pay For

Mitch Haniger, SEA at NYY, $4,500 — If you’re looking to stack the Mariners, Hangier should be the heart of it all. He’s a monster against lefties, and this is exactly the type of matchup he should excel in. Thus far, he’s posting a .440 wOBA with a .240 ISO within the split. As I mentioned earlier, righties have been teeing off on Happ with eight of the nine home runs he’s allowed. Mix that in with the fact this game takes place at Yankee Stadium, and I absolutely love Haniger in this spot.

Save Big by Drafting…

Robinson Chirinos, HOU vs. TEX, $3,500 — If you’re avoiding Minor or making multiple lineups, Chirinos should land on your roster. He always has been a great option against lefties and has continued that trend once again this season. Granted, his power isn’t where we’d like to be with just a .143 ISO, but he does have a .393 wOBA and a 45.5% hard-hit rate against lefties. At just $3,500, this is some good production for someone who isn’t going to run you for much salary.

Stack Em Up

ATL at ARI (Luke Weaver) — I wanted to mix it up a bit instead of writing another section about the Mariners. The Braves make for an interesting stack tonight against Weaver ($8,000). I imagine it won’t be heavily owned because of how well Weaver has been pitching. However, we’ve seen some chinks in the armor when he’s at home, as he’s posted a .332 wOBA and three of the four home runs he’s allowed. It’s not a smash spot, but the Diamondbacks’ bullpen continues to struggle, which makes it a more appealing matchup. For what it’s worth, Weaver has pitched at least seven innings only once this season.


Favorite Prop Bet

Seattle Mariners OVER 3.5 runs (-129)

I’m not going over this again. Hit the over!


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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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