MLB-Cheat-Sheet

Happy Memorial Day! This afternoon we feature a huge 10-game slate starting at 1:05 p.m. ET. Let’s dive into all the information we’ll need for today 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.

Max Scherzer, $11,100, WAS (-295) vs. MIA (+255) — The Nationals and Scherzer are the biggest favorites on the afternoon against the Marlins at home. Despite maintaining his high-strikeout upside with a 32.4 K%, Scherzer hasn’t been the dominant starter we’ve known for so many years. Granted, his numbers across the board has been good and it isn’t a cause for alarm but we don’t lock him in like we normally would. He has a great matchup today against the Marlins, who sport just a .281 wOBA and a .110 ISO, both of which rank last in the league against righties. I would never tell you to fade Scherzer against the Marlins but personally, my exposure on him will be lower than usual. $11,100 is a lot to pay up for a pitcher who has been shaky at times when I could instead use some of that salary to pay up for some bats in really good matchups.

Highest Total

BOS (-177) vs. CLE (+155) 10 runs — We have two games tied for a total of 10 runs today but this game features the biggest favorite. The Diamondbacks and Rockies also have a total of 10 runs with the Rockies as slight favorites at -113. The Red Sox are big favorites in this one against Jefry Rodriguez ($6,100) at Fenway Park. On the road, Rodriguez has a .303 wOBA with a 5.14 xFIP. Lefties have hit him in the hardest for a .366 wOBA and a 5.77 xFIP, making Andrew Benintendi ($4,500), Rafael Devers ($5,300) and Mitch Moreland ($4,800) enticing options. Despite the high total, don’t let this dissuade you from using Rick Porcello ($7,300). The Indians are currently one of the worst hitting clubs in the league against righties and Porcello is so cheap that he’s as close to a must play as you can make him.

Weather Concerns

No weather concerns!


Splits to Start

Pitchers vs. Left-Handed Batters

Worst vs. LHBwOBAxFIPBest vs. LHBwOBAxFIP
Nick Kingham.5056.68Zack Greinke.2122.36
Ivan Nova.4235.00Cole Hamels.2314.22
Trevor Cahill.4175.50Luis Castillo.2813.53

Pitchers vs. Right-Handed Batters

Worst vs. RHBwOBAxFIPBest vs. RHBwOBAxFIP
Ivan Nova.3884.64Luis Castillo.2242.93
Nick Kingham.3614.40Chris Bassitt.2413.25
Homer Bailey.3614.76Max Scherzer.2611.93

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.

NameTeamSalaryHard-Hit%
Javier BaezCHC$410080%
Lourdes Gurriel JrTOR$330075%
Martin MaldonadoKC$240071.4%
Tommy PhamTB$480068.4%
David BoteCHC$330066.7%


Lineup Starters

Pitcher to Build Around

Gerrit Cole, HOU vs. CHC, $11,300 — Cole was rocked in his last start against the White Sox, allowing six runs on seven hits with seven strikeouts through five innings. He draws a fairly tough matchup again today against the Cubs but the strikeout upside is what continues to draw us in. Entering this start, Cole sports a ridiculous 37.7 K% through 11 starts. While the Cubs are a tough matchup, they could be without Kris Bryant ($4,600), who was injured in a collision on Sunday. Cole is still one of the most elite pitchers in the league and has struck out at least six in every start this season.

Heavy Hitter to Pay For

Andrew Benintendi, BOS vs. CLE, $4,500 — As I mentioned earlier, I really dig this spot for Red Sox lefties. At home against righties, Benintendi has a .327 wOBA with a .172 ISO. Hitting atop of the Sox order, he always is in a position to score with the number of power bats that follow him. In a game that has the Red Sox slated for 5.5 runs as a team, I think getting him in your lineup is a must. Through the month of May, Rodriguez has been very hittable with a .377 wOBA and a 5.16 xFIP through 22.2 innings.

Save Big by Drafting…

Ryan O’Hearn, KC vs. CWS, $3,200 — Going against Ivan Nova ($4,800) is an optimal play today. Nova has been a complete disaster on the mound and I think today he gets rocked by the Royals. O’Hearn has been really inconsistent this season but does have a .190 ISO against righties. The splits that really make O’Hearn attractive is what Nova has allowed to lefties. In those matchups, Nova has allowed a .423 wOBA with a 5.00 xFIP and five of his 11 home runs.

Stack Em Up

CIN vs. PIT (Nick Kingham) — Kingham has shown nothing promising on the mound this season and has been getting rocked in the process. As a starter this season, Kingham has pitched only eight innings but has quickly allowed 12 runs on 19 hits with a 5:5 K:BB ratio. The Reds aren’t the best hitting club by any means but this is a matchup I can’t pass up. At home, the Reds have a .335 wOBA with a .211 ISO.


Favorite Prop Bet

Cincinnati Reds OVER 4.5 runs (-121)

For all the reasons I just said, I like for the Reds to go over their team total as well. Currently, the under is plus money, which is a good indication we’ll see them score at least five runs in this game. When Kingham is out of this game, the Reds will hopefully be able to take advantage of a very poor Pirates bullpen as of late. Over the last week, they’ve pitched 27 innings and allowed 15 runs on 34 hits with a 20:16 K:BB ratio.

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