Thursday’s main MLB slate has a slightly early start time, with the DraftKings main slate locking at 6:37 p.m. ET. Phillies-Nationals, Athletics-Rangers and Red Sox-Blue Jays all begin at that time.
This piece will cover the main slate, so let’s get into all the information. As always, feel free to follow me on the ol’ Twitter machine @SBuchanan24.
Editor’s Note: According to reports, tonight’s Phillies-Nationals, Athletics-Rangers, Red Sox-Blue Jays and Twins-Tigers games will be postponed.
Biggest Moneyline Favorite
Note: This section highlights the pitcher whose team is the largest favorite on DraftKings Sportsbook.
Ryan Yarbrough $7,900, TB (-195) vs. BAL (+170) —I was surprised to see the Rays as the big favorites on this slate, seeing as Max Scherzer ($10,900) is also taking the hill. The Nationals are still big favorites as of this morning at (-190), he’s simply been edged out by Yarbrough. It hasn’t been a strong stretch for Yarbrough as of late but he’s mainly pitched against the Blue Jays and Red Sox, accounting for five of his six starts. To be fair, his poor numbers seem justified, as he owns a 5.20 FIP, a 41.8% hard-hit rate and a 1.4 HR/9. The other concern is the Orioles are a very good hitting club against lefties. Coming into this game, they sport a .367 wOBA (5th), a .265 ISO (2nd) and just a 19.6 K% (27th). Those numbers don’t exactly get me excited for the “biggest favorite” on the slate.
Highest Projected Total
BOS (+170, 4.5 runs) vs. TOR (-210, 5.5 runs) 10 runs — The Red Sox continue to be involved in these high projected totals because, well, they give up all the runs. In fact, the Red Sox enter this game allowing an average of 6.1 runs per game! No other team in the league is allowing at least six runs, as the Tigers are next in line at 5.7. Chris Mazza ($4,800) is making a spot start in place of Nathan Eovaldi (calf) and has thrown just 5 2/3 innings thus far. He’s allowed four runs on nine hits with a 7:3 K:BB ratio to the Yankees and hasn’t seen past the third inning. In turn, this should be a bullpen game for the Red Sox, whose relievers have combined for 5.01 FIP with a 1.7 HR/9, a 23.6% K% and 9.8% BB%. So yeah, the Blue Jays sound great tonight.
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MIA @ NYM — There’s at least a 50% chance of rain all throughout the evening, so as of this morning, it’s tough to gauge where this game will be at. Be sure to check the latest forecast before lineups lock. For this game, first pitch is scheduled for 7:10 p.m. ET, the latest any of these games on the main DraftKings slate.
Splits to Start
Note: This section will now show the combined stats from 2019 and 2020
Pitchers vs. Left-Handed Batters
Worst vs. LHB, wOBA, FIP
Jordan Lyles, .371, 5.70
Robert Gsellman, .366, 4.48 Max Scherzer, .332, 3.75
Best vs. LHB, wOBA, FIP
Hyun-Jin Ryu, .224, 3.42
John Means, .236, 2.82
Randy Dobnak, .252, 3.57
Pitchers vs. Right-Handed Batters
Worst vs. RHB, wOBA, FIP
Chris Mazza, .349, 2.60 Matthew Boyd, .341, 4.61
John Means, .320, 5.21
Best vs. RHB, wOBA, FIP
Max Scherzer, .228, 1.77
Ryan Yarbrough, .273, 3.66
Hyun-Jin Ryu, .276 3.02
Pitcher to Build Around
Chris Bassitt, OAK at TEX, $8,600 — This is a really tough spot for pitching this evening, so I’m going to roll with Bassitt at Globe Life Field. This will be his first start against the Rangers but he’s logged six starts prior, posting a 3.64 FIP with a 20.1% K%. The Rangers continue to struggle offensively with a .273 wOBA, .125 ISO and 22.8% K% against righties, so I think this is a spot to target against the Rangers.
Heavy Hitter to Pay For
Nelson Cruz, MIN at DET, $5,700 — We’re not reinventing the wheel with using Cruz this evening but when it comes to facing lefties, this is your guy. He continues to annihilate the ball, averaging 10.2 DKFP over his last 10 games with five home runs and six RBI over that span. The problem is, most of his home runs have been solo shots, as the Twins continue to have issues overall offensively. Nonetheless, going up against Matthew Boyd ($8,400), who has already given up eight home runs in six starts, feels like a no brainer.
Save Big by Drafting
Corey Dickerson, MIA at NYM, $3,800 — It’s been a tough season for Dickerson, as he’s dealt with injuries and of course, the shutdown of the Marlins’ season for a period of time due to COVID-19. For now, he’s back on the grind and in a great spot against Robert Gsellman ($5,500). He should open this game for the Mets but really has struggled against lefties dating back to last season. Since 2019, Gsellman has a .366 wOBA with a 4.48 FIP and a 36% hard-hit rate allowed. Batting either third or fourth, he should be in a great spot tonight, even after Gsellman departs.
Favorite Team To Stack
TOR vs. BOS (vs. Chris Mazza) — As mentioned earlier, this is essentially a bullpen game for the Red Sox, which is almost every game, am I right? This bullpen has been so incredibly bad that this should bring nothing but opportunities for a Blue Jays offense that is averaging 5.4 runs over their last five games. As a reminder, Red Sox relievers have posted a 5.01 FIP with a 1.7 HR/9, a 23.6% K% and 9.8% BB%.
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