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MLB Cheat Sheet: DraftKings Fantasy Baseball DFS Picks, Predictions, Betting Odds for April 7

Steve Buchanan breaks down Wednesday’s DraftKings MLB slate with pitching and hitting analysis, odds, lines and prop bets.

MLB: Minnesota Twins at Detroit Tigers Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports


As always, feel free to follow me on the ol’ Twitter machine @SBuchanan24.

Set your DraftKings fantasy baseball lineups here: MLB $200K Relay Throw [$50K to 1st]

DraftKings Sportsbook Game Notes

Biggest Moneyline Favorite

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

Hyun Jin Ryu, $7,300, Toronto Blue Jays (-175) vs. Texas Rangers (+160) — The Rangers were able to pull off an easy win yesterday against the Blue Jays butttttttt I don’t think that’s the case today. They’re big favorites against Kyle Gibson ($5,500) who honestly looks lost on the mound. In his first start, the Rangers lost to the Royals, even after being given a five-run lead in the first inning! Gibson was so impressed by his team scoring five in the first that he wanted the Royals to do the same.

Gibson is coming off arguably his worst season as a starter which saw him post a 5.39 FIP, only a 19.3 K%, a 1.6 HR/9 and a 37.7% hard-hit rate. He still induced plenty of groundballs at a rate of 51.5% but he simply wasn’t getting hitters out. This Blue Jays team can hit and I don’t think they’ll have any issue taking Gibson out of this game early. As big favorites on this slate, the Blue Jays should easily grab a win in this one.

Other notable favorite: Kenta Maeda ($8,300; -165) vs. Detroit Tigers, Dallas Keuchel ($7,400; -155) vs. Seattle Mariners,

Highest Projected Total

Tampa Bay Rays (+105) at Boston Red Sox (-115) 9 runs — Despite the large slate, we don’t have many games with high projected totals. The Red Sox are slightly favored in this one going against the lefty Ryan Yarbrough ($7,100). While he posted some good numbers last season, he’s not a big strikeout pitcher and he faces a very good hitting team against lefties. The Red Sox had a .327 wOBA, a .166 ISO and a 102 wRC+ against lefties last season, even before some of the moves they made this off season. Guys like Kike Hernandez ($3,900) and Hunter Renfroe ($3,600) have historically been much better hitters against lefties. Renfroe, for example, had poor overall numbers but against lefties posted a .335 wOBA and a .366 ISO. Then you have your usual suspects like J.D. Martinez ($5,400) and Xander Bogaerts ($5,400) who both excellent hitters against lefties. I love stacking the Red Sox this afternoon (something I likely won’t be saying often).

Weather Concerns

Los Angeles Dodgers at Oakland Athletics - 11 mph winds blowing out toward center field

Splits to Start

These stats will reflect 2020 numbers until May 1st.

Pitchers vs. Left-Handed Batters

Worst vs. LHB, wOBA, FIP
Kyle Gibson, .363, 6.78
Jack Flaherty, .327, 5.15
Pablo Lopez, .310, 3.26

Best vs. LHB, wOBA, FIP
Matthew Boyd, .186, 2.92
Shane Bieber, .194, 1.39
Dallas Keuchel, .199, 2.84

Pitchers vs. Right-Handed Batters

Worst vs. RHB, wOBA, FIP
Matthew Boyd, .410, 6.41
Nathan Eovaldi, .408, 4.62
Kyle Gibson, .350, 4.36

Best vs. RHB, wOBA, FIP
Trevor Bauer, .192, 1.76
Kenta Maeda, .201, 2.85
Pablo Lopez, .241, 2.91

Lineup Starters

Pitcher to Build Around

Kenta Maeda, Minnesota Twins at Detroit Tigers, $8,300 — Maeda is not all that expensive for the matchup he’s drawing this afternoon. He faces a Tigers team that topped the league in K% last season against righties at 28.2%. When you mix that in with just a .285 wOBA and a .143 ISO, this start doesn’t feel all that daunting. It’s an extremely small sample but the Tigers are picking up where they left off last season, producing a 25.8% K% thus far with only a .303 wOBA and a .176 ISO against righties. Maeda has averaged over a strikeout per inning in his career and finished 2020 with a K/9 of 10.8. With his pinpoint control and someone who generates a ton of groundballs, this is a fantastic spot for someone who is only $8,300.

Stud Hitter to Pay For

Nelson Cruz, Minnesota Twins at Detroit Tigers, $5,100 — Sticking with this game, how do you not love what Cruz is doing already? The guy is like 74 (40) and still hitting moonshots. Today he’ll see Matt Boyd ($6,900), who LOVES to GIVE UP home runs to opposing hitters. Through 60.1 innings last season, Boyd had a HR/9 of 2.24, giving up 15 in total. It’s no secret that Cruz mashes lefties to begin with, so drawing a start against Boyd, who allows PLENTY, is the cherry on top. Last year against lefties, Cruz boasted a .586 wOBA (!) a .442 ISO (!) and six of his 16 home runs.

Save Big by Drafting

A.J. Pollock, Los Angeles Dodgers at Oakland Athletics, $3,700 — Pollock is another sneaky bat that has really strong splits against lefties. It’s easy to overlook that he had a .468 wOBA, a .473 ISO and seven of his 16 home runs on the season against southpaws. This afternoon, he’ll see Jesus Luzardo ($6,300) who had a rough beginning to the season against the Astros. The A’s are very high on Luzardo overall but it hasn’t necessarily translated in the majors. Righties tagged him for a .326 wOBA and a 4.68 FIP with eight of the nine home runs he allowed last season. If you’re in need to save some salary, Pollock could be that guy.

Set your DraftKings fantasy baseball lineups here: MLB $200K Relay Throw [$50K to 1st]

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