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MLB Cheat Sheet: DraftKings Fantasy Baseball DFS Picks, Predictions, Betting Odds for April 8

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

Milwaukee Brewers v Chicago Cubs Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images


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

Set your DraftKings fantasy baseball lineups here: MLB $150K 18th Hole Special [$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.

Jose Berrios, $9,800, Minnesota Twins (-200) vs. Seattle Mariners (+165) — This is a massive moneyline for Berrios and honestly I can’t remember when he and the Twins were this big of a favorite. Not that it means much because quite honestly, they could have been big favorites yesterday and I wouldn’t remember. Regardless, this is quite the line to pay for. It makes sense after he was pulled during a no-hitter against the Brewers, striking out 12 through six innings for 40.9 DKFP. He looked stellar during Spring Training, so it was nice to see that carry over. Even though they’re going to win the AL West, the Mariners aren’t crushing the ball against righties thus far, posting a .313 wOBA with a .148 ISO and a 103 wRC+. They are striking out a lot thus far with a 27.6 K%, which is ranked 9th in the league. Despite struggling more on the road than at home all throughout his career, Berrios is certainly one of the top options on this slate. It’s just a small bump in the road for the future AL West champs.

Other notable favorite: Lance Lynn ($8,700; -182) vs. Kansas City Royals, Eduardo Rodriguez ($7,900; -165) vs. Baltimore Orioles

Highest Projected Total

Arizona Diamondbacks (+110; 5.5 runs) at Colorado Rockies (-127; 5.5 runs) 11 runs — Big total over at Coors Field this afternoon with Merrill Kelly ($6,800) going against Jon Gray ($7,000). Neither should be used for either of your pitching options and we should be looking to target against them.

Gray was nothing short of abysmal at Coors last season. Like sure, we don’t expect anyone to pitch well here but he was just plain BAD. Through 24.2 innings, Gray allowed a .364 wOBA, a 5.70 FIP, all six of the home runs he gave up and 23 of the 29 earned runs scored against him. If you want to stack particular bats against Gray, lefties are always the preferred option, he’s historically struggled against them and posted a .362 wOBA and a 6.36 FIP against them last season.

With Kelly, he picked up where he left last season, giving up three runs on five hits through four innings against the Padres. He’s prone to giving up home runs and flyballs, which is where a lot of the trouble comes from. Kelly has only pitched 11.2 innings at Coors in his career but it’s likely he’s buried those starts far in his mind. In those games, he’s been tagged for 10 runs on 16 hits, including seven extra base hits.

Weather Concerns

Chicago Cubs at Pittsburgh Pirates - 10mph winds blowing IN from right field
Boston Red Sox at Baltimore Orioles - 11mph winds blowing OUT toward left field
Milwaukee Brewers at St. Louis Cardinals - 13mph winds blowing OUT toward left field

Splits to Start

These stats will reflect 2020 numbers until May 1st.

Pitchers vs. Left-Handed Batters

Worst vs. LHB, wOBA, FIP
Taijuan Walker, .370, 6.43
Jake Arrieta, .370, 5.60
Jon Gray, .362, 6.36

Best vs. LHB, wOBA, FIP
Merrill Kelly, .227, 3.74
Lance Lynn, .239, 3.38
Brad Keller, .263, 4.30

Pitchers vs. Right-Handed Batters

Worst vs. RHB, wOBA, FIP
Jake Arrieta, .334, 3.86
Lance Lynn, .333, 5.02
Jon Gray, .323, 2.92

Best vs. RHB, wOBA, FIP
Brad Keller, .190, 2.16
Corbin Burnes, .207, 2.06
Taijuan Walker, .234, 3.38

Lineup Starters

Pitcher to Build Around

Corbin Burnes, Milwaukee Brewers at St. Louis Cardinals, $9,400 — Burnes already saw a massive jump in salary after just one start against the Twins. Why is that, you may ask? Well, when you pitch 6.1 innings of one-run baseball giving up just one hit and striking out 11, you aren’t going to stay cheap for long. What’s even more impressive was that he threw just 87 pitches in that start before being pulled. Now, he faces off against the Cardinals, who made one of the biggest trades of the offseason for Nolan Arenado ($5,200), but still can’t hit as a team. Thus far, the Cardinals have just a .297 wOBA, a .162 ISO, a 91 wRC+ and a generous 26.7% K%. Burnes is a strikeout machine, posting a ridiculous 36.7% K% and a 14.5% swing-and-miss rate.

Stud Hitter to Pay For

Christian Yelich, Milwaukee Brewers at St. Louis Cardinals, $5,200 — Keeping in this game, I love Yelich going up against Adam Wainwright ($7,500), who was lit up by the Reds for six runs on seven hits through 2.2 innings! Last season, Wainwright had good numbers on the surface and ended with a really impressive .283 wOBA against lefties. What grabs my attention though, was the 5.29 FIP. This in turn has me looking at Yelich, who already looked 10x better than he did in all of 2020.

Save Big by Drafting

Colin Moran, Pittsburgh Pirates vs. Chicago Cubs, $3,400 — Moran is such an underrated power bat for the Pirates. Last season against righties, he posted a .362 wOBA with a .262 ISO and a 128 wRC+. Now he draws a very enticing matchup against Jake Arrieta ($8,500) who is vastly overpriced. Yes, he did just pitch well against this Pirates team in his first start of the season but it almost seemed out of character at this juncture. Last season, particularly against lefties, Arrieta had a .370 wOBA with a 5.60 FIP and four of the six home runs he allowed.

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