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MLB Cheat Sheet: DraftKings Fantasy Baseball DFS Picks, Predictions, Betting Odds for June 21

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

Six games on the bill for tonight. So we should probably talk about them. Want to talk about them? Nice, let’s do it.

Follow me on Twitter or you’re not allowed to read this article. @SBuchanan24.

DraftKings Sportsbook Game Notes

Biggest Moneyline Favorite

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

Jake Odorizzi, $5,900, Houston Astros (-162) at Baltimore Orioles (+138) — The biggest favorite on the slate is also one of the cheapest pitching options on the daily slate, as Odorizzi is only $5,900. He hasn’t exactly been mowing down opposing teams in his seven games, throwing 25 13 innings and posting a 4.63 FIP, a 33.8% hard-hit rate and a 1.7 HR/9. The Astros are the road favorites however, a scenario they’ve gone 10-12 on the moneyline in. To that end, they also have a favorable matchup against Keegan Akin ($5,100), who has pitched better at home then on the road in his limited sample thus far.

The problem for Akin is he faces a very tough Astros team against lefties. Even without Alex Bregman in the lineup, this club has a leads the league in both wOBA (.347) and wRC+ (126) to go with a .176 ISO. They also remain the toughest team in the league to strikeout with a 17.4% K%, which is lower than any other team but more than 3%. Akin is striking out less than a batter per inning with an 8.1 K/9 and it will be even more difficult in this matchup. The Astros at -162 is a bit steep but I’d bank on them winning this one in a matchup they thrive in.

Other notable favorite: Adbert Alzolay ($8,900; -155) vs. Cleveland Indians

Highest Projected Total

Houston Astros (-162; 5.5 runs) at Baltimore Orioles (+138; 4.5 runs) 10.5 runs — This game also features the highest game total at 10.5, which is a run total higher than both the Reds at Twins and the Brewers at Diamondbacks, both of which are at 9.5. As I mentioned, the Astros simply destroy left-handed pitching, so this shouldn’t come as much of a surprise. The Astros not only are tops in the league in runs scored against lefties at 166 but it’s more than 46 more than the Athletics, who are in second at 120. To go even further, the Astros are also the league-leaders in average runs scored on the road at at 5.78. They’re the only team on this slate with an implied team total of 5.5 runs, with both the over and under at a line of -110.

The over for the Orioles team total of 4.5 is currently set at +102. I don’t hate this number either with how fickle Odorizzi has been. To be fair, the Orioles offense has been posting some crooked numbers as of late, averaging 5.6 runs over the last five games, including three games scoring seven runs. The only concern here is if the Orioles don’t get to Odorizzi early. The Astros bullpen is well rested and have been lights out over the past week, posting a a 2.34 FIP, an 11.5 K/9 and just a 0.50 HR/9. If the Orioles can’t figure out Odorizzi fast, it could be a an early “X” for the over on the team total.

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Weather Notes

Houston Astros at Baltimore Orioles — Naturally, I’ve written so much about this game that it HAS to have some weather concerns. This is going to need a look as we draw near first pitch, but this could be an issue with rain in the forecast.

Splits to Start

These numbers now reflect the current 2021 stats and include pitchers with a minimum of 10 IP.

Pitchers vs. Left-Handed Batters

Worst vs. LHB, wOBA, FIP
Jake Odorizzi, .360, 5.49
Adbert Alzolay, .336, 5.71
J.A. Happ, .319, 3.77

Best vs. LHB, wOBA, FIP
Julio Urias, .218, 2.66
Kyle Gibson, .245, 3.42
Yu Darvish, .262, 3.85

Pitchers vs. Right-Handed Batters

Worst vs. RHB, wOBA, FIP
J.A. Happ, .375, 5.39
Merrill Kelly, .353, 4.79
Brett Anderson, .341, 4.63

Best vs. RHB, wOBA, FIP
Kyle Gibson, .252, 3.24
Adbert Alzolay, .254, 3.04
Jake Odorizzi, .268, 4.04

Lineup Starters

Pitcher to Build Around

Yu Darvish, San Diego Padres vs. Los Angeles Dodgers, $10,200 — This slate isn’t exactly graced with a ton of pitching options you’d want to roster tonight. Darvish sticks out like a sore thumb amongst the pitchers listed but he’s facing the Dodgers. To his credit, he’s dominated them through two starts, allowing just two runs on five hits and striking out 18 through 14 innings. He’s pitched as well as his line look as well, with a 2.31 FIP, a .198 wOBA, and only a 14.8% hard-hit rate allowed. The Dodgers bats came alive in the last series against the Diamondbacks, averaging seven runs in the three game series but they were very, very quiet prior to that. It’s a bit risky but truly, name me a better option with upside on this slate.

Stud Hitter to Pay For

Nick Castellanos, Cincinnati Reds at Minnesota Twins, $4,500 — I’ll be all over the Reds tonight both from a daily fantasy and a betting standpoint. I love the Reds over 4.5 runs (-127) against J.A. Happ ($5,300), who is getting annihilated on the mound. After cruising through the month of April, Happ has allowed at least four runs six of his last eight starts since the calendar turned to the month of May. In that span, Happ has a .434 wOBA, a 5.77 FIP, only a 7.5 K/9 and a 2.2 HR/9. It’s not as if opposing hitters are making cheap contact either, Happ is seeing just under a 40% hard-hit rate on balls in play. Now we have Castellanos, who is smashing lefties per the usual with a .436 wOBA, a .298 ISO and four of the 13 home runs he’s hit.

Save Big by Drafting

Myles Straw, Houston Astros at Baltimore Orioles, $2,600 — If this game ends up getting washed out this article is going to be an absolute wasteland. Anyways, I really like using Straw tonight against the lefty Akin. Straw doesn’t have a ton of power but that hasn’t stopped him from posting a really good month of June. He’s posted double-digit fantasy points six times this month and overall in June has a .343 wOBA with a 123 wRC+. He’s a base stealing threat as well, which can come in handy in getting those fantasy points. Don’t count on him hitting a home run (.062 ISO this season) but he can get it done in other ways.

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