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

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

Seven games on the slate tonight with an impressive pool of pitchers to choose from. Let’s mosey on down to where I give analysis, since I always punt the intro.

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

Editor’s Note: Tonight’s TOR/BAL and PIT/NYM games have been postponed due to inclement weather.

DraftKings Sportsbook Game Notes

Biggest Moneyline Favorite

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

Alex Manoah, $6,800, Toronto Blue Jays (-225) at Baltimore Orioles (+185) — Not only does this game feature the biggest moneyline favorite but it’s also the highest projected total on the night. Manoah, who is only making his eighth start of the season, is already facing the Orioles for the third time. In the two prior starts, they’ve hit him fairly well, tagging him for six runs (five earned) on eight hits and 12 strikeouts through 9 13 innings. Manoah has been an interesting case during his tenure in the majors. His FIP of 4.46 is way off from his 2.70 but two bad starts have really inflated those numbers. He had a 13.50 FIP against these Orioles and a 15.47 FIP against the Marlins, Other than that in his other five starts, his FIP has been no higher than 2.77. So he’s been a fairly tough cat to figure out.

The Orioles are a much better offense against lefties than they are righties. Against righties, they have a .297 wOBA, a .157 ISO and a 87 wRC+. When facing lefties, the numbers improve drastically with a .330 wOBA, a .164 ISO and a 109 wRC+. While they have tagged the Manoah once already, I wouldn’t be going out of my way to take them. I like Manoah in this spot.

Highest Projected Total

Toronto Blue Jays (-225; 6.5 runs) at Baltimore Orioles (+185; 3.5 runs) 10.5 runs — As mentioned, this game also has the highest projected total, with the Blue Jays once again set with a 6.5 team total. I’m always a bit iffy taking the over on a total like that but they EASILY went over this number last night, hitting seven runs scored in the fifth inning. Tonight they face Keegan Akin ($5,000), who just was tagged for six runs on seven hits through 4 13 innings against this Blue Jays club the other week. The advanced numbers in that start backed up how bad he was, with a 8.48 FIP. The Blue Jays are a very good hitting club against lefties, coming into this game with a .331 wOBA, a .182 ISO and a 107 wRC+.

The Blue Jays haven’t been a great team at hitting the over on the game total with a 39-42-3 record but it’s hard not to like them to go over 6.5 runs tonight. The Orioles bullpen has been a major issue as well, especially as of late. Since last Thursday, these relievers have combined for a 5.95 FIP, a 4.05 BB/9 and a 2.01 HR/9.

Set your DraftKings fantasy baseball lineups here: MLB $200K Bat Flip [$50K to 1st

Weather Notes

Toronto Blue Jays at Baltimore Orioles - Naturally, this game is going to have weather concerns as well, so that’s great. Keep a close eye on this one because a postponement would drastically change the landscape of this slate.

Pittsburgh Pirates at New York Mets - Another game that realistically has a chance of being postponed. Rain will be in the area all throughout the night.

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
Keegan Akin, .406, 4.85
Adbert Alzolay, .390, 7.83
Adrian Houser, .346, 4.43

Best vs. LHB, wOBA, FIP
Danny Duffy, .193, 2.92
Max Scherzer, .213, 2.33
Taijuan Walker, .227, 2.94

Pitchers vs. Right-Handed Batters

Worst vs. RHB, wOBA, FIP
J.A. Happ, .397, 4.77
Keegan Akin, .373, 5.95
Tarik Skubal, .352, 4.81

Best vs. RHB, wOBA, FIP
Alek Manoah, .227, 2.44
Adbert Alzolay, .236, 3.19
Taijuan Walker, .264, 4.55

Lineup Starters

Pitcher to Build Around

Tyler Mahle, Cincinnati Reds at Milwaukee Brewers, $8,700 — Mahle has been a hit or miss lately but one thing that has stayed consistent has been his strikeout upside. He still sports an 11.2 K/9 on the season, which is just below his career-high of 11.3, which he had last year. The Brewers, despite hitting well lately, still strikeout a ton and has a 25.7% K% against righties, which is ranked the fifth-highest in the league. Since the beginning of June, Mahle has at least six strikeouts in six straight starts, including 12 against the Brewers through six innings. He held them to just one run on three hits in the game, which is a big reason I’ll be on him again tonight.

Stud Hitter to Pay For

Jonathan Schoop, Detroit Tigers at Minnesota Twins, $5,400 — I have no problem using Schoop in this matchup, even if he’s cooled off lately. His numbers throughout his career has always favored facing lefties and he gets one of the worst in J.A. Happ ($5,700). All that’s been happening to Happ is that he continues to get shelled every time he takes the mound, allowing at least four runs in four of his last six starts. As for Schoop, his numbers this season against lefties have improved dramatically, posting a .376 wOBA .264 ISO 138 wRC+.

Save Big by Drafting

Randal Grichuk, Toronto Blue Jays at Baltimore Orioles, $3,900 — If this game does get rained out, it’ll destroy more than half of this article but that’s a risk I’M WILLING TO TAKE. Grichuk has been crushing the ball lately, averaging 9.9 DKFP over his last 10 games, which includes a double, triple, three home runs and nine RBI. His numbers have always favored facing lefties and currently he has a .386 wOBA with a .278 ISO and a 143 wRC+ against them. Going up a weak lefty like Akin tonight should further pad those numbers.

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