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MLB Cheat Sheet: DraftKings Fantasy Baseball DFS Picks, Predictions, Betting Odds for August 16

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

I’ll be taking over the MLB Cheat Sheet this week while Steve Buchanan is off on vacation, but don’t even begin to worry. This is still the place for all the betting and DFS information you’ll need to fill out a few lineups or place a couple wagers this evening. I’ll even keep this introduction short and sweet in honor of Steve.

MLB Cheat Sheet. Let’s go.

For up-to-the-minute news, analysis and lineups, download the DK Live app. You also can follow DK Live on Twitter @dklive.

DraftKings Sportsbook Game Notes

Biggest Moneyline Favorite

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

Gerrit Cole, $10,900, New York Yankees (-280) vs. Los Angeles Angels (+225) — There are some huge lines on tonight’s 10-game slate, with the Yankees, the Rays and the Dodgers all sizable home favorites against inferior competition. However, Cole is definitely in the most-interesting spot. The All-Star hasn’t thrown in a game setting since all the way back on July 29, after he tested positive for COVID-19 prior to a scheduled start in early August. That start on July 29? That was the afternoon Cole surrendered seven earned runs to Tampa Bay in a loss — the most runs he’s conceded in a single start going back to May of 2019.

Still, while there seems to be about 10,000 narratives working against him, Cole’s pre-COVID form really just appeared to be some bad luck. To wit, the RHP is sporting a 5.35 ERA in his past six outings, yet a 35.8% strikeout rate and a 3.20 xFIP tell a much different story. With the Angels currently in possession of the league’s second-lowest ISO (.105) and fourth-lowest wOBA (.274) in August, I’d expect Cole to get back on track on Monday. That is, as long as he doesn’t have any limitations.

Highest Projected Total

San Diego Padres (-135; 6.5 runs) at Colorado Rockies (+115; 5.5 runs) 12.5 runs — Not really a huge surprise to see Coors Field or Antonio Sanzatela ($6,800) involved in the game with the highest total on the slate, but Ryan Weathers ($5,700) is a fun wrinkle.

While the advanced numbers are ERA estimators always told a different story, Weathers went into the All-Star break rocking a 2.91 ERA and holding opponents to a .299 wOBA across 58.2 innings of work. Since then, Weathers has thrown 15.2 innings where he’s surrendered 20 earned runs, six long balls and an opponent slugging percentage of .687. So, I guess you could say things have sort of gone off the rails for the left-hander. In that same span, RHBs have clubbed 3.6 home runs per nine off of Weathers, which certainly makes bats like Trevor Story ($5,400), Brendan Rodgers ($4,700) and C.J. Cron ($4,800) viable and affordable options for your lineups. Cron, in particular, is very tantalizing as he’s slashing .320/.414/.780 with a 193 wRC+ in his 58 plate appearances against LHPs in Colorado so far this season.

Weather Notes

Chicago Cubs at Cincinnati Reds A slight bit of rain is in the forecast. A delayed start is a possibility.

Splits to Start

Pitchers vs. Left-Handed Batters

Worst vs. LHB, wOBA, FIP (TBF)
Braxton Garrett, .411, 3.31 (39)
Jose Suarez, .408, 5.95 (65)
Jake Odorizzi, .341, 5.10 (131)

Best vs. LHB, wOBA, FIP (TBF)
Collin McHugh, .173, 0.99 (58)
Griffin Jax, .226, 4.75 (59)
Wade Miley, .236, 2.96 (104)

Pitchers vs. Right-Handed Batters

Worst vs. RHB, wOBA, FIP (TBF)
Matt Harvey, .382, 4.49 (226)
Griffin Jax, .379, 6.76 (101)
Braxton Garrett, .373, 4.31 (102)

Best vs. RHB, wOBA, FIP (TBF)
Kevin Gausman, .202, 2.70 (268)
Gerrit Cole, .231, 2.51 (272)
Jose Suarez, .254, 3.65 (170)

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Lineup Starters

Pitcher to Build Around

Wade Miley, Cincinnati Reds vs. Chicago Cubs, $8,200 — Obviously the duo of Gerrit Cole and Kevin Gausman ($10,100) possess a lot more raw upside than Miley, but I’m just not 100% sold on either All-Star for Monday. Cole’s red flag is easy to spot, while Gausman’s been shaky the past month, a stretch of five starts where he’s failed to throw even 90 pitches in all but one outing. As for Miley, the veteran has quietly chugged along in 2021, pitching to a 3.00 ERA and a 3.67 FIP across 126.0 innings. The left-hander is a soft-contact specialist who’s conceded the fifth-fewest opponent home runs per nine among all qualified players (0.71). Simply put, he’s dependable, and that high floor is all you need against this version of the Cubs. Chicago’s struck out in an insane 32.0% of its plate appearances in August. The Cubs will provide more than enough ceiling on their own.

Stud Hitter to Pay For

Trea Turner, Los Angeles Dodgers vs. Pittsburgh Pirates, $5,500 — We haven’t seen a lot of Steven Brault ($7,600) in 2021, but the little we have has been very concerning. The left-hander is currently sporting an ugly 8.65 xERA through two appearances, the direct result of 19.2% of Brault’s first 26 batted ball events of the season being barrelled. It’s also not helping that his fastball velocity has been well below where it was sitting as recently as 2020. Anyway, with Turner slashing .398/.441/.657 with a 189 wRC+ in his 118 plate appearances against southpaws, I’m inclined to believe Brault will have his issues with the former first-round pick.

Save Big by Drafting

Luis Robert, Chicago White Sox vs. Oakland Athletics, $3,100 — It’s not like Frankie Montas ($9,500) is a good matchup by any stretch of the imagination, but the simple fact of the matter is that you won’t be able to save on Robert much longer. As we saw with Eloy Jimenez ($4,800) last week, it only takes a few games for the pricing algorithm to get up to speed. Robert hasn’t missed a beat since returning from a lengthy IL stint, as he’s slashing .300/.333/.550 with a .250 ISO in his five games. He’s really, really good and he’ll be up around $5K in the blink of an eye.

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