Oh, hey everyone. Didn’t think we were going to be doing this at all in 2022. Yet, here we are, getting ready for Opening Day. Which, by the way, already has two postponements, so thanks for nothing on that. Whatever, let’s talk some baseball.
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DraftKings Sportsbook Game Notes
Biggest Moneyline Favorite
Note: This section highlights the pitcher whose team is the largest favorite on DraftKings Sportsbook.
Max Fried, $9,000, Atlanta Braves (-210) vs. Cincinnati Reds (+175) — First and foremost, if you’re a Reds fan, I feel for you. This past offseason wasn’t deserved and I hope this team gets back to where it should be, fast.
That said, they’re going to be a team to pick on this season. We can start that right off on Opening Day when they go up against Fried. If we look at their last Spring Training lineup they rolled out, this team struck out a LOT against lefties last year. Five of the nine players in the lineup had a K% of at least 23.4%. When it comes to power, this group hardly produced any against lefties, with only one of them, Kyle Farmer ($2,900) posting an ISO over .200. wRC+? Forget it. Six of the night were at 94 or below.
This makes for a strong spot for Fried, who showed excellent command (2.23 BB/9), limited home runs (0.81 HR/9), and boasted a strong 3.31 FIP on the season. He’s not the biggest strikeout producer, posting a K/9 under 9.0 in all but one of his five seasons, but he still averaged a strong 16.6 DKFP. It’s fair to say he’s a bit overpriced with that type of fantasy average but this slate feels mispriced from top to bottom. Had the Mariners and Twins not been postponed, you would have had the reigning Cy Young Award winner, Robbie Ray, at $6,300. Like that makes ANY sense at all (but would have happily taken it).
Highest Projected Total
San Diego Padres (-170) at Arizona Diamondbacks (+150) 9 runs — Last season, these were two of the better teams at hitting the over on the game total last season. The Diamondbacks topped the league, hitting at 57.4% (89-66-7) while the Padres were sixth at 54.4% (86-72-4). This matchup is expected to feature Yu Darvish ($9,500) and Madison Bumgarner ($5,900) in the latest scheduled game of the night.
It’s true that the Padres weren’t overly effective against lefties last season. They finished 24th in wRC+ and wOBA and 26th in ISO. That being said, they had no issue hitting Bumgarner last year. Through 17 2⁄3 innings, they tagged him for 10 runs on 22 hits (eight for extra bases). Bumgarner had a 5.04 FIP and a .369 wOBA in those starts. We should see more of the same this time around. This Padres team SHOULD be better against lefties overall but time will tell on that.
I’m also not opposed to taking the over on the Padres team total if you’re not comfortable with the Diamondbacks offense. Yes, the D-Backs were the best team at hitting the over but that’s also in large part because opposing teams were scoring 5.51 runs per game off them. That was the second-highest average in the league. When it comes to runs scored, the D-Backs were at 4.1, which ranked 24th. This lineup is mostly the same from last season and you’ll be hard-pressed to name the entire starting nine off the top of your head.
Splits to Start
Pitchers vs. Left-Handed Batters
Worst vs. LHB, FIP, wOBA
Tylor Megill, 6.60, .418
JT Brubaker, 5.34, .353
Madison Bumgarner, 5.08, .304
Best vs. LHB, wOBA, FIP
Tyler Mahle, 2.70, .257
Patrick Corbin, 2.78, .268
Shane Bieber, 3.13, .330
Pitchers vs. Right-Handed Batters
Worst vs. RHB, FIP, wOBA
Patrick Corbin, 6.22, .387
Zack Greinke, 5.25, .351
Tyler Mahle, 4.99, .357
Best vs. RHB, wOBA, FIP
Shohei Ohtani, 2.43, .245
Shane Bieber, 2.93, .257
Tylor Megill, 3,24, .250
Pitcher to Build Around
Shane Bieber, Cleveland Guardians at Kansas City Royals, $8,300 - I think we forget just how good Bieber is. An injury-plagued season held him to just 16 starts last season but he still put together a solid line. Through 96 2⁄3 innings, Bieber had a 3.03 FIP, a 12.4 K/9, a 3.07 BB/9 and a 1.02 HR/9. His stuff remains nasty as well, with a swing-and-miss rate of 17.4% last season. Thursday, he takes on a Royals team who’ll be exciting but not overly competitive. While they’re tough to strikeout, they posted just a .298 wOBA, a .145 ISO and a 86 wRC+ against righties. Of the 16 starts he made last season, he did face this club three times and produced a 3.17 FIP, a 12.9 K/9, and a .328 wOBA against them through at 15 1⁄3 innings.
Stud Hitter to Pay For
Pete Alonso, New York Mets at Washington Nationals, $4,800 — I love this spot for Alonso against a very, very hittable Patrick Corbin ($6,700). This says a lot about the state of the Nationals rotation when someone like Corbin is your number one option. Corbin was nothing short of abysmal last season, especially at home. Opposing righties at Nationals Park tagged him for a .401 wOBA, 17 of the 37 home runs he allowed, and 17 of the 32 doubles. Corbin’s overall FIP against righties sat at 6.22 on the season, which made him a prime choice to stack against. Alonso could easily get off to a quick start on Opening Day.
Save Big by Drafting
Wil Myers, San Diego Padres at Arizona Diamondbacks, $3,400 — This is a very cheap price tag for someone who has historically hit lefties very well. Who better to hit against than Bumgarner?! It was very evident that once Bumgarner was no longer in San Francisco that he would miss those big, cozy ballparks. That translated to a 4.47 FIP, a 1.36 HR/9 at home last season. Myers didn’t produce the pop we’ve seen in his bat before this is someone who in his career has a .195 ISO against lefties. In what’s expected to be the highest-scoring game on the slate, a cheap part of the Padres lineup feels necessary.
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