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MLB Cheat Sheet: DraftKings Fantasy Baseball DFS Picks, Predictions, Betting Odds for April 22

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

If you thought yesterday was a small slate, today is five games, which is one less. 6-1=5.

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.

Walker Buehler, $10,000, Los Angeles Dodgers (-175) vs. San Diego Padres (+150) — The Dodgers are the big favorites on tonight’s slate as they continue to steamroll through the National League. The Padres, meanwhile, are looking flat and are just 3-7 over their last 10 games. Buehler faced the Padres in his last start and wasn’t particularly strong, allowing two runs on seen hits while striking out four through six innings. In fact, it’s fair to say that he’s been lucky the damage against him hasn’t been much worse. He’s allowing a 44% hard-hit rate, only a 17.1% K%, and a 10.5% barrel rate.

As mentioned, the Padres have not looked good as of late and scored a total of three runs in their last series against the Brewers. If they were showing some signs of life offensively, I would have certainly consider backing them as a big underdog. Ryan Weathers ($7,300) has earned a spot in the rotation and looked great against the Dodgers in his last start, going 3 23 innings allowing just one hit and striking out three. The Dodgers have really struggled against lefties to the tune of a .304 wOBA, a .148 ISO, a 24% K% and a 93 wRC+. While this certainly can be a a game with the potential for an under, I’d likely be looking toward under four runs in the first five innings at -105.

Other notable favorite: Nick Pivetta ($7,400; -175) vs. Boston Red Sox


Highest Projected Total

Seattle Mariners (+102; 3.5 runs) at Boston Red Sox (-118; 4.5 runs) 9.5 runs — A high scoring affair is expected in Boston as the future AL West Champions visit Fenway Park for the first time this season. The Red Sox are favored in this one against Justin Dunn ($6,800), who has really struggled with his command thus far. Somehow, he’s walked 10 hitters in 9 23 innings while striking out nine. Seeing something like that doesn’t surprise me that he owns a 5.98 FIP compared to his 3.72 ERA. The Red Sox are willing to take walks with a 9.0% BB% so if Dunn starts to lose his command early, which is common, they’ll have plenty of men on base to knock in.

For the Mariners, they’ll see Nick Pivetta ($7,400) who so far has been a solid get for the Red Sox rotation. He’s made three starts, allowing a total of six runs on 13 hits while striking out 14 through 14 23 innings. The Mariners have decent numbers against righties with a .167 ISO, a .306 wOBA and a 100 wRC+. They’re striking out at a fairly high clip at 26.5% and have one of the lower BB% at 7.7%. One concern is that the Mariners have been a very good hitting team against the slider, ranking 8th in the league. That’s the pitch Pivetta throws the most after his fastball, so that could be something to keep in mind. With that said, the Mariners do rank last against the fastball.


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


Weather Notes

Seattle Mariners at Boston Red Sox - 20mph winds blowing out toward right field.


Splits to Start

These stats will reflect 2020 numbers until May 1st.

Pitchers vs. Left-Handed Batters

Worst vs. LHB, wOBA, FIP
Justin Dunn, .362, 7.31
Alex Cobb, .337, 4.96

Best vs. LHB, wOBA, FIP
Walker Buehler, .240, 3.40
Trevor Williams, .325, 4.72


Pitchers vs. Right-Handed Batters

Worst vs. RHB, wOBA, FIP
Trevor Williams, .453, 8.57
Alex Cobb, .305, 4.81

Best vs. RHB, wOBA, FIP
Cristian Javier, .208, 4.34
Justin Dunn, .278, 5.74


Lineup Starters

Pitcher to Build Around

Alex Cobb, Los Angeles Angels at Houston Astros, $7,700 — I mean is anyone actually excited to play anyone at pitcher on this slate? I don’t have a ton of interest in Buehler despite the Padres struggles because of how expensive he is. $10K is quite a lot to pay for someone that hasn’t struck out more than four batters in a game and is giving up a ton of hard contact. So somehow, someway, I’ve landed on Cobb.

It’s no secret the Astros have gone through a tough stretch with all the health and protocol issues. They’ve gotten almost all of their guys back but it doesn’t take away from the fact that the offense has been downright terrible. Against righties they have just a .281 wOBA a .152 ISO and an 85 wRC+. They aren’t striking out much with just a 20.7% K%, but the Padres are even lower at 20.1% and Buehler is $2,300 more. At least for Cobb, he’s struck out 17 through just 11 23 innings. Cobb is likely pitching a bit over his head as he’s never been a big strikeout pitcher to begin with but with a 19.1% swing-and-miss rate and a 2.06 FIP through two starts, I’ll take my chances.


Stud Hitter to Pay For

Shohei Ohtani, Los Angeles Angels at Houston Astros, $5,100 — Lefties and Cristian Javier ($9,600) don’t mix well. Unless, of course, you’re the lefty. He’s struggled in his short time up in the majors in these matchups, posting a career .317 wOBA with a 5.09 FIP and seven of the 11 home runs he’s allowed. Now he has to deal with Ohtani, who continues to rip the cover off the ball against righties with a .463 wOBA, a .366 ISO and a 206 wRC+. Ohtani hit another bomb last night, giving him five on the season while knocking in 13. This is a great matchup for him and one I’ll be going out of my way to target.


Save Big by Drafting

Kyle Lewis, Seattle Mariners at Boston Red Sox $3,100 — I’m looking to to take advantage of an extremely cheap Lewis in what is expected to be one of the highest scoring games of the slate. Lewis has only game under his belt but the Mariners immediately got him back in a prime spot in the lineup as he hit second. Last season against righties, .349 wOBA with a .155 ISO and a 125 wRC+. The reigning American League Rookie of the Year would never be this cheap had it not been for his late start.


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