People are happy on Friday’s. I’m happy on Friday. Let’s get to this slate.
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.
Gerrit Cole, $10,500, New York Yankees (-380) at Detroit Tigers (+290) — Cole is the massive favorite on a night where we have a huge number of stud pitchers taking the mound. Even with Shane Bieber ($10,700) and Yu Darvish ($9,500) both taking the mound, the matchup for Cole against the Tigers is one of those dream spots. This is one of the worst overall offenses in the league and enter this game with a .285 wOBA, a .168 ISO, an 84 wRC+ and a 27.7% K%, which is the third highest in the league. With Cole boasting a 42% K% on the season, the upside for strikeouts in this matchup is massive.
The Tigers have been one of the worst teams against the fastball thus far, ranked 29th. Cole has thrown that pitch 47% of the time while mixing in a slider, curveball and changeup. As you’d imagine, the Tigers are exactly performing well against any of these pitches, which is just another notch on the belt for Cole. I truly am finding a hard time looking for any reason to not play Cole other than ownership, which doesn’t bother me in the least. As the second most expensive arm on this slate, I’m making sure I can get him in where I can.
Other notable favorite: Yu Darvish ($9,500; -190) vs. San Francisco Giants
Highest Projected Total
Atlanta Braves (EV; 4.5 runs) at Toronto Blue Jays (-120; 4.5 runs) 10 runs — Alright, we need to have a chat about this game. Grab a chair. Feel free to take a muffin from our complimentary breakfast table over there. Let’s talk.
This is the only game with a double-digit total on the slate and naturally, maybe unfortunately, I like one of the pitchers in this game and it’s that god damn Robbie Ray ($6,600). I know, you’re probably disgusted with me and don’t want to read anymore and I’m at peace with that. But, if you’re curious, we can talk about that too.
It’s not going to stay like this, but the Braves are statistically one of the worst offenses in the league against lefties. Entering this game, they have a wRC+ of 38. Literally, 38. That goes along with a .223 wOBA, a .136 ISO and a 31.6% K%. Not a lot to like here, right? Ray, to his credit, has limited the damage in his three starts. His FIP is concerning at 5.34 and the walks are always in issue so this doesn’t come with some risk. With that said, the strikeout upside is high, as that’s always been one of the few positives we can say about Ray. I’m not excited to play him but I think he makes for an excellent tournament option. As far as this total, I would consider taking the under on the game total but it would be a small play. Until I start seeing this Braves team hit lefties, I think it’s a team to fade until then.
Set your DraftKings fantasy baseball lineups here: MLB $200K Extra Innings [$50K to 1st]
Detroit Tigers at New York Yankees - 20mph winds blowing out toward right field.
Miami Marlins at Washington Nationals - 19mph winds going all over the place.
Chicago Cubs at Cincinnati Reds - 14mph winds blowing out toward right field.
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
Jon Gray, .343, 6.32
Chris Flexen, .339, 6.78
Pablo Lopez, .314, 6.57
Best vs. LHB, wOBA, FIP
Gerrit Cole, .145, -0.29
Marcus Stroman, .275, 4.23
Yu Darvish, .277, 4.05
Pitchers vs. Right-Handed Batters
Worst vs. RHB, wOBA, FIP
Tarik Skubal, .411, 9.01
Kohei Arihara, .381, 4.76
Drew Smyly, .347, 5.90
Best vs. RHB, wOBA, FIP
Jon Gray, .184, 2.34
Shane Bieber, .189, 2.35
Marcus Stroman, .200, 2.01
Pitcher to Build Around
Yu Darvish, San Diego Padres vs. San Francisco Giants, $9,500 — We talked quite extensively about Cole earlier but I wanted to throw out another name for tonight. Darvish is also in a great matchup against the Giants, who started off the season hot offensively but have cooled a bit. Against righties, they have a .297 wOBA, a .163 ISO and a 93 wRC+. The attractive number is the 27.7% K%, which is one of the highest in the league. I love that Darvish is $1,000 less then Cole because it does allow some savings while still giving you the high strikeout upside we yearn for.
Stud Hitter to Pay For
Franmil Reyes, Cleveland Indians vs. Chicago White Sox, $4,700 — My man Reyes is just a left-handed pitching slayer. Here’s hoping he does more of that tonight against Dallas Keuchel ($6,500) who gives up a ton of contact. With just 12 strikeouts through 25 innings, Keuchel is going to hope that a tough team like the Indians against lefties will hit a ton of groundballs in this game. Unfortunately for him, guys like Reyes are crushing lefties to the tune of a .373 wOBA, a .290 ISO and a 145 wRC+.
Save Big by Drafting
Nico Hoerner, Chicago Cubs at Cincinnati Reds, $3,200 — I’m going to continue to use Hoerner until his salary goes up. He’s one of the Cubs top prospects so naturally, the kept him off the main roster for as long as possible until they were forced to call him up. He’s hit in a few different spots in the order but he’s so cheap it almost doesn’t matter at this point. He hasn’t hit for a ton of power in the majors but does have a .421 wOBA and a 167 wRC+ against lefties thus far. The wind will be a factor in the hitter-friendly Great American Ball Park so this is a very low risk play while saving you some salary.
Refer a friend and get $20 DK Dollars! Head to the DraftKings Playbook Promo page for more details!
For sports betting, head over to DraftKings Sportsbook or download the DraftKings Sportsbook app.
Major League Baseball trademarks and copyrights are used with permission of the applicable MLB entity. All rights reserved.
All views expressed are my own. I am an employee of DraftKings and am ineligible to play in public DFS or DKSB contests.
If you or someone you know has a gambling problem, crisis counseling and referral services can be accessed by calling 1-800-GAMBLER (1-800-426-2537) (IL).
Gambling problem? Call 1-800-GAMBLER (NJ/WV/PA/MI), 1-800-9-WITH-IT (IN), 1-800-522-4700 (NH/CO), 1-800-BETS OFF(IA), 1-888-532-3500 (VA) or call/text TN REDLINE 1-800-889-9789 (TN).
21+ (18+ NH). CO/IL/IN/IA/NH/NJ/PA/TN/VA/WV/MI only. Eligibility restrictions apply. See draftkings.com/sportsbook for full terms and conditions.