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MLB Cheat Sheet: DraftKings Fantasy Baseball DFS Picks, Predictions, Betting Odds for May 21

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

Friday is back with an impressive 15-game slate. Every team is playing. Why can’t we do this more often?

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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.

Chris Paddack, $8,600, San Diego Padres (-220) vs. Seattle Mariners (+180)— Paddack has been pitching better as of late but I’m still not overly thrilled with backing him as the biggest favorite on this slate. To his credit, he does have a favorable matchup against the Mariners, who are going to win the AL West but are playing possum right now. Against righties, they have just a .290 wOBA, a .160 ISO and a 89 wRC+ against righties which is #notgreat. The issue with Paddack is that he throws a ton of pitches and doesn’t go deep into games. He hasn’t gone more than 5 1/3 innings in his seven starts but is consistently in the 85-90 pitch range. Amazingly, he’s not walking many guys but he runs up the count. The Mariners are decent at generating walks with a BB% of 9.0%, which is tied for 11th in the league.

On such a huge slate for daily fantasy, Paddack is not a a must by any means. If I was betting this game on DraftKings Sportsbook, I would consider taking the under 2.5 runs (-137) through the first three innings. Both Paddack and Chris Flexen ($6,600) have been great the first time through the order.

Other notable favorite: Ian Anderson ($10,500; -195) vs. Pittsburgh Pirates

Highest Projected Total

Arizona Diamondbacks (+123; 4.5 runs) at Colorado Rockies (-143; 5.5 runs) 11 runs — It never feels right to back the Rockies as favorite but to their credit, they enter this game 5-2 on the moneyline as home favorites this season. Hitting the over on the game total at Coors has also been improving lately, as it’s now 13-10-2 on the season. The Diamondbacks have struggled to hit the over on the road, with a 12-15-0 record.

The pitching matchup certainly screams for an over, as Seth Frankoff ($4,600) and German Marquez ($5,700) are set to take the mound. Marquez hasn’t been as bad as if seems with a 3.81 FIP at Coors Field but he’s certainly not someone I’m looking to trust in this one. The month of May specifically have seen some horrid numbers with a .433 wOBA, a 4.71 FIP and a 1.42 HR/9. Frankoff likely isn’t going deep (between the innings he’s thrown prior and performance) which means a healthy dose of the D-Backs bullpen. They continue to be overworked lately (10th IP last seven days) and have a 4.83 FIP, 4.5 BB/9 and only a 7.9 K/9 in that span.

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

Weather Notes


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
Kyle Hendricks, .483, 6.33
Triston McKenzie, .409, 6.94
Kenta Maeda, .400, 5.65

Best vs. LHB, wOBA, FIP
Jordan Montgomery, .146, 1.51
Kyle Gibson, .225, 3.32
Tyler Glasnow, .226, 2.84

Pitchers vs. Right-Handed Batters

Worst vs. RHB, wOBA, FIP
Jose Quintana, .402, 4.75
Chris Paddack, .376, 3.79
Jorge Lopez, .374 5.38

Best vs. RHB, wOBA, FIP
Trevor Bauer, .208, 2.48
Alex Wood, .209, 2.18
Tyler Glasnow, .242, 2.77

Lineup Starters

Pitcher to Build Around

Alex Wood, San Francisco Giants vs. Los Angeles Dodgers, $10,000 — Man. All 30 teams are in action tonight and I’m sitting here writing up Wood. Never would have believed it myself but here we are.

Give credit where it’s due, he’s pitching like the ace of the staff right now. Over the course of six starts, he has a 2.75 FIP, a 21.5% hard-hit rate, a 61.5% ground ball rate, an 8.7 K/9 and a 2.25 BB/9. Holy hell, man. Now he faces a Dodgers team that is banged up and struggling against lefties. This lineup has been featuring Albert Pujols ($2,000) and Yoshi Tsutsugo ($2,000) as of late because of injuries. If we look at the lineup from last night, five of them have an ISO lower than .158 and four with a K% of at least 22.4%. I’m not shying away from using Wood in this game because he’s facing the Dodgers. This is a team that’s banged up and I want to take advantage of that.

Stud Hitter to Pay For

Randy Arozarena, Tampa Bay Rays at Toronto Blue Jays, $5,000 — No one is hotter than Arozarena right now. The man is simply crushing the ball and is averaging 12.8 DKFP over his last 10 games, which includes four home runs, two doubles and 12 RBI. Tonight, he and the Rays will face the lefty Anthony Kay ($5,900) who has already been tagged for 12 runs (11 earned) on 15 hits through just 13 2/3 innings. He’s pitched very sparingly in his major league career so we don’t have a ton of data on him but his career 4.6 BB/9 has been a major issue for him. As for Arozarena, he boasts a a .369 wOBA, a .196 ISO and a 143 wRC+ against lefties this season.

Save Big by Drafting

Max Kepler, Minnesota Twins at Cleveland Indians, $3,500 — Kepler has been struggling so far this season but he’s been showing some signs of life lately. He’s averaging 7.8 DKFP over his last five games that includes a double, a home run and four RBI. I like his matchup tonight against Triston McKenzie ($7,800), who has not figured out lefties since being called up to the majors last season. Since then, he has a .359 wOBA with a 5.62 FIP and six of the 13 home runs he’s allowed. For $3,500, Kepler is worth taking a shot with at such a cheap salary.

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