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MLB Cheat Sheet: DraftKings Fantasy Baseball DFS Picks, Predictions, Betting Odds for June 17

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

After a couple of full slates, we drop down to eight games Thursday night. Let’s sit down, have a chat and discuss tonight’s 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.

Shohei Ohtani, $8,100, Los Angeles Angels (-200) vs. Detroit Tigers (+170) — The man who has the second-best odds for American League MVP (+165) is set to take the mound for the 10th time this season. He’ll face a Tigers team that continue to strikeout a ton, posting a 26.1% K% over the past week (5th) and a league-leading 27% against righties overall. Ohtani has been fantastic at generating swings-and-misses at 14.3%, which is a big reason he has a 12.9 K/9 on the year. His fastball is his main pitch, averaging 95.5 mph and throws it 55.4% of the time followed by a split finger at 21%. The Tigers are not a strong team against either pitch, which combined with the strikeout upside, should put Ohtani is a great spot.

The only downfall with Ohtani has been his command. He has a 5.3 BB/9, which amongst pitcher with at least 40 innings pitched is the seventh-highest number in the league. The Tigers aren’t exactly a patient team with an 8.1% BB% against righties (21st) but it’s a well known way to exploit Ohtani. Nonetheless, I would count on him to rack up the strikeouts like he has, with at least seven in eight of his 10 starts.

Other notable favorite: Charlie Morton ($7,200; -190) vs. St. Louis Cardinals

Highest Projected Total

New York Yankees (-115; 5.5 runs) at Toronto Blue Jays (-105; 4.5 runs) 10.5 runs — Despite a game at Coors Field tonight, the Yankees at Blue Jays is getting more love on the over at 10.5 runs. A big reason why? Michael King ($6,300) is opposing T.J. Zeuch ($6,200). Neither team has been overly successful at hitting the over, with the Yankees at 28-38-1 and the Blue Jays at 30-34-2.

The Yankees are one of three teams that have a projected team total of 5.5 runs. The over is currently at -105 but the matchup is a good one. Zeuch has only pitched four times this season and two of them were against the Yankees. In those games he allowed a total of four runs in seven hits through eight innings. While that doesn’t seem so bad on the surface, his 6.79 FIP, 38.5% hard-hit rate and a .342 wOBA says otherwise. Zeuch also hasn’t been very effective down in the minors, making six starts and posting just a 6.1 K/9, and a 4.38 FIP. The Yankees offense has been extremely inconsistent but combined with the hot hitting Blue Jays, I do like this game to go over the big 10.5 game total.

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

Weather Notes

No weather concerns for tonight!

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, .422, 6.39
Justin Dunn, .350, 6.49
John Gant, .342, 6.35

Best vs. LHB, wOBA, FIP
Wade Miley, .194, 1.96
Brandon Woodruff, .211, 2.39
Jose Urquidy, .218, 2.93

Pitchers vs. Right-Handed Batters

Worst vs. RHB, wOBA, FIP
Jose Urquidy, .347, 5.23
John Gant, .319, 3.77
Michael King, .317, 3.90

Best vs. RHB, wOBA, FIP
Brandon Woodruff, .185, 2.58
Joe Musgrove, .211, 2.33
Shohei Ohtani, .232, 1.66

Lineup Starters

Pitcher to Build Around

Marcus Stroman, New York Mets vs. Chicago Cubs $8,600 — I’ll admit, I’m not usually one to roster Stroman on a normal basis. His lack of strikeouts really limits his upside so I would always gloss over him. HOWEVER, things have changed and I’m a coward and changing my stance, at least for now.

Stroman has been pitching on a different level lately. Over his last five starts, he’s been downright un-hittable. Over that span, which includes two starts against one of the toughest teams to strikeout in the Padres, Stroman has a 9.3 K/9, a 2.71 FIP and a 56.1% ground ball rate. Now he faces a Cubs team that DOES strikeout a lot with the sixth-highest K% against righties in the league at 25.7%. If Stroman can continue this level of pitching, he should be able to handle this Cubs lineup at home tonight.

Stud Hitter to Pay For

Jared Walsh, Los Angeles Angels vs Detroit Tigers, $5,000 — When we talk about some of the bigger surprises of the season thus far, Walsh, for whatever reason, doesn’t usually come up. He’s been putting together a really solid campaign thus far and boasts 15 home runs on the season. Tonight, he faces the Tigers top pitching prospect in Matt Manning ($4,700), who has looked like the complete opposite in Triple-A this season. Manning has been torched for 29 runs on 40 hits through 29 13 innings, posting a 6.54 FIP to boot. He has big strikeout upside but for a rookie making his debut, I can’t say I have much faith. As for Walsh, he has a .426 wOBA, a .284 ISO and 5 of his 15 HR against righties at home in 2021.

Save Big by Drafting

Abraham Almonte, Atlanta Braves vs.St. Louis Cardinals, $2,200 — This is such a low salary for someone that has been hitting the ball well in a good offense. Almonte has averaged 8.5 DKFP over his last 10 games which includes six extra base hits and four RBI. Now he faces John Gant ($7,500) who really struggles against lefties to the tune of a .342 wOBA, a a 6.35 FIP. Almonte doesn’t need to do much to pay off this minuscule salary and his continuous favorable spot in the lineup doesn’t hurt either.

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