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MLB Cheat Sheet: DraftKings Fantasy Baseball DFS Picks, Predictions, Betting Odds for July 9

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

Lots of game tonight means lots of information to get into. So let’s go do that.

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.

Kenta Maeda, $7,100, Minnesota Twins (-235) vs. Detroit Tigers (+200) — For a starting pitcher that is only $7,100 tonight, Maeda is the biggest favorite on this 14-game slate. He takes on the Tigers, a team he’s faced once already and held them to just two runs on seven hits with six strikeouts for 20.7 DKFP. That was his second start of the season and everything seemed to be going hunky dory with Maeda and the Twins but things seemed to change thereafter. Maeda has struggled with his command at time, seen the ball leave the park more often and his strikeout numbers dip a bit. He’s still striking out over a batter an inning but he’s barely over that mark with a 9.1 K/9. The matchup against the Tigers, of course, will bring the potential for strikeouts as they have a team 26.3% K% against righties, which is the second-highest in the league. It goes with the .308 wOBA and .148 ISO, which is nothing impressive. At this salary, Maeda is very much in play from a daily fantasy perspective. From a betting standpoint, however, starts made by Maeda haven’t been very profitable. The Twins are only 4-9 when he takes the mound this season. Something to consider when making your choices.


Highest Projected Total

Philadelphia Phillies (+110; 5.5 runs) at Boston Red Sox (-127; 5.5 runs) 11 runs — The Phillies will travel to Boston for some interleague action in what is projected to be the highest total of the night at 11 runs. Vince Velasquez ($6,500) will take on Garrett Richards ($8,000), a matchup that certainly screams offense. Velasquez was really solid to begin the year but since we got to June, he has a seen that success tail off. He also hasn’t pitched on the road much lately, as he has just one road start since the beginning of June. This is by far one of the toughest matchups he’s had lately. In his last start, the Padres tagged him for five runs on nine hits through six innings.

The matchup that caught my attention was the Phillies against Richards. This is someone who essentially came out and said he’s not a great pitcher if he can’t use the grip. The results have backed that up, as since the beginning of June, Richards has a .432 wOBA, a 6.45 FIP, a 1.9 HR/9 and a 43% hard-hit rate allowed. Before his last start against the Athletics, Richards allowed at least four runs in four straight starts. The Phillies bats are coming in on a high-note after decimating the Cubs pitching staff, so this could be really bad news for Richards. My only concern here is that the Red Sox bullpen has been excellent, so I’m a bit iffy on the 5.5 team total for the Phillies.

Set your DraftKings fantasy baseball lineups here: MLB $333K Swing for the Fences [$100K 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 Freeland, .438, 7.24
Brad Keller, .380, 4.76
Logan Webb, .366, 4.22

Best vs. LHB, wOBA, FIP
Wade Miley, .213, 2.06
Marco Gonzales, .221, 3.73
Taijuan Walker, .227, 2.94


Pitchers vs. Right-Handed Batters


Worst vs. RHB, wOBA, FIP
Marco Gonzales, .439, 7.20
Kyle Freeland, .393, 5.88
Brad Keller, .390, 5.57

Best vs. RHB, wOBA, FIP
Jake Odorizzi, .215, 3.30
Nestor Cortes, .218, 1.86
Alek Manoah, .227, 3.89


Lineup Starters

Pitcher to Build Around

Cole Irvin, Oakland Athletics at Texas Rangers, $8,800 — This is such a weird and odd slate for pitching. Irvin caught my eye going against the Rangers with their poor offensive numbers against lefties. Coming into this game, they have a team .308 wOBA, a .147 ISO and a 95 wRC+. The 23.5% K% they sport is the 12th highest in the league as well, giving Irvin some decent upside. Irvin isn’t a big strikeout pitcher by any means, but when he did face this Rangers team prior, he struck out four through five innings. Believe me, I’m not doing a great job selling Irvin here but this says more about the pitching options than anything.


Stud Hitter to Pay For

Jose Ramirez, Cleveland Indians vs. Kansas City Royals, $5,100 — Brad Keller ($6,100) is taking the mound for the Royals and that means great things for any opposing team. Tonight, that team is the Indians. This is a great spot for Ramirez against Keller, as he’ll bat from the left side. Against lefties, Keller has a .380 wOBA, a a 4.76 FIP and a 1.3 HR/9. His command also isn’t great against them with a 10.0% BB%. As for Ramirez, he’s been crushing righties, averaging 10.0 DKFP, .367 wOBA, a .315 ISO and 15 of the 18 home runs he has.


Save Big by Drafting

Trevor Larnach, Minnesota Twins vs. Detroit Tigers, $2,800 — Larnach continues to be dirt cheap despite averaging just under 9 DKFP over his last 10 games. Over that span, he’s logged two doubles, two home runs, seven RBI and a stolen base. Tonight he faces off against Matt Manning ($5,000), who against lefties has a .364 wOBA, a a 5.45 FIP and 10 of the 19 runs he’s allowed in his short time pitching this season. Larnach is an easy play for me for someone under $3K and has a .197 ISO against righties.

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