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MLB Cheat Sheet: DraftKings Fantasy Baseball DFS Picks, Predictions, Betting Odds for August 26

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

Thursday night usually features a fairly small slate but tonight we are #blessed to see nine games on the slate. That’s good enough for me. Let’s chat about it.

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.

Chris Sale, $10,200, Boston Red Sox (-320) vs. Minnesota Twins (+250) — It’s only the third start for Sale since coming back from Tommy John Surgery but that didn’t stop DraftKings Sportsbook from making him a massive favorite. Sale has looked fantastic in his 10 innings thus far, striking out 13 while allowing two runs on 11 hits and walking one. Tonight he faces the Twins, who are not nearly the threat they once were against lefties after trading away some of their best bats. They currently have a .307 wOBA with a .167 ISO and a 94 wRC+. They strikeout a ton as well with a 24% K%, which is the ninth-highest mark in the league. The Red Sox have won both games that Sale has started, giving him plenty of run support as well, averaging 11 runs in them. Obviously, that is unsustainable but it’s part of the little data we have on Sale right now. The Twins lineup doesn’t have many at-bats logged against Sale with the exception of Josh Donaldson, who has hit him well. He’s 10-for-33 against him with five of those hits going for home runs. It’s quite remarkable. Aside from that, no one has been much of a threat against the Red Sox ace.

You’re certainly not going to be excited to back the Red Sox on a massive -320 moneyline but they are -160 on the -1.5 run line. At home, the Red Sox are 32-33 on the run line, which doesn’t look great but it actually the 11th best record in the league. At the least, this line is much more doable than the massive moneyline.

Highest Projected Total

Minnesota Twins (+250; 4.5 runs) at Boston Red Sox(-320; 5.5 runs) 10 runs — This game ALSO has the highest projected total, which is a bit surprising to see figuring that Sale is the biggest favorite. The Red Sox have not been a good team at hitting the over going 57-68-3 while the Twins remain the best in the league at 73-47-6. Unless you know something that I don’t, you’re not necessarily taking the over because Sale is pitching. You would be looking for the majority of the offense coming from the Red Sox going up against John Gant ($5,500). He was picked up by the Twins in a trade that involved J.A. Happ, which was essentially a swap of pitchers having horrible seasons. Since joining the Twins, Gant seems to be a victim of some bad luck, as his 6.00 ERA is nowhere close to his 2.17 FIP. This is only over a span of 12 innings so these numbers will move drastically. If you’re looking for a much larger sample, his 3.77 ERA is accompanied by a 4.73 FIP. Walks are the biggest issue with Gant, who owns a putrid 6.01 BB/9. Overall, I’m not looking to take the over in this game that involves Sale. Sure, the Twins bullpen has been a mess but if that’s the case, I’d be more interested in the Red Sox team total over the game total.

Weather Notes

No weather concerns!.

Splits to Start

Pitchers vs. Left-Handed Batters

Worst vs. LHB, wOBA, FIP
Mitch Keller, .414, 4.43
Brad Keller, .353, 4.12
James Kaprielian, .352, 5.46

Best vs. LHB, wOBA, FIP
Yusei Kikuchi, .187, 3.42
Max Scherzer, .258, 3.37
Patrick Corbin, .271, 2.92

Pitchers vs. Right-Handed Batters

Worst vs. RHB, wOBA, FIP
Sam Hentges, .421, 5.20
Jordan Lyles, .376, 5.57
Patrick Corbin, .373, 6.15

Best vs. RHB, wOBA, FIP
James Kaprielian, .236, 2.98
Max Scherzer, .265, 3.39
John Gant, .304, 4.04

Lineup Starters

Pitcher to Build Around

Alex Wood, San Francisco Giants at New York Mets, $8,700 — We have some really strong pitching options to choose from tonight but I’m going down the board at bit. Wood is probably not someone that jumped out at you as your SP1 but the matchup tells a different story. He faces the crumbling Mets, who against lefties have just a .312 wOBA, a .141 ISO and a 99 wRC+. They also have one of the highest K% in the league against lefties at 24%, which ranks 9th. While Wood has a few mediocre games to his name as of late, he’s been more unlucky than anything, posting no higher than a 3.67 FIP in his last four starts. Throughout the month of August, Wood has a 2.43 FIP with a 10.3 K/9 and a 0.42 HR/9.

Stud Hitter to Pay For

Whit Merrifield, Kansas City Royals at Seattle Mariners, $4,900 — Merrifield has been red hot as of late, averaging 11.8 DKFP with two doubles, a triple, a home run, nine RBI and four steals. He’ll take on Yusei Kikuchi ($7,300), who has been struggling during the month of August. Kikuchi has posted a .411 wOBA with a 7.11 FIP and a 2.5 HR/9 during the month of August. Being a lefty, it’s the prime spot for Merrifield, who has a .344 wOBA and a 117 wRC+ against lefties. The power isn’t always there with Merrifield, but he can rack up the points in a number of different ways.

Save Big by Drafting

Nick Solak, Texas Rangers at Cleveland Indians, $2,200 — Solak was recently called back up to the majors after hitting very well in his recent stint at Triple-A. In his three games since returning, it’s carried over for the time being, going 4-for-14 with a double, two runs scored and an RBI. Tonight he’ll face Sam Hentges ($6,500) who really struggles against righties. Hentges has a .421 wOBA with a 5.19 FIP and seven of the eight total home runs he’s allowed. At the near bare minimum in pricing for Solak, he’s a great salary saver to consider.

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