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MLB Cheat Sheet: DraftKings Fantasy Baseball DFS Picks, Predictions, Betting Odds for August 31

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

It’s amazing to see that we’re on the cusp on September, which will be the final full month of regular season baseball. Tonight features a 14-game slate starting at 7:05 p.m. ET. Let’s get into it.

Follow me on Twitter or you’re not allowed to read this article. @SBuchanan24

Editor’s Note: Red Sox RP Brad Peacock will start tonight’s game vs. the Rays.

DraftKings Sportsbook Game Notes

Biggest Moneyline Favorite

Note: This section highlights the pitcher whose team is the largest favorite on DraftKings Sportsbook.

Lucas Giolito, $8,800, Chicago White Sox (-335) vs. Pittsburgh Pirates (+260) — Not sure if anyone NEEDS to see a Pirates-White Sox series but hey, here we are. Give them credit, they’re 6-4 over their last 10 games and above .500 in interleague games, going 8-7 this season. This is the second matchup against the White Sox where they split the series 1-1. Tonight, Lucas Giolito ($8,800) will be taking the mound for the home team while the Pirates counter with Bryse Wilson ($6,100) who is coming off an impressive start against the Diamondbacks, shutting them out through five innings with seven strikeouts.

As you’d imagine, the White Sox are massive home favorites, a scenario they’ve gone 39-20 this season (66.1%) for the sixth-best mark in the league. The only blemish has been the White Sox inability to consistently put up wins when Giolito takes the mound. The team has gone 12-13 in games he’s started, including 2-3 in August. It’s really no fault of Giolito, who has allowed two runs or less in seven of his last 10 starts. The bullpen has failed him immensely in the majority of those instances. That being said, the White Sox are -1 on the run line through the first five innings at a much more affordable -150, compared to the -280 moneyline through the first five. Overall, the White Sox have been one of the better teams on the runline going 68-64 (51.5%) and 54-49 (52.4%) as favorites. That is where I’d be looking to take on this game from a betting perspective.

Highest Projected Total

Baltimore Orioles (+250; 3.5 runs) at Toronto Blue Jays (-320; 5.5 runs) 9.5 runs — The Blue Jays are also massive favorites on this slate but they’re involved in one of the highest projected totals of the night. With -115 on the over 9.5 run side, this is a game that’ll draw some attention when building DFS lineups. The Blue Jays are one of four teams with a 5.5 team total, which as of this morning had a -135 line on the over. Overall, the Blue Jays have been one of the worst teams in the league hitting the over on the game total, doing so in just 45.6% of the game. Meanwhile, the Orioles are one of the best (with the amount of runs they allow) at 54%.

When a team is facing the Orioles, it’s hard to justify taking the under on a team total, even when it’s 5.5 runs. The Blue Jays went over with ease last night, posting seven runs in a 7-3 win. The floodgates were opened against their bullpen, which has been a common occurrence. This Orioles bullpen in the month of August has a 5.97 FIP (1st), a 1.9 HR/9 (2nd) and a 4.9 BB/9 (2nd). In total, they’ve allowed earned runs 95 runs in August, which leads the league by 13. Making things even worse for them is Keegan Akin ($5,500) taking the mound to start this game. The Blue Jays already roughed him up for six runs on seven hits through just 4 13 innings in a prior start this season. I really may just bet the over every night against the Orioles and see what the outcome ends up being. It’s honestly insane how bad this staff is. Take the over and don’t even think twice about it.

Weather Notes

Philadelphia Phillies @ Washington Nationals - This looks to be the only reason concern on the evening with rain getting heavy as the night goes on. This looks as if it will be a stay away spot for me, as they’ll likely start the game but may not finish. I don’t want to be caught with one of these guys in my lineup for a game that may not even count.

Splits to Start

Pitchers vs. Left-Handed Batters

Worst vs. LHB, wOBA, FIP
Keegan Akin, .370, 4.37
Jordan Lyles, .355, 5.66
Trevor Williams, .348, 4.39

Best vs. LHB, wOBA, FIP
Yusei Kikuchi, .189, 3.43
Brandon Woodruff, .218, 2.49
Blake Snell, .226, 2.07

Pitchers vs. Right-Handed Batters

Worst vs. RHB, wOBA, FIP
Keegan Akin, .381, 5.31
Jordan Lyles, .378, 5.62
Patrick Corbin, .378, 6.32

Best vs. RHB, wOBA, FIP
Walker Buehler, .225, 2.98
Lance McCullers Jr, .258, 3.03
Brandon Woodruff, .264, 3.40

Lineup Starters

Pitcher to Build Around

Blake Snell, San Diego Padres at Arizona Diamondbacks, $7,700 — I hate that I really like Blake Snell tonight but I also can’t not like Blake Snell tonight. Great sentence, right?

It’s hard to ignore a pitcher who is only $7,700, has faced a team three times (16 23 innings) this season and has a ridiculous 14.6 K/9 against them. Snell was dominated this Diamondbacks team, holding them to two runs on 12 hits and 27 strikeouts. The walks could come down a bit, as he’s issued seven free passes but I can overlook that if he racks up the strikeouts. Snell is averaging 26.7 DKFP against this team and the advanced numbers back it up. His 1.96 FIP with a 1.08 ERA says it all. Ironically, the Diamondbacks have been a good against lefties all season long but for whatever reason, they cannot figure out Snell (depsite almost the entire rest of the league doing so). Take advantage of a deeply discounted Snell and roll him out tonight.

Stud Hitter to Pay For

Bo Bichette, Toronto Blue Jays vs. Baltimore Orioles, $5,300 — After slumping a bit during almost the entire month of August, Bichette has been showing some signs of breaking out lately. He’s currently riding a five-game hitting streak where he’s gone 8-for-23 with a double, three RBI and 11.2 DKFP. Now he has the benefit of facing the Orioles and specifically Keegan Akin. Against lefties this season, Bichette has a .373 wOBA, a .174 ISO and a 136 wRC+. Then the bullpen will come in and who cares what they throw, opposing hitters are crushing them. Look for Bo to continue that hitting streak tonight.

Save Big by Drafting

Nick Solak, Texas Rangers vs. Colorado Rockies, $2,400 — Solak has been a force since being called back up by the Rangers. Since rejoining the team on August 21, Solak is averaging 11.1 DKFP with two home runs, two doubles and seven RBI. Those are some really good numbers for someone that is near the bare minimum in salary. Not to mention his best numbers have come against lefties with a .337 wOBA, a .117 ISO and a 115 wRC+. The power numbers don’t look great but he’s struggled in his time up in the majors prior. If his numbers in the minors are any indication, he’ll be just fine. Grab him tonight for a deep discount.

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