Thursday is a fairly quiet night of baseball with only six games taking place, starting at 7:05 p.m. ET. Let’s get you ready from all angles of this slate, from both a betting and daily fantasy scope.
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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.
Framber Valdez, $9,900, Houston Astros (-240) vs. Minnesota Twins (+195) — It’s actually quite crazy, almost every favorite on this small slate, as of this morning, is -200 or more. The Yankees (-235), Reds (-235) White Sox (-200) and of course, Astros, make up four of the six games. The Astros have been one of the best teams in the league when favored, going 53-32 (62.4%) and 31-17 (64.6%) as home favorites. They also rarely lose when Valdez is taking the hill, going a very impressive 9-3 in his starts. Even better, the Astros went 5-1 in his starts during the month of July.
This will be the second time Valdez has faced the Twins this season as he went seven innings allowing one run on five hits with only two strikeouts for 17 DKFP. The lack of strikeouts was a bit odd, as he’s recorded at least four in every other start but this one. Valdez is striking out just under a batter an inning with an 8.2 K/9 but this Twins team isn’t usually target against for that, This roster has a combined 22.7% K%, which ranks them 22nd in the league. With that in mind, I’m not crazy about using Valdez as my SP1, especially with him being the most expensive. I’ll be looking elsewhere.
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Highest Projected Total
Seattle Mariners (+190; 3.5 runs) at New York Yankees (-235; 5.5 runs) 9.5 runs — Almost every game on this slate has an over/under of 9.5 runs, this one had the most juice on the over (if you can call it that) at -115. The Mariners have been one of the better teams hitting the over, going 56-50-3 (52.8%) while the Yankees are at 46-59-2 (43.8%), which is the second worst in the league. When the Mariners are on the road, they have one of the best over records at 32-20-1 (61.5%) while the Yankees are just 25-26-2 (49%) as the home team.
The Yankees are one of five teams with a projected team total of 5.5 runs on this slate. Of those teams, the over is set at -125, which is the highest amongst them. They’ll be facing Tyler Anderson ($7,700), who’ll be making his second start in a Mariners uniform. The Yankees are not a team you want to face being a lefty, as they have a team .346 wOBA, a .184 ISO and a 120 wRC+. Anderson has essentially pitched as advertised, with a 4.39 ERA backed up by a 4.29 FIP. I do like them to go over the 5.5 runs tonight, as the Mariners bullpen, which is supposed to be their strength, has been getting hammered as of late. Over the past week they have a 5.13 FIP and a 2.6 HR/9 through 17 1/3 innings. I don’t see Anderson and his 41% fly ball rate escaping Yankee Stadium unscathed, making that 5.5 team total looking like an over to me.
No weather concerns tonight!
Splits to Start
Pitchers vs. Left-Handed Batters
Worst vs. LHB, wOBA, FIP
Dallas Keuchel, .357, 4.80
Triston McKenzie, .344, 4.89
Wade LeBlanc, .325, 4.86
Best vs. LHB, wOBA, FIP
Tyler Anderson, .216, 2.83
Griffin Jax, .237, 4.35
Sonny Gray, .284, 2.97
Pitchers vs. Right-Handed Batters
Worst vs. RHB, wOBA, FIP
Griffin Jax, .398, 7.44
Wil Crowe, .392, 6.32
Daniel Lynch, .385, 4.34
Best vs. RHB, wOBA, FIP
Nestor Cortes, .205, 2.12
Framber Valdez, .302, 4.39
Triston McKenzie, .318, 6.50
Pitcher to Build Around
Sonny Gray, Cincinnati Reds vs. Pittsburgh Pirates, $9,300 — Despite so many huge favorites on this slate, it’s hard to come by a solid SP1 for DFS. Gray is looking like the man I’ll be taking tonight, despite being in a matchup that doesn’t have a ton of strikeout upside. The Pirates only have a team 22.3% K% against righties, which ranks them 23rd in the league. With that said, the overall offense numbers they have are just brutal with a .290 wOBA, a .135 ISO and an 81 wRC+. When Gray faced them earlier this season, he struck out five and allowed just one run through 4 2/3 innings. The blemish here was the seven hits allowed but he still ended with a 2.31 FIP.
Stud Hitter to Pay For
Aaron Judge, New York Yankees vs. Seattle Mariners, $5,300 —Judge doesn’t just like hitting against lefties, he likes hitting against lefties at home. That’s what he’ll get tonight against Anderson, who has a .342 wOBA, a 4.83 FIP and a 1.8 HR/9 against righties. As for Judge, all he has is a .423 wOBA, a .262 ISO and a 173 wRC+ against lefties. When he’s at home, the numbers stay on track with a .388 wOBA, a .250 ISO and a 150 wRC+. With Anderson struggling with home runs, Judge is in a fine spot. Plus, he’s also very tall.
Save Big by Drafting
Michael Brantley, Houston Astros vs. Minnesota Twins, $3,100 — I don’t know what DraftKings has against Brantley, because he’s constantly underpriced. I’m sure he’s a nice guy and he hits well. So I’ll happily take whatever disgruntled reasoning it is and roll with it. Brantley will be against Griffin Jax ($5,800). We haven’t seen Jax throw much but his numbers are atrocious across the board, sporting an overall 6.17 FIP and a 4.35 FIP against lefties. Brantley has been hitting very well in the second half, posting a .428 wOBA, a .182 ISO and a 181 wRC+ thus far. He’s simply too cheap for hitting at the top of the Astros lineup.
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