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MLB Cheat Sheet: DraftKings Fantasy Baseball DFS Picks, Predictions, Betting Odds for September 1

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

The final month of the MLB regular season has arrived. A number of divisional and wild card races are extremely tight, so we’re in for quite a ride to end the season. Let’s take a look at what Wednesday brings with an 11-game slate starting at 7:05 p.m. ET.

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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.

Carlos Rodon, $10,100, Chicago White Sox (-350) vs. Pittsburgh Pirates (+270) — If you thought the White Sox were big favorites last night, they’re even bigger tonight against the Pirates. The White Sox came away with the victory last night as -335 favorites and Lucas Giolito on the mound, although it wasn’t all that easy. They took a 4-2 lead in the sixth and were able to hang on but it was a little too close for comfort for any moneyline backers. Tonight, the Pirates have to deal with Rodon, who was recently activated off the injured list due to shoulder fatigue. He only made two starts last month against the Blue Jays and Cubs and allowed only two runs on seven hits with 14 strikeouts. It coincides with the stellar year he’s had on the mound, producing an overall 2.43 ERA, a 2.70 FIP, a 12.7 K/9 and a 2.4 BB/9.

The Pirates are hardly a team to fear against lefties, posting a .285 wOBA, a .141 ISO and a 77 wRC+ against them. As you’d imagine, all of those numbers are amongst the worst in the league. They also have to try and defeat Rodon at home, where he’s thrown his best baseball. I mean, this guy has flat out dominated at Guaranteed Rate Field, where he has a 2.11 FIP, a 0.55 HR/9 and a total of just 14 runs allowed through 48 2/3 innings. Backing Rodon at -350 is not all that profitable but the White Sox are -150 on the run line at -1.5.

Highest Projected Total

Baltimore Orioles (+205; 3.5 runs) at Toronto Blue Jays (-255; 5.5 runs) 10 runs — Just like last night, these two teams are involved in the highest projected total of the night, this time at 10 runs. They didn’t hit the over last night, surprisingly, scoring a combined six runs while the over/under was at 9.5. As mentioned yesterday, the Blue Jays remain one of the worst teams in the league at hitting the over, doing so in just 45.2% of their games. The Orioles are the complete opposite and LOVE hitting overs (shoutout to their bullpen) and do so in 53.5% of their games. While we were confident about the over last night, I can firmly say I like it a lot tonight as well.

Matt Harvey ($5,600) is the most glaring reason for the over (and the over 5.5 runs for the Blue Jays). This will be the fourth time he’s faced them and he’s been wrecked by them in a short amount of time. The Jays have tagged him with 13 runs on 24 hits in just 13 23 innings this season, giving him a 4.62 FIP in the process. He’s also coming off one of his worst months of the season, as he was tagged for 17 runs on 27 hits in just 25 innings. With one of the leagues worst bullpens behind him, the Blue Jays should tee off in this start.

Steven Matz ($8,300) will be going for the Blue Jays, making his second start against the Orioles. They also hit him hard for four runs (three earned) on six hits in four innings of work. While Matz has done an excellent job at limiting the damage lately, his 1.30 ERA is almost two runs lower than his 3.05 FIP in August. Those aren’t bad numbers by any means but when facing one of the better offenses against lefties in the Orioles, something may give here tonight.

Weather Notes

No weather concerns!

Splits to Start

Pitchers vs. Left-Handed Batters

Worst vs. LHB, wOBA, FIP
James Kaprielian, .367, 5.79
Matt Harvey, .321, 4.66
Steven Matz, .316, 2.95

Best vs. LHB, wOBA, FIP
Max Scherzer, .260, 3.37
Carlos Rodon, .267, 1.55
Kevin Gausman, .269, 3.01

Pitchers vs. Right-Handed Batters

Worst vs. RHB, wOBA, FIP
Logan Allen, .374, 7.37
Matt Harvey, .373, 4.48
Paolo Espino, .343, 6.05

Best vs. RHB, wOBA, FIP
Gerrit Cole, .231, 2.43
Kevin Gausman, .233, 2.87
James Kaprielian, .240, 3.10

Lineup Starters

Pitcher to Build Around

Chris Sale, Boston Red Sox at Tampa Bay Rays, $10,400 — Chris Sale is a competitor. If baseball did entrances like WWE, Sale would come out like Bill Goldberg after banging his head off the door nine times. That mentality is good when the Red Sox need to win essentially every game in the month of September while dealing with a COVID outbreak. All that aside, his matchup against the Rays brings some really solid upside.

The Rays have the fifth-highest K% in the league against lefties at 24.4%. Now they face Sale, who has already logged 21 strikeouts through 15 13 innings in three starts. That gives him a 12.3 K/9 to go with a 15.4% swing-and-miss rate. Sale is going to be on the mound, angry and looking to right the ship for the suddenly sinking Sox. While his rising salary is getting a bit expensive, Sale has some of the best strikeout upside on this slate amongst the top priced pitchers.

Stud Hitter to Pay For

Jose Ramirez, Cleveland Indians at Kansas City Royals, $5,200 — You may not have noticed but Ramirez has been a fantasy STUD for the better part of the last two weeks. I mean, he always is but more than usual lately. Over his last 10 games, he’s averaging a massive 14.5 DKFP with four home runs, two doubles, nine RBI and five stolen bases. Now he gets a great matchup against Jackson Kowar ($5,200) who is getting the call up to pitch for the Royals. He’s only thrown five innings in the majors this season but was tagged for 10 runs on 11 hits and an 8.56 FIP. Ramirez enters this game with a .372 wOBA, a .312 ISO and a 135 wRC+ against righties and should be worth the price of admission in this matchup.

Save Big by Drafting

Austin Hays, Baltimore Orioles at Toronto Blue Jays $3,100 — We are always taking Hays when he’s facing a lefty. The man simply smashes southpaws and it also puts him in a prime spot in the lineup. He’s bounced around the lineup against lefties but he’s usually either second or fifth when the matchup occurs. He’s responded with a .374 wOBA, a .274 ISO and a 140 wRC+. The majority of his power comes against lefties with 10 of his 19 doubles and eight of his 14 home runs. He’s too cheap for how well he performs in this matchup.

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