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MLB Cheat Sheet: DraftKings Fantasy Baseball DFS Picks, Predictions, Betting Odds for September 17

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

Every single team is in action Friday night, which boasts a massive 15-game slate with no weather concerns. Let’s take a look at how to approach tonight’s games from both a betting and daily fantasy perspective.

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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.

Chris Sale, $9,500, Boston Red Sox (-350) vs. Baltimore Orioles (+270) — Sale is being activated off the COVID-19 list to make this start tonight. Everyone is clearly behind him being back to normal as the Red Sox are by far the biggest favorites on the board. He’s made five starts since returning and the Red Sox are 4-1 in those games. This will be the first start Sale has made since September 6th, which was a nightmare for the Sox defensively. Sale did allow 10 hits but of the five runs allowed, only one of them was earned through 3 23 innings. He did strikeout six in the process but still ended with only 11.7 DKFP.

As I’ve said many, many times in this article before, the Orioles are a good hitting club against lefties. They faced Sale once already and were able to get two runs off him on six hits but they did strikeout eight times through five innings. Aside from the last start he’s made, Sale has been pitching as expected and has a 10.8 K/9 with a 2.1 BB/9. His FIP is a bit higher than you’d expect at 3.93 but a $9,500, I’m not overly concerned. This team is also striking out a TON this month, boasting the third-highest K% in the league at 26.6%. That bodes well for Sale, who has struck out at least five in four of his five starts. This is also the cheapest we’ve seen Sale since he returned, surpassing the previous low of $9,600.


Highest Projected Total

Minnesota Twins (+185; 3.5 runs) at Toronto Blue Jays (-225; 5.5 runs) 9.5 runs — We have numerous games with a 9.5 projected total for tonight but this is the one I’m interested the most of them. The Twins are the best team in the league at hitting the over on the game total, doing so in 58.6% of their games. Being on the road isn’t much of an issue for the total either, as they also top the league as the road team hitting the over at 63.2%. The Blue Jays, meanwhile, have no done well in this realm overall, hitting the over in just 54.4% of their games. Even with how well this team is playing in the month of September, the over has gone just 6-6-3 this month.

I really like the over tonight with the projected pitching matchup of Michael Pineda ($5,600) and Hyun-Jin Ryu ($8,600). This seems like a great spot to get the over on the Twins total against Ryu, who has really struggled this season. His 3.82 FIP, while not bad by any means, is almost a run higher than last season. He’s also giving up more home run than usual and his seen his strikeouts drop by an average of two from last season. While the Twins don’t have some of the big bats against lefties like they did to start the season, they still have a very respectable .173 ISO against them.

As for the Blue Jays, this offense has nearly been unstoppable in the month of September. They top the league in basically every offense category this month including runs (120) home runs (37) ISO (.282) and wOBA (.412). Now they’ll face Pineda, with his 4.18 FIP and 1.4 HR/9. He rarely goes deep into games, which means the Blue Jays will get a crack at a bullpen that has a 4.63 FIP in the month of September.


Weather Notes

No weather concerns tonight!


Splits to Start

Pitchers vs. Left-Handed Batters

Worst vs. LHB, wOBA, FIP
Josiah Gray .372, 7.76
Luis Patino, .372, 6.21
Casey Mize, .361, 6.15

Best vs. LHB, wOBA, FIP
Corey Kluber, .220, 1.81
Zack Wheeler, .266, 2.68
Hyun-Jin Ryu .303, 2.93


Pitchers vs. Right-Handed Batters


Worst vs. RHB, wOBA, FIP
Josiah Gray, .384, 6.55
Wil Crowe .403, 6.37
Vince Velasquez, .336, 5.87

Best vs. RHB, wOBA, FIP
Zack Wheeler, .251, 2.65
Logan Webb, .257, 2.68
Walker Buehler, .239, 3.05


Lineup Starters

Pitcher to Build Around

Dylan Cease, Chicago White Sox at Texas Rangers, $9,100 — Friday has a lot of big names at SP but I really like using Cease. He’s coming off a brutal start against the Red Sox in which he was tagged for seven runs on four hits with five walks. Not great, right? People will look at that result and move on. That works great for us because he’s in a much, much softer matchup against the Rangers. Cease brings some really high strikeout upside for someone at only $9,100, as his 12.0 K/9 is one of the highest in the league as a starter. This Rangers team will strikeout and their offense has been hitting for very little power in September with just a .119 ISO. If we can see the Cease that has a 3.66 FIP on the season instead of what was shown the last time out, he could be a very high performer at very little ownership.


Stud Hitter to Pay For

Alex Bregman, Houston Astros vs. Arizona Diamondbacks $4,400 — This spot is usually reserved for a hitter that is expensive on the slate but I break my own rules. The salary for Bregman is laughable and I’m going to fully take advantage of it. At just $4,400, Bregman has been annihilating the ball since returning to the Astros lineup. In fact, over his last 10 games, he’s averaging a ridiculous 12.2 DKFP with three home runs, two doubles and 16 (!) RBI. Those 16 RBI account of 31% of his season total, which is insane. Now he’ll face Madison Bumgarner ($8,400) who has allowed 15 runs and five home runs over his last three starts. Against lefties, Bregman has a .396 wOBA, a .159 ISO and a 158 wRC+ in an injury plagued season.


Save Big by Drafting

Bobby Dalbec, Boston Red Sox vs. Baltimore Orioles, $3,300 — Dalbec is another bat that feels extremely underpriced given how well they’ve been hitting. At just $3,300, Dalbec brings some really strong numbers in the month of September, that includes a .423 wOBA, a .395 ISO and a 168 wRC+. He’s hit four home runs, three doubles and a triple this month, which is shaping up to be one of his best this season. Tonight he gets a fantastic matchup against Keegan Akin ($5,100) who has a 5.40 FIP, a 1.5 HR/9 and a 4.2 BB/9 in the second-half of the season.


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All views expressed are my own. I am an employee of DraftKings and am ineligible to play in public DFS or DKSB contests.

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