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MLB Cheat Sheet: DraftKings Fantasy Baseball DFS Picks, Predictions, Betting Odds for September 20

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

Monday brings a seven-game slate of baseball that starts at 7:05 p.m. ET. This morning brought some notable odds shifts in the season awards, as tonight’s most expensive pitcher, Robbie Ray ($10,200) is now the odds on favorite to win the American League Cy Young Award (-250) over Gerrit Cole (+225). Bryce Harper ($6,000) is also now the new favorite to win the National League MVP (-120), taking a slight lead over Fernando Tatis Jr (+105).

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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.

Nestor Cortes Jr., $8,600, New York Yankees (-275) vs. Texas Rangers (+220) — Man, do I love watching Cortes pitch. He’s been nothing but nasty when he’s a starter, which has now happened 11 times this season. In those instances, Cortes has a .283 wOBA, a 4.21 FIP, an 8.9 K/9 and a 1.5 HR/9. The lefty takes on a Rangers club that has some of the worst numbers in the league against lefties, which include a .281 wOBA, a .121 ISO, a 78 wRC+ and a 21.2% K%. Hard not to like someone against a team with numbers that poor against lefties. Cortes hasn’t allowed more than two runs in a start in five of his last six starts, with the only “blip” being three runs on four hits against the Athletics. While the -275 moneyline is a bit steep, you can also get the Yankees at -140 on the -1.5 moneyline. They haven’t exactly performed well on the run line when favored this season, cashing in just 39.2% of the time but this is a matchup where I would feel fine taking them. The Rangers simply cannot hit left-handed pitching and with the way Cortes has been throwing, I would feel confident in the Yankees taking this one.


Highest Projected Total

Atlanta Braves (-195; 5.5 runs) at Arizona Diamondbacks (+165; 3.5 runs) 9 runs — Tonight doesn’t feature many high totals, as nine is the biggest of the seven games. That said, the Braves are the lopsided favorites in this road matchup against the Diamondbacks. These are two teams that do well in hitting the over on the game total, as the Diamondbacks are the second-best, doing so 57% of the time. The Braves do it at 48.5% of the time overall but not on the road, where it’s just 39.7%, the worst in the league.

That said, the Braves will be taking on Humberto Mejia ($7,800) who is being called up from Triple-A to make this start. We’ve seen Mejia twice this season, making two starts in the month of August against the Pirates and Phillies. Mejia allowed six runs on 14 hits and 10 strikeouts through 11 innings. He hasn’t performed well in Triple-A, which spans 71 2/3 innings. In 15 starts he has a 5.36 FIP, a 7.9 K/9, a 3.3 BB/9 and a 1.2 HR/9. Nothing really shows that he should find much success against the Braves, who will also have the benefit of teeing off against this bullpen. In the month of September, the Diamondbacks relievers have combined for a 5.57 FIP, a 1.4 HR/9, a 4.5 BB/9 and just a 6.1 K/9.


Weather Notes

No weather concerns tonight!


Splits to Start

Pitchers vs. Left-Handed Batters

Worst vs. LHB, wOBA, FIP
Jake Woodford, .392, 5.24
John Means, .277, 3.62
Freddy Peralta, .250, 3.55

Best vs. LHB, wOBA, FIP
Ranger Suarez, .158, 1.92
Huascar Ynoa, .224, 2.27
Tyler Anderson, .268, 3.08


Pitchers vs. Right-Handed Batters


Worst vs. RHB, wOBA, FIP
John Means, .290, 4.86
Jake Woodford, .288, 4.75
Tyler Anderson, .324, 4.64

Best vs. RHB, wOBA, FIP
Freddy Peralta, .239, 2.47
Robbie Ray, .284, 3.41
Ranger Suarez, .273, 3.47


Lineup Starters

Pitcher to Build Around

Robbie Ray, Toronto Blue Jays at Tampa Bay Rays, $10,200 — If you’re holding that Robbie Ray Cy Young ticket, this is a big start for Ray. Gerrit Cole was lit up by the Indians yesterday and now Ray can really distance himself from Cole. He faces a familiar foe tonight in the Rays, a team he’ll pitch against for the sixth time this season. Through 34 innings he’s allowed seven runs on 21 hits and struck out 46, giving him an average of 29.6 DKFP in those games. His advanced numbers back up his stellar line against them, posting a 2.63 FIP, a 12.2 K/9 and a 0.8 BB/9. The Rays come into this game having just dropped two of the three games against the Tigers while averaging 3.3 runs in the series. Selfish reasons aside, Ray has some of the best strikeout upside available on this slate.


Stud Hitter to Pay For

Yordan Alvarez, Houston Astros at Los Angeles Angels, $5,100 — Jaime Barria ($5,600) is set to make the start for the Angels tonight and let me tell you, plenty of contact will be made by the Astros. Through 49 13 innings, Barria has just a 5.4 K/9. That’s very, very low. Giving up contact to generate outs is totally fine but you have to actually MAKE the outs. Barria isn’t doing that against lefties, as evidenced by his .361 wOBA, a 5.98 FIP and a 1.6 HR/9. His K/9 against them specifically, drops even LOWER (I didn’t think it was possible) to 3.8! With the massive amount of power that Alvarez possess, he should be in for a good night at the plate.


Save Big by Drafting

Eddie Rosario, Atlanta Braves at Arizona Diamondbacks, $2,500 — It’s crazy to see how low in salary Rosario has dropped. It’s been warranted, as he hasn’t been drawing the start everyday but he’s recently been hitting sixth in the Braves order. If he gets the start, he brings tremendous value to an offense with one of the highest projected team totals on the slate. He’s been having a nice run at the plate lately a well, averaging 11.8 DKFP over his last five games. His numbers against righties are quite good still, averaging 8.2 DKFP, .338 wOBA, a .215 ISO and a 112 wRC+.


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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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