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MLB Cheat Sheet: DraftKings Fantasy Baseball DFS Picks, Predictions, Betting Odds for April 18

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

Nine games on the docket tonight, which includes Freddie Freeman playing against the Braves for the first time in his career. Let’s take a look at what to target tonight.

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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.

Clayton Kershaw, $10,300, Los Angeles Dodgers (-220) vs. Atlanta Braves (+180) — I was a bit surprised to see the Dodgers as massive favorites against the Braves. At -220, this gives us a win probability of 68% for the Dodgers. This feels a bit high for me, even after Kershaw completely dominated the Twins in his last outing. Unless you’re living under a rock, this is the game that Kershaw was pulled amidst tossing a perfect game. Kershaw struck out 13 in seven innings while inducing a 23.8% swing-and-miss rate. I think it’s fair to say, however, that the Braves are a tough matchup and will give Kershaw more pushback than the Twins did.

Despite being tied for scoring the seventh-most runs in the league, the Braves as a team are slashing just .229/.316/.398 with a 101 wRC+. They haven’t faced many lefties out of the gate either, logging just 88 plate appearances, which is one of the lowest in the league. They do have some strong bats against lefties to counter Kershaw but I still believe this line is a bit too large. I do think taking the under 4.5 runs through the first five innings is a play to consider, which is currently going off at -110.


Highest Projected Total

Philadelphia Phillies (-155; 6.5 team total) at Colorado Rockies (+135; 4.5 team total) 11 runs— A massive Coors Field total is set for tonight, as the Phillies come to town for the first time this season. As you’d expect the Phillies are big favorites here and have an implied team total of 6.5 runs. They’ll be facing off against Chad Kuhl ($5,700), who somehow survived 4 13 innings in his first outing against the Rangers. Now his toughest assignment in Rockies uniform looms, throwing at home.

The Phillies' offense has been struggling to find consistency, as evidenced in their four-game series against the Marlins. They’d score a total of 17 in the series but 10 of those came in one game. While Kuhl may have escaped unscathed in his first outing, he’s historically someone who strikeouts less than a batter an inning and has very shaky command. His 4.7 BB/9 through 80 1/3 innings last season is a clear indication of that. This feels like a great spot for the Phillies to get back on track and start hitting at a more consistent pace. 6.5 runs is a bit steep, as the Rockies bullpen has been solid so far. That said, I think the Phillies team total of 3.5 through the first five innings at +100 is the play to make.


Weather Notes

San Francisco Giants at New York Mets - A delay or possible suspension is in play later in the evening. This will need to be checked again closer to first pitch. 16-19mph winds blowing in.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Tonight’s Giants-Mets, White Sox-Guardians and Diamondbacks-Nationals games have been postponed due to inclement weather.


April 18, 2022 Betting Splits


Splits to Start

These stats reflect 2021 numbers until May 1.

Pitchers vs. Left-Handed Batters

Worst vs. LHB, FIP, wOBA
Josiah Gray, 6.61, .339
Tylor Megill, 6.60, .418
Chad Kuhl, 6.17, .369

Best vs. LHB, FIP, wOBA
Clayton Kershaw, 2.00, .197
Shane McClanahan, 2.41, .311
Alex Cobb, 2.99, .279


Pitchers vs. Right-Handed Batters


Worst vs. RHB, FIP, wOBA
Spenser Watkins, 7.56, .436
Josiah Gray, 5.50, .355
Chad Kuhl, 4.59, .328

Best vs. RHB, FIP, wOBA
Luis Garcia, 2.83, .241
Alex Cobb, 2.86, .295
Tylor Megill, 3.19, .250


Lineup Starters

Pitcher to Build Around

Sean Manaea, San Diego Padres vs. Cincinnati Reds, $9,100 - It’s hard not to like Manaea against a Reds team that has really scuffled out of the gate. I mean, when you’ve scored 34 runs (22nd) so far, things aren’t going well. Now, they face a completely locked in Manaea, who through two starts has a 1.79 FIP, a 9.0 K/9 and a 2.08 BB/9 through 13 innings. The Reds have faced a lot of lefties to start the season, logging the third most plate appearances to date. In that span, the team is slashing a combined .179/.250/.276. Not exactly numbers you want to see if you were looking to back the Reds. Manaea is my top option on this slate.


Stud Hitter to Pay For

Kyle Schwarber, Philadelphia Phillies at Colorado Rockies, $5,400 — The lefties in the Phillies lineup are going to be popular options. I can’t ignore the numbers for Kuhl against lefties and that’s why I landed on Schwarber. As noted above, against lefties last season, Kuhl posted a putrid 6.17 FIP with a .369 wOBA. Now we have Schwarber, who has a .410 wOBA, a .359 ISO and a 157 wRC+ against right-handed pitching in 2021. Putting him in this type of matchup in Coors Field could bode very well for him. I like him at this number, especially when some of the hitters on the Phillies are $6K+.


Save Big by Drafting

Jake Marisnick, Pittsburgh Pirates at Milwaukee Brewers, $2,300 — Yesterday, we saw Marisnick hitting leadoff for the Pirates against the left-handed pitcher. If we get that again tonight, he should be considered a solid value play. He isn’t someone I look toward against righties but since 2020 against lefties, he’s posted a .330 wOBA with a .190 ISO and a 107 wRC+.


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