MLB Cheat Sheet: April 20th

Wednesday night brings us a seven-game slate of games to work with. Let’s get you set for this one and as always, you can get me on the ol’ Twitter machine @SBuchanan24.

Game Notes

Top Pitcher

New York Mets vs. Philadelphia Phillies – Noah Syndergaard ($11,800) – Syndergaard and the Mets are the favorites in this game tonight as they take on Aaron Nola and the Phillies. While this lines up as a good spot for him at home, it’s interesting because you’ll notice Syndergaard has the DTD tag slapped on him for tonight. In his last start, he apparently ripped the fingernail off one of his fingers, which may cause some issues tonight. He’s going to be pitching with fake fingernails which in turn should help him with his grip tonight, but it certainly is something to watch out for. Otherwise, he’s been completely dominant in three starts thus far, pitching 19 innings allowing four runs (two earned) with a 20:0 K:BB ratio. The Phillies haven’t produced much against righties so far, averaging a .307 wOBA with a .308 OBP and a .399 SLG.

Highest Totals

Baltimore Orioles vs. Cincinnati Reds – 9.5 projected runs – The Orioles are tied with the Royals for the highest projected run total of the night at 4.7. They’ve been a bit of a disappointment in this series thus far, scoring only three runs total runs when they’ve been projected to close to five in each of the past two games. They’ll have a favorable matchup against Scott Feldman tonight, but I’ve also said this the past two nights as well. For what it’s worth, Feldman’s only solid start thus far came on the road against the Cardinals, whose ballpark certainly favors pitchers.

Kansas City Royals vs. Texas Rangers – 9 runs – As I mentioned earlier, the Royals also are tagged with the highest projected run total of the night at 4.7 when they take on Andrew Cashner. Moving to the American League didn’t exactly help Cashner last season, as he owned a .349 wOBA in the second half of the season with a .357 OBP and a .461 SLG. Lefties hit Cashner very hard as well, tagging him with a .380 wOBA with a .524 SLG and hitting 11 of his 19 total home runs. The Royals are stacked with lefties and should be all near the top of the order for this game. It will be a warm night in Texas in the low 80s, perfect weather for some offense.

Weather Concerns

Baltimore Orioles vs. Cincinnati Reds (Great American Ball Park) – No real concerns with this game, but we could see a chance of thunderstorms near the later innings. Pitchers should be fine, but just keep an eye on it as we get closer to first pitch.

Park Factors

Park Factors are ranked on a scale of 1.000. Anything above 1.000 is favorable towards the hitters. Anything below that mark favors pitchers. All stats come from the 2016 season.

  • Globe Like Park – – With only seven games on this slate, Globe Life Park gets the nod as our number one ballpark for hitters tonight. All offensive categories were favorable to hitters last season.
  • SunTrust Park – – The Braves will be home to the second most favorable ballpark tonight as they host the Nationals. In 2016, runs, singles and walks had a favorable rating.
  • Oakland Coliseum – – The Coliseum is our most unfavorable ballpark for hitters tonight as they host the Mariners. Triples were the only category that favored hitters last season.
  • Miller Park – – Miller Park makes our list for the first time this season as our second least favorable ballpark. Homeruns, double and triples got the nod here last season.


Lineup Starters

Pitcher to Build Around

James Paxton – Seattle Mariners vs. Oakland A’s – $9,600 – Syndergaard worries me a bit with how good of a grip he’ll get with his fake fingernail tonight. So Paxton, in a pitchers’ park, and under $10K, is the route I’m looking to go. Paxton has been fantastic in his first three starts, averaging 30.7 FPPG allowing no runs on eight hits in 21 innings of work with a 22:4 K: BB ratio. Khris Davis is the only A’s regular I worry about against lefties, but he does strikeout at a decent clip against them at 25%. On a short slate like tonight, Paxton feels as if he’s one of the safest.

Heavy Hitter to Pay For

Chris Davis – Baltimore Orioles vs. Cincinnati Reds- $4,800 -If you’re hesitant to throw some Orioles on your team tonight, believe me, I’m with you on that. However, I feel like something has to give here. Feldman has pitched poorly in two of his three starts, and I don’t think it’s a coincidence that they both were in Cincinnati. In fact, in those two home starts, lefties hit the two home runs he’s allowed this season. It’s a very small sample size, but I think Davis can do some damage tonight.

Save Big by Drafting…

Mike Moustakas – Kansas City Royals vs. Texas Rangers – $3,700 – Moose has been featured in this section a couple of times already this season, and he’s done well for us. I love this spot for him against Cashner tonight. In a small sample from this season, Moose owns a .429 wOBA against righties with a .649 SLG and a .366 OBP. With Cashner’s struggles with lefties in the past, this could be a real tough game for him tonight.

Stack Em Up

Kansas City Royals vs. Texas Rangers (Andrew Cashner) – I love a number of left-handed batters on the Royals to go up against Cashner. With his .380 wOBA against lefties and the .524 SLG, the Royals should be primed for a solid matchup tonight. Their price has risen in the past few days, but I still think they’re cheap enough to fill out a lineup from top to bottom.


I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is Steveazors) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above.