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MLB DFS picks: Boston Red Sox and Kenta Maeda

An overview of the 1:05 PM EDT slate of games at DraftKings.

MLB: Boston Red Sox at Baltimore Orioles Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Happy Mother’s Day to all the mamas out there. It’s a great day to celebrate. You should celebrate ALL the moms in your life—I know I had more than just one. You can also celebrate that you can watch any MLB game for free today! Though the cautious part of me wonders if blackouts will still apply (they always seem to creep in). Still, it’s nice move by the MLB if you can actually watch your favorite team in real time today. You know, without a shady Reddit link or something like that.

Let’s jump into a few plays I’m monitoring on today’s slate. DraftKings pricing is what you’ll see, if prices are mentioned. Before we do, let’s touch on the weather...

Bad Weather Abounds

It looks like an ugly day for DFS. If you can avoid some bad weather landmines—or take advantage of a place that will play that others avoid—you might be sitting pretty. Trouble spots are CIN @ CLE, which looks like a PPD is incoming. MIN @ DET is another to monitor, given that both teams have some wiggle with an off day tomorrow. If that games actually plays late today, Kenta Maeda against the Tigers could be a heck of a low-owned play with some upside. WAS @ NYY looks like another rainy spot, and there are a few others. Just make sure to follow along with your favorite DFS weatherman on Twitter, whoever that happens to be.

Kenta Maeda @ Detroit Tigers ($8,300)

He’s coming off of a solid turn against the Rangers, where he managed a shutout 5 13 innings with only two hits allowed, as well as two walks against eight strikeouts. He also worked up to 94 pitches, a season-high. All of that translated into 29.6 DK points, also his best of the season. If this game plays, he’ll get a Tigers squad that ranks 25th in ISO (.139) and that has the worst strikeout rate in all of baseball (29.6%). Against RHP specifically, Detroit has a middling .162 ISO, but the hefty 28.0% strikeout rate still exists. That’s the worst K-rate in the league against right-handed pitching. Given Maeda’s two poor turns prior to his rebound start against Texas, you’d get a depressed price on him and likely some depressed rostership if this game actually plays. I’ll be monitoring the weather for this one, hoping I can lean on Maeda to again turn in his best start of the season.

Boston Red Sox at Baltimore (RHP Dean Kremer)

The Red Sox managed 11 runs last night and they currently rank sixth in the majors against RHP with a .183 ISO. Also, the team .338 wOBA trails only the Dodgers (.349) against right-handed pitching. The 115 wRC+ ranks third, trailing only L.A. (123 wRC+) and the Angels (118 wRC+). In short, this team can score runs, despite the perpetual woes of the pitching staff. The best DFS plays in this split for 2021 have been:

J.D. Martinez: .360 ISO, .501 wOBA, 13.0% walk rate, 225 wRC+
Xander Bogaerts: .271 ISO, .445 wOBA, 15.4% K-rate, 188 wRC+
Alex Verdugo: .207 ISO, .388 wOBA, 9.5% K-rate, 149 wRC+
Rafael Devers: .313 ISO, .381 wOBA, 2 SB, 144 wRC+

Honestly, that’s it for the Red Sox if you’re looking at the team in totality. Christian Vazquez has a .097 ISO against RHP this year, but that does come with a great 14.1% strikeout rate and a whopping four steals. If you include him, it’s definitely as a part of a full stack and hoping he gets in on the run-scoring action. I wouldn’t be taking shots on Franchy Cordero (41.3% K-rate, .052 ISO) or Bobby Dalbec (35.8% K-rate, .082 ISO). Enjoy the four-man Boston stack, with Vazquez in consideration if you need to find a catcher.

As for Kremer himself, you can use both handedness of hitter against him. Lefty bats are striking out 31.6% of the time against him, but they’ve also hit three of five home runs over only 8 23 innings...good for a 3.12 HR/9. Right-handed bats are striking out less than 18% of the time against him and slashing .340/.375/.509 with a pair of homers and three doubles. Fastball command has been an issue, and that sounds like a bad recipe given the professional hitters that abound atop Boston’s lineup. I really like Xander Bogaerts today. He was clearly feeling it last night, with three hits (including a homer) and a couple of spectacular defensive plays. I expect all that to translate again today.

What spots are YOU targeting today, ladies and gents?