3 MLB Prop Bets to Target on 4/22/19
Player props can be useful in a variety of ways, from taking advantage of them straight up (to the tune of cold hard cash) to measuring a player's potential to produce in daily fantasy baseball. High odds for a hitter bombing a home run or a pitcher tallying several strikeouts is something worth considering in building your FanDuel lineups. And that's a two-way street.
While you can use those odds in fantasy, you can also utilize our fantasy projections and a variety of other tools to help make money on betting everyday player props.
For the purposes of this article, we are using the odds provided at FanDuel Sportsbook to pinpoint three spots where value can be had on those players likely to go yard and over- or under-perform their expected strikeout total.
Please note that betting lines and our game projections may change throughout the day after this article is published.
Rhys Hoskins WILL Hit a Home Run (+250)
On Monday, the Philadelphia Phillies and New York Mets will meet for the fourth time in this early season. As they do so, the Mets will send lefty Steven Matz to the bump against a team that, collectively, has hit .290 with five home runs five doubles across 93 at-bats. In just 10 at-bats, Hoskins is 1-for-10 but with one home run, two walks and three RBI.
So far, Matz has been just OK this year. His 4.96 ERA is up from 3.97 a year ago, but his skill-interactive ERA (SIERA) is down to 3.93, and he's allowing 2.20 home runs per 9 innings (HR/9) through three starts. Both his hard-hit rate (42.6%) and fly-ball rate (37.0%) against have taken noticeable jumps, which is something to watch out for against a righty slugger like Hoskins.
Going back to last year, the 27-year-old southpaw has allowed 27 home runs to right-handed bats, resulting in a .452 slugging percentage 1.8 HR/9. And the batted-ball stats are exactly what you would expect, in the form of a 40.3% fly-ball rate and 38.4% hard-hit rate in the split.
Meanwhile, Hoskins struggled with the platoon last year, producing just three home runs and a 26.6% hard-hit rate. But early in 2019, he has yet to homer but boasts a 40.0% hard-hit rate and a .398 weighted on-base average (wOBA) versus lefty hurlers. He has a .250 isolated slugging (ISO) against all pitchers, and that sits at .278 in nine road games against the divisional-rival Mets.
At a projection of 0.34 home runs, Hoskins leads the slate, according to our models. That's ahead of Khris Davis (+210) and a host of others, creating some decent value at his shorter betting odds on FanDuel Sportsbook.
Eddie Rosario WILL Hit a Home Run (+500)
On Sunday, Eddie Rosario went 0-for-5 with a pair of strikeouts in the Minnesota Twins' series finale against the Baltimore Orioles. But that was just a blip on the radar, as the 27-year-old has been raking of late.
Prior to Sunday's poor showing, Rosario had blasted at least one homer in three straight with five home runs in a three-game span. In the matter of a week's time, he totaled seven long-balls 29 plate appearances. In that seven-game stretch, the lefty bat hit to a .647 wOBA with an .821(!) ISO, a 58.3% fly-ball rate and 50.0% hard-hit rate. He possesses a .413 ISO behind a 41.7% hard-hit rate and 51.7% fly-ball rate through 19 games.
Following a year in which he hit 24 dongs with a .191 ISO, Rosario's increased his launch angle (18-degrees) for a third straight season, and his average exit velocity is 89.5 miles per hour. His 18.3% barrel rate also checks in 26th in the Majors.
Tonight's mound opponent, righty Brad Peacock, isn't the easiest pitcher to take one out against. The 31-year-old vet has a 3.66 SIERA on the heels of a 2.40 mark a year ago, while he has struck out batters at rates of 29.5%, 35.3% and 24.6% over the last three years. But his swinging-strike rate has dropped by nearly 4% this year, and opponents are hitting the ball hard and in the air at higher clips. He's given up two home runs, both against left-handed bats, who have identical 42.9% hard-hit and fly-ball rates against Peacock this year.
Of all hitters on today's schedule, Rosario is fifth at 0.29 projected homers. His odds are much longer, but by our math, he's more likely than Joey Gallo (+270) and Charlie Blackmon to land one in the cheap seats on Monday night.
Chris Sale OVER 7.5 Strikeouts (-166)
While dealing with the remnants of a shoulder surgery, Chris Sale had a very slow start to the 2019 campaign. In his first three starts, he went more than four innings just once and didn't notch more than four strikeouts in one game. He went 0-3 with a 9.00 ERA and 13.1% strikeout rate.
In his last start out against the New York Yankees, we saw flashes of the old Cy Young contender though. While he was ultimately handed the loss against a dominant James Paxton, Sale struck out six on a swinging-strike rate of 12.9% and his lowest contact rate (75.5%) since his first start. More encouraging, however, was his increased velocity. On his fastball alone, the lefty averaged 95.5 miles per hour compared to 92.2, 89.6 and 91.9 in his first three appearances. His average slider sat at 79.3 miles per hour, or 2.3 mph above that of his previous start.
The Yankees present a tough matchup, yet Sale punched out six in five innings (23 batters). It looks like he's returning to form and just in time for a matchup with the vulnerable Detroit Tigers.
Detroit is second in the entire league in swinging-strike rate, along with a strikeout rate above 25% overall and against left-handed pitching. On eight occasions, Detroit has struck out at least 10 times in 18 games. Five of those double-digit strikeout games have come on the road, where they will be tonight as the Boston Red Sox -- led by Sale -- play host at Fenway Park.
Our projections have Sale right around his number -- at 7.51 strikeouts -- on Monday, but that figure is tops on the slate. The return isn't as high as the under (+130), but it's a more likely outcome given Sale's uptick in velocity and Detroit's whiffing tendencies.