4 MLB Prop Bets to Target on 8/1/19
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.
Gerrit Cole OVER 8.5 Strikeouts (-112)
The most expensive pitcher from a DFS perspective is Gerrit Cole tonight. But does that mean he is a lock for his strikeout prop?
Cole has a strikeout prop sitting at 8.5 with only a little bit of juice on the over, so we want to roll with the American League Cy Young candidate and his consistency. Cole comes in with a 37.3% strikeout this season, which is not only the highest on this slate, it's the highest of any starting pitcher in the bigs. Cole has posted nine or more strikeouts in six straight starts, with four of those starts being outings of 10 or more strikeouts. He is facing off against the Cleveland Indians, who have a 22.1% strikeout rate versus right-handed pitchers this season, which is just the 22nd-worst in the league. But this shouldn't be too much of an issue for Cole.
Over his last six starts, when he has nine or more strikeouts five times, he has faced the Los Angeles Angels twice and the Oakland Athletics once, both teams that have lower strikeout rates than the Indians do. If Cole can get it done versus them, he shouldn't have an issue tonight against Cleveland.
Clayton Kershaw OVER 7.5 Strikeouts (+124)
This is a classic NL West matchup that has been one-sided in recent years, and that won't be stopping tonight.
Clayton Kershaw is on the mound for the Los Angeles Dodgers, and LA is hosting the San Diego Padres, who come in with a 25.4% strikeout rate versus lefty pitchers this season. This isn't anything new for the Padres as they have been in this range for several years now, and Kershaw has been dominating them the entire time. Over the course of his career, Kershaw has 256 strikeouts in 242.2 innings pitched against the Padres, which is good for 9.5 strikeouts per nine innings, according to Baseball-Reference.
We have Kershaw projected for 7.23 strikeouts tonight, which is just under his prop, but he comes in with nine or more strikeouts in three of his last four starts, which is his best four-game stretch of the season. The OVER has great odds for this prop, so roll with the recent consistency for Kershaw.
Jack Flaherty UNDER 7.5 Strikeouts (-144)
Flaherty is a solid young pitcher for the Cardinals and comes in sporting a 27.6% strikeout rate this year, which is the second-highest on the slate among qualifying pitchers. The Cubs come in with a 23.6% strikeout rate versus right-handed pitchers, the 10th-worst in the league. Our projections have Flaherty going for only 5.78 strikeouts today, almost two full strikeouts under his prop. Also, we have Flaherty projected for only 5.57 innings pitched, which is low but lines up with his 10.31 strikeouts per nine innings this season.
There is a lot to breakdown here. Flaherty has a good strikeout rate and gets plenty of strikeouts per nine innings, but our projections don't show him going deep into the game, which presents the UNDER as the better bet.
Xander Bogaerts To Hit a Home Run (+400)
The Boston Red Sox come in with a 5.50 implied team total tonight. Boston is facing off against Brendan McKay, who is a very young pitcher for the Tampa Bay Rays and has only 19 innings pitched this season in the Majors. In that small sample size, he has a 39.7% fly-ball rate, which is very dangerous in Fenway Park against this lineup.
Xander Bogaerts is a player to keep an eye on today with his home run prop set at +400, providing plenty of value if he is able to hit one over the fence. Bogaerts comes in with a .281 ISO, fantastic 45.6% hard-hit rate, and a 39.2% fly-ball rate versus lefty pitchers this season, which should suit him perfectly versus McKay. This is backed by our projections, which have Bogaerts as the fourth-most likely hitter to go deep tonight.