4 MLB Prop Bets to Target on 8/5/19
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.
Masahiro Tanaka UNDER 5.5 Strikeouts (-152)
The Baltimore Orioles are one of the worst teams in the league, but are they a target for a strikeout prop tonight?
The Orioles are sporting a 22.7% strikeout rate this season versus right-handed pitchers, which is 16th in the league and has actually improved as the season has gone on. They are by no means a good team -- simply, not as horrible as they were earlier. They will be facing off against Masahiro Tanaka, who is having his fair share of struggles right now and is posting a strikeout rate of only 20.1%, which is five percentage points lower than his clip from last season. That difference has shown through in his last seven starts as he's posted five or fewer strikeouts in each of them.
Our projections have Tanaka going for 5.22 strikeouts tonight, which would have him hitting the UNDER on this strikeout prop. There is a good amount of juice on this bet, but combine his lower strikeout rate with his inconsistency and he might not make it deep into the game, limiting his chances to get punchouts.
Charlie Morton OVER 7.5 Strikeouts (-134)
Charlie Morton is the best pitcher on tonight's slate, and yes, you should be targeting his strikeout prop.
Morton comes in boasting a 30.1% strikeout rate this season, the highest on the slate, and he is showing every bit of that lately with 10 strikeouts or more in three of his past six starts. He has a chance to continue that trend tonight versus the Toronto Blue Jays, who are holding a 24.3% strikeout rate this season versus right-handed pitchers, which is the eighth-worst rate in the league. Sure, there is plenty of excitement for Blue Jays fans given their talented young players, but they don't have a ton of discipline at the plate yet. We can actively look to target their lineup via a strikeout prop, especially with a pitcher as good as Morton.
With all that said, our projections have Morton going for exactly 7.5 strikeouts. But given how strong he has been lately, the OVER and the juice are worth considering tonight.
Luis Castillo OVER 6.5 Strikeouts (-166)
Luis Castillo is destroying hitters at the plate this season. Does that mean his strikeout prop is a lock tonight?
The hard-throwing righty comes in with a 28.4% strikeout rate this year, which is the third-highest on the slate, along with sporting an average fastball velocity up at 96.4 miles per hour. Castillo is having the best season in his young career and is showing that through his 10.45 strikeouts per nine innings, which is good for top-15 among starting pitchers.
Tonight, Castillo is up against the Los Angeles Angels, who have a 19% strikeout rate on the season versus right-handed pitchers. But that has jumped up to 22% since the start of July in that same split. There is a substantial amount of juice on the OVER, but our projections have Castillo going for 6.75 strikeouts tonight, which would cash this prop.
Eric Thames To Hit a Home Run (+310)
The Brew Crew is on the road to take on the Pittsburgh Pirates, who will have Dario Agrazal on the mound. Agrazal has just 37 innings pitched in his Major League career -- all this season -- and hasn't shown anything for us to consider him a pitcher we should be avoiding. In fact, he is a pitcher you should be looking to attack, specifically with left-handed power hitters, such as Eric Thames. Agrazal is allowing 1.80 homers per nine innings to lefties this season, which comes from a 51.7% fly-ball rate.
Thames has always been a power hitter -- shown by his .259 ISO, 48.6% hard-hit rate, 45.7% fly-ball rate, and awesome 21.9% home-run-to-fly-ball ratio this season versus righty pitchers. All of that shines through in our projections, which have Thames as the second-most likely hitter to go deep tonight, all while coming in at amazing odds.