4 MLB Prop Bets to Target on 8/15/19
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.
Sonny Gray OVER 6.5 Strikeouts (-128)
Sonny Gray is the talk of today's MLB slate since he comes in as a popular DFS option, along with having a modest strikeout prop we want to attack.
This season, Gray is sporting a 27.9% strikeout rate, which is the second-highest on the slate and his career best. Over his last seven starts, Gray has recorded seven strikeouts or more six times, with two of them being at nine or more. He has a solid chance to continue that streak tonight versus the St. Louis Cardinals, who come in with a 23.1% strikeout rate versus right-handed pitchers, which is the 11th-worst in the league.
Our projections have Gray going for 6.10 strikeouts tonight, which would hit the under, but given his consistency over his last set of the starts, the over with a bit of juice is the right bet tonight.
Yu Darvish OVER 6.5 Strikeouts (-128)
Darvish has been good but not great for the Chicago Cubs recently from a real-life perspective, but there's more to look at. Allowing four or more earned runs in five of his last 10 starts isn't a great look, but the silver lining is that he has posted six or more strikeouts in each of those 10 starts and seven or more strikeouts in seven of the 10. That consistency is something we want to embrace through his strikeout prop, since it seems he will get the whiffs, regardless of the runs allowed.
He is up against the Phillies who have a 22.8% strikeout rate versus right-handed pitchers and have been a team to attack for large portions of this season.
Nick Castellanos To Hit a Home Run (+290)
It's nice when things line up for hitters, and that appears to be the case tonight for Castellanos, who is on fire since being traded and now facing a weak pitcher. That pitcher is Drew Smyly, who is allowing 2.25 home runs per nine innings to righty hitters this season from a 43.7% hard-hit rate and a 43.9% fly-ball ratio. Another pitcher above the 40-40 mark, which puts them in danger of allowing plenty of home runs.
Now, of course, the hitter on the other side has to bring the power to hit the home runs, and Castellanos does just that. He has a massive .333 ISO, 49.3% hard-hit rate and a 23.1% home-run-to-fly-ball rate versus lefty pitchers. This is all shown with our projections having Castellanos as the third most likely hitter to go deep tonight.
Gio Urshela To Hit a Home Run (+480)
For the life of me, I cannot understand why Giovanny Urshela's home run prop is so high, so let's jump in.
Since the start of August, Urshela has played 13 games, and he has hit seven home runs, giving him a .510 ISO for the month. Yes, that's a small sample size, but he is on fire right now and up against a pitcher who could help him extend this streak.
That pitcher is Adam Plutko, who is allowing 2.73 home runs per nine innings to righty hitters this season, along with a horrible 51.0% fly-ball rate. He is essentially the ideal pitcher to target for home runs, especially at a hitter-friendly park like Yankee Stadium.
If you think the August sample size is too small -- it is -- then let's look at Ushela's numbers from the entire season versus right-handed pitchers. He comes in with a .251 ISO, 48.2% hard-hit rate, and an 18.8% home-run-to-fly-ball rate in this split. The power has always been there for Urshela -- it just happens to be in full force right now.