4 MLB Prop Bets to Target on 8/20/19
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.
Clayton Kershaw OVER 7.5 Strikeouts (-118)
There are plenty of aces on the mound tonight and plenty of strikeout props to look at. Let's jump in!
About a week ago in a props article, I said: "Kershaw isn't the same pitcher he once was but still has plenty of gas in the tank." I would like to retract that statement, as Clayton Kershaw has been simply amazing, and in fact, he's been better than he was last season. He is holding a 26.2% strikeout rate this year and comes in with nine or more strikeouts in four of his last five starts.
Those are unbelievable numbers from the future Hall of Famer, and he is in a spot to continue that tonight versus the Toronto Blue Jays, who are carrying a 23.6% strikeout rate versus lefty pitchers this season, the 11th-worst clip in the league.
The OVER on Kershaw's strikeout prop has very little juice, and given his recent consistency plus the matchup, it's looking like the right bet tonight.
Stephen Strasburg OVER 6.5 Strikeouts (+120)
The former number-one overall pick is boasting a 28.5% strikeout rate this season -- which is good for the third-best on the slate -- and that has him as a pitcher we want to trust tonight. He is facing off against the Pittsburgh Pirates, who come in with a very low 18.9% strikeout rate versus righty pitchers this season, which is the second-lowest rate in the league. The matchup, on paper, doesn't lend itself to a high-strikeout game for Strasburg, which is why the UNDER is the betting favorite.
With that said, our projections have Strasburg going for 6.88 strikeouts tonight, which would cash the OVER on his strikeout prop.
Sonny Gray OVER 7.5 Strikeouts (+114)
Everyone is talking about the amazing season Sonny Gray is having, and he won't be slowing down tonight.
Posting 10.45 strikeouts per nine innings this season is a career-high clip for Gray, who will look to continue racking up the whiffs tonight against the San Diego Padres. It's been a trend for a few years that the Padres are a high-strikeout team and we can target pitchers going against them, so no need to stop tonight. The Padres are carrying a 26.4% strikeout rate versus right-handed pitchers in 2019, and that is the second-worst mark in the league, making this an ideal matchup for Gray. He comes in with a 28.7% strikeout rate, the second-best on the slate, and has racked up seven or more strikeouts in seven of his last eight starts.
The level of consistency Gray has shown this season is truly amazing, and he should continue flexing that tonight versus the Padres.
Hunter Dozier To Hit a Home Run (+310)
Hunter Dozier and the Royals are on the road to take on the Baltimore Orioles, who will have Dylan Bundy on the mound tonight. It has been a tough year for Bundy, who is allowing a whopping 2.29 home runs per nine innings to righty hitters thanks to a 42.0% fly-ball rate and a 46.7% hard-contact rate. Finding power hitters who are up against Bundy has been profitable this season, which is why we want to look at Dozier tonight.
He comes in with a .259 ISO, 45.2% hard-hit rate, and 45.2% fly-ball rate versus righty pitchers, which is a same-sided matchup for him. Those are awesome numbers from Dozier, who comes in as the eighth-most likely hitter to go deep, according to our projections.