4 MLB Prop Bets to Target on 8/21/19
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.
Justin Verlander OVER 9.5 Strikeouts (-158)
The former Cy Young winner is setting his sights on another award this year. Does that mean he is a lock for strikeouts tonight?
The Houston Astros come in as massive -550 home favorites tonight since they are up against the Detroit Tigers, who are one of the worst teams in the league. This is one of the most one-sided games you will see at any point this season, but what about the strikeouts tonight?
Justin Verlander comes in with a 34.9% strikeout rate this season and has posted 10 strikeouts or more in six straight starts. The streak he is currently on is simply amazing, and there are no signs of it slowing down tonight given his matchup.
The Tigers are holding a 26.6% strikeout rate this season versus right-handed pitchers, which is dead last in the league. There is a decent amount of juice on the over tonight, but with Verlander pitching at this elite level, the Tigers don't stand a chance.
Yu Darvish OVER 6.5 Strikeouts (-134)
Yu Darvish has put together a very strong second half of the season and has a rather low strikeout prop tonight.
With a prop sitting at only 6.5 strikeouts tonight, we should be viewing this one of the better bets of the night, which has a modest amount of juice. Over the course of the season, Darvish is carrying a 29.0% strikeout rate, which is the third-best on the slate, but since the All-Star break, we have seen that rate jump up to 35.6%. Darvish has been pouring on strikeouts with eight or more in each of his last four games, which is why the 6.5 prop seems rather low.
He is up against the San Francisco Giants tonight, who are 16th in the league (22.6%) versus right-handed pitchers this season and have a team wRC+ that is in the bottom-five of the league. They don't pose too much of an offensive threat, which should allow Darvish to go deep in the game and rack up plenty of strikeouts.
Bryce Harper To Hit a Home Run (+250)
Bryce Harper and home runs go hand in hand, so let's take a look at his prop tonight.
The Philadelphia Phillies have a solid 5.35 implied run total tonight and are facing Rick Porcello, who is giving up home runs far too frequently this season. Porcello is allowing 1.77 home runs per nine innings to lefty hitters so far, along with a 47.2% fly-ball rate, which puts Harper in the ideal spot tonight. He is holding a solid 19.8% home-run-to-fly-ball rate this season versus right-handed pitchers, giving him a shot at a home run very often if he is able to get the ball in the air.
With Fenway Park being so hitter-friendly, our projections have Harper coming in as the 14th most likely hitter to go deep tonight. Favorable odds for a home run hitter against a bad pitcher is a recipe for success.
Mike Minor OVER 5.5 Strikeouts (-144)
Another pitcher with a lower strikeout prop that seems too good to be true.
Mike Minor is that pitcher and a 5.5 prop tonight should spark your interest knowing he has pushed to double-digit strikeouts twice in his last six starts. Our projections having him going for exactly 5.49 strikeouts tonight, which, as you can see, is just under his 5.5 prop. Regardless of that, Minor is holding a solid 24.8% strikeout rate and has posted 16 strikeouts in 19.1 innings pitched against the Los Angeles Angels this season.
He is just a bit under one strikeout per inning in this matchup, which means we would need to see him go at least six innings to potentially hit the over on this prop. Luckily, he has gone seven or more innings in each of his last three starts and doesn't give up too many runs, which should keep him in the game.