3 MLB Prop Bets to Target on 4/7/21
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 on FanDuel. Here, we're going to focus on the former.
Please note that betting lines and our game projections may change throughout the day after this article is published.
Kenta Maeda Over 6.5 Strikeouts (+112)
Do not take too much into account as far as Kenta Maeda's first start of the season. The Minnesota Twins' starting pitcher carried a K/9 rate of 10.8 the year before and had a 10.4 rate the season before in Los Angeles.
The problem with the Detroit Tigers is this: they cannot help themselves swinging the bat. Their walk rate does not expect to improve much from last year's 7.1%, and they had a strikeout rate of 27.3%.
Maeda's strikeout rate was an incredible 32% in 2020, so expect a little less rust and wildness this afternoon, as Maeda threw 88 pitches in start one and might exceed that in start number two. What may be scary for prospective hitters is Maeda could hit another gear, according to Baseball Savant.
Our projections may not be as high on Maeda as some of the other top strikeout pitchers, but the over is a reasonable bet.
Nathan Eovaldi Under 5.5 Strikeouts (+108)
You might be thinking a 5.5 is too low, but the plus money on this is a surprise even against the Tampa Bay Rays.
When Nathan Eovaldi strikes out batters at a rate of 9.5 K/9 over the last two seasons, his career number is just 7.1. Combine that with the fact that he lasts around five innings per start, and the concern is real.
Tampa, historically, has roughed up Eovaldi to the tune of 28 earned runs in 44.1 innings pitched. His 50 strikeouts may give us some pause, but, again, we go back to how many innings can he last. It's a valid question.
At plus money, the thought process is to take a shot at rust and on an opponent that can get the jump on a Boston Red Sox pitcher at Fenway Park.
Nelson Cruz To Hit a Home Run (+270)
Riding the hot hitter here is too tempting to pass up with Nelson Cruz.
Cruz already has three home runs on the young season and had been hitting a home run at the rate of one every three games the past two seasons. Even when he has not been at his best, Cruz still hammers the ball with authority. His career hard-hit rate is 55.4% over the previous six seasons. The designated hitter is 40 years young and still can hit like a player in his prime.
The great news is that Cruz is facing Matt Boyd, who seemed to lose a few MPHs off his fastball in his first start. If Boyd hangs one, Cruz can still bang it over the wall with the best of them.
Chris Wassel is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Chris Wassel also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username chriswassel. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his/her personal views, he/she may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his/her personal account. The views expressed in his/her articles are the author’s alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.