MLB

3 MLB Prop Bets to Target on Friday 4/16/21

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.

Utilizing our projections as a guide and looking at the odds provided at FanDuel Sportsbook, here are some spots where you can find value today in the prop-betting market.

Please note that betting lines and our projections may change throughout the day after this article is published.

Kyle Schwarber to Hit a Home Run (+430)

This is a great matchup for Kyle Schwarber to hit his first tater of the year.

Schwarber is up against righty Taylor Widener. The Arizona Diamondbacks' pitcher has faced 61 total left-handed hitters in his career, and he's allowed four dingers to them along with a .417 wOBA, 38.1% hard-hit rate and 47.6% fly-ball rate. The sample size isn't huge, but Widener looks like a guy with massive issues against lefty bats.

Enter Schwarber. After getting a late start to this season, Schwarber has put up a 40.0% hard-hit rate and 41.7% fly-ball rate in a very small sample of 19 plate appearances. He owns a lengthy track record of pop against righties, sporting a 44.7% hard-hit rate in the split in 2020 and a 41.4% hard-hit rate in 2019.

At a pretty enticing +430 line, Schwarber to go deep is one of my favorite props of the night.

Zach Eflin Over 5.5 Strikeouts (+104)

Zach Eflin was pretty darn good in 2020. He finished the shortened season with a 3.50 SIERA and 28.6% strikeout rate. While his 10.2% swinging-strike rate from a year ago hints at some negative regression in the punchout department, Eflin has upped his swinging-strike rate to 11.2% this season, although the sample size is a tiny 13 innings.

Time will tell how legit Eflin's 2020 numbers actually are, but so far, so good.

Tonight he'll see a St. Louis Cardinals offense that was right at the league average for strikeout rate in 2020 (23.7%) and is hovering in that area again in the early part of this campaign (23.7%). The Cards' carry a meh 3.98 implied total.

Our model projects Eflin to get 6.1 strikeouts tonight.

Andrew Vaughn to Hit a Home Run (+650)

The third overall pick in the 2019 MLB Draft, Andrew Vaughn, is off to a slow start in his MLB career. Debuting this season, Vaughn has struggled to a .273 wOBA and 32.1% strikeout rate in his first 28 plate appearances. But the right-handed slugger is in a good spot to notch his first career homer tonight thanks to a Fenway Park matchup with Nick Pivetta.

In 120 1/3 frames since the start of 2019, Pivetta has permitted a 39.8% hard-hit rate. Back in 2019, Pivetta's last campaign that resembles anything close to a full season, Pivetta gave up a .361 wOBA in righty-righty matchups.

Fenway should aid Vaughn. Per ESPN's Park Factors, it was the third-most hitter-friendly park in 2020.

Admittedly, this is a long shot, but that's why we are getting it at +650. Among the homer-prop dart throws, Vaughn isn't a bad roll of the dice. And you can get +1000 odds on Vaughn to go yard and the Chicago White Sox -- who are 1.5-run favorites -- to win.