3 MLB Prop Bets to Target on Thursday 7/29/21
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 MLB odds, here are some spots where you can find value today in the prop-betting market.
Please note that betting lines and our game projections may change throughout the day after this article is published. Also, the weather may be an issue in some locations.
Fernando Tatis To Hit a Home Run (+220)
Manny Machado To Hit a Home Run (+400)
Another day and another spot where I can't decide between two hitters.
Both Fernando Tatis Jr. and Manny Machado have a phenomenal matchup tonight to cash in on their home run props, so I had to go with both. Machado's odds (+400) are a bit better than Tatis' (+220), but I'm on board with both.
They are going up against Kyle Freeland, who is allowing 1.76 HR/9 to right-handed hitter this season. Yes, Freeland is a pitcher for the Colorado Rockies, so you might be thinking, "Well, he pitches at Coors Field, I'm not surprised he gives up a lot of home runs."
Here's the thing. Freeland actually gives up more home runs on the road (2.18 HR/9) versus right-handed hitters than he does at home (1.33 HR/9). Freeland also allows more fly-balls on the road (41.3%) to right-handed hitters than at home (32.4%).
Of course, Tatis (.333 ISO) and Machado (.222 ISO) have plenty of power versus left-handed pitchers to be a home run threat any night, which is why I can't decide between the two. I like them both tonight.
Cedric Mullins To Hit a Home Run (+420)
While this might seem like a bit of a random player to some, Cedric Mullins has legit numbers to cash in on this home run prop.
Mullins is having an awesome season and probably isn't getting enough recognition simply due to the fact he plays for the Baltimore Orioles. Regardless of that, he comes in with a .240 ISO, 156 wRC+, 42.3% fly-ball rate, and 37.7% hard-contact rate versus right-handed hitters this season. The switch-hitting outfielder is having plenty of success against righties this year, hitting 12 of his 17 home runs against them.
He will be taking on Casey Mize, who is allowing a whopping 2.28 HR/9 to lefties this season, along with a 47.9% hard-contact rate, 25.0% HR/FB rate, and 34.0% fly-ball rate. Those are some rough numbers to stomach when Mullins has that kind of pop versus righties.
Hyun-Jin Ryu Under 4.5 Strikeouts (-134)
The under on Hyun-jin Ryu's strikeout prop has a bit of juice, but it's the right call.
There are essentially three main reasons the under is the right call for Ryu's strikeout prop tonight. He isn't a big strikeout pitcher, the Boston Red Sox don't strike out versus lefties, the Red Sox have a dangerous lineup. Let's go over each point.
Ryu has a 19.9% strikeout rate this season, which is the second-lowest of his career since he entered the Majors in 2013. Ryu comes in with four strikeouts or fewer in 8 of his last 10 starts, clearly showing what his normal level of production is per start.
Next, the Red Sox have a 21.4% strikeout rate versus left-handed pitchers this season, which is the third-lowest in the league. They simply do not waste chances at the plate and don't allow pitchers to rack up a ton of strikeouts.
Finally, the Sox have a solid .176 team ISO and a 105 wRC+ versus lefties this season, showing they are always a threat to post plenty of runs, which could lead to an early exit for Ryu, thus hitting the under.