3 MLB Prop Bets to Target on Opening Day
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. Also, the weather may be an issue in some locations.
Pete Alonso To Hit a Home Run (+270)
MLB Opening Day is here! Let's dive into some props to get the season started!
We are going to be diving into player props each and every day throughout the season. We'll be consistently looking for home run props and aim to identify players who meet a certain criteria when it comes to their batted-ball profiles. That would be identifying hitters who have a 40% hard-contact rate and a 40% fly-ball rate in the given split, along with a pitcher who allows a 40% hard-contact rate and a 40% fly-ball rate. AKA the 40-40 club.
We start the year with Pete Alonso, one of the best power hitters in the league, who has a great matchup versus Patrick Corbin to get the season started. Last season, Alonso carried a big .325 ISO, 51.6% fly-ball rate, and 33.6% hard-contact rate versus left-handed pitchers. While the hard-contact rate is a bit lower than I would ideally like to see, Alonso has proven to be elite in this split.
Corbin struggled last year and finished with a 4.66 xFIP, 2.40 HR/9, 36.8% hard-contact rate, and 24.6% HR/FB ratio versus right-handed hitters. Alonso should be viewed as one of the top home run options on Opening Day.
Luke Voit To Hit a Home Run (+290)
A change of scenery can always be a good thing for an MLB hitter.
The last few seasons have been a bit up and down for Luke Voit due to a variety of injuries and split playing time when he was with the New York Yankees. That is all in the past as he is now on the San Diego Padres, a team loaded with offense power.
That power could be on full display tonight because they are up against Madison Bumgarner. One thing is clear -- Bumgarner is not the same pitcher he once was, and we can actively target him for home run props.
Last season, Bumgarner allowed a 5.03 xFIP, 1.35 HR/9, 45.6% fly-ball rate, and 38.8% hard-contact rate versus right-handed hitters. It's as bad as you can possibly imagine for a split and exactly what we want to see when it comes to power upside for the opposing hitter.
Since Voit was dealing with those injuries last year, we'll look to his career numbers where he has a .252 ISO, 39.6% fly-ball rate, and 37.0% hard-contact rate versus left-handed pitchers. It's a great spot for him to start the season off on the right foot with a new team.
Shane Bieber Under 6.5 Strikeouts (-108)
I'm not a Belieber, at least not for today.
Shane Bieber is a really good pitcher. The 2020 Cy Young Winner is among the best in the league, but I like the under on his 6.5 strikeout prop today, and it comes down to one reason -- he's not going to be pitching deep into the game. According to reports, he's expected to be limited to 60-70 total pitches. Combine that with the fact he only pitched 4.2 innings in Spring Training, and he's just not fully stretched out right now.
His ability to rack up the strikeouts is going to be limited by the fact he may not pitch past the fifth inning, and that leads to the under on 6.5 strikeouts.