3 MLB Prop Bets to Target on Tuesday 7/26/22
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.
Here are some MLB player prop bets to make tonight.
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.
Darin Ruf To Hit a Home Run (+350)/Yermin Mercedes To Hit a Home Run (+520)
The San Francisco Giants are looking to right the ship tonight against the Arizona Diamondbacks.
The Giants are in the midst of a five-game losing streak but have a great matchup against Tyler Gilbert to get back in the win column. They are carrying a 4.79 implied run total, which is the sixth-highest on the slate, putting us in a good spot for some offensive production.
Gilbert comes in allowing a .512 SLG, a .359 wOBA, a 5.65 xFIP, 2.45 HR/9, a 48.0% fly-ball rate, and a 35.5% hard-contact rate versus right-handed hitters. This is a very favorable matchup, and it's time for the righties on the Giants to step up.
First, we turn to Darin Ruf, who comes in with a 162 wRC+, a .398 wOBA, a .294 ISO, a 45.9% fly-ball rate, and a 36.5% hard-contact rate versus left-handed pitchers. He has huge splits, and when Ruf is facing a lefty, we want to roll with him.
While Yermin Mercedes is a bit of a dart throw, his metrics line up, and +520 is a huge number. In this split this season, Mercedes has a 147 wRC+, a .377 wOBA, a .233 ISO, a 45.0% fly-ball rate, and a 35.0% hard-contact rate.
With all that said, the Giants are in a solid spot, so we want to add Ruf To Record an RBI (+120) and Mercedes To Record an RBI (+125).
Jose Berrios Over 5.5 Strikeouts (-108)
With a modest strikeout prop, the over for Jose Berrios is a spot to look at tonight.
Berrios comes in with a 21.1% strikeout rate and a 9.3% swinging-strike rate on the season -- rather modest numbers but things need a bit more explanation. This is due to the fact Berrios was surging to close out the first half of the season. In his final seven starts of the first half, Berrios posted a 26.0% strikeout rate or higher in four outings, including starts of 32.0% and 52.0%. In what shouldn't be a surprise, his swinging-strike rate was at 12.5% or higher in three of those seven starts.
That led to Berrios racking up six-plus strikeouts four times in that stretch, including a massive outburst of 13 strikeouts versus the Philadelphia Phillies. Tonight, he is taking the St. Louis Cardinals, who come in with a 20.7% strikeout rate versus right-handed pitchers, which is 25th in the league. This also needs more explanation.
Over the last 14 days, the Cardinals have a 21.5% strikeout rate versus right-handed pitchers, which is 18th in the league. Over the last seven days, they have a 23.3% strikeout rate in this split, which is the ninth-highest in the league. These are obviously very small sample sizes compared to the entire season, but the team is struggling right now -- however slight it might be.
We also have to factor in that the Cardinals' lineup is going to be watered down since both Paul Goldschmidt and Nolan Arenado have been placed on the restricted list.
So, we have a pitcher who is hitting his stride right now facing a team that has started to struggle at the plate and will be missing their two best hitters. This is all about the over on Berrios' punchouts, and I am also adding Berrios 7+ Strikeouts (+162).
Manny Machado To Record an RBI (+115)
The San Diego Padres have a solid 4.48 implied run total and are a nice spot to look for some player props.
The Padres will be up against Garrett Hill, who will be making his fourth start for the Detroit Tigers in what is his rookie year in the MLB. He has a total of 16.0 innings pitched this season, which is an extremely small sample size for a pitcher. Thus, we can't take much from it. However, nothing in his current stats nor his projections on FanGraphs indicates he is an elite pitcher.
When situations such as this arise, I side with the experienced hitter over the rookie pitcher. That is what leads me to Manny Machado, who comes in with a 141 wRC+, a .366 wOBA, a .175 ISO, a 38.7% fly-ball rate, and a 33.1% hard-contact rate versus right-handed pitchers. He hits in the heart of the lineup for a team with a solid implied run total and is facing an unproven pitcher -- it's that simple.
Adding on Machado 2+ RBI (+400) is a solid play, as well.