With a full slate, there are many props to choose from on Friday’s Major League Baseball card.
Unfortunately, the betting markets are more efficiently setting strikeout prop totals. Despite this, there are two strikeout props that I like, and they’re both unders.
For this article, I will be evaluating my favorite MLB player props based on what my model likes and what the Action Labs Player Prop tool likes. The Action Labs Player Prop tool grades each bet on a scale from 1-10, with 10 being the best possible grade. I will be adding my own personal grades as well.
Below, I have laid out two prop bets that I am playing, the case for each bet and the best books to find odds on those player props.
2021 MLB Pitcher Prop Record: 45-40, +0.1 Units, +0.1% ROI
MLB Player Props & Picks
Max Scherzer (WAS) — 9.5 Strikeouts (+120/-154)
|Giants at Nationals||Nationals (-180)|
|Time||7:05 p.m. ET|
One of the Thursday picks in my daily pitcher strikeout props column was for Max Scherzer under 8.5 strikeouts. Scherzer did not have any strikeouts, but the bet did not cash because rain ruined our plans. With clear skies in DC, Scherzer is now pitching in Friday night’s game.
Scherzer is one of the best pitchers in baseball even at the age of 36. He pitches deep into games, allows minimal runs, and has a high strikeout rate. That’s why he unsurprisingly has a high strikeout total for tonight’s game against the San Francisco Giants.
I have been fading Scherzer’s highly-inflated strikeout totals all season. The question is whether or not I’m setting my money on fire by betting against one of the best pitchers in the league.
The median MLB lineup has 8.86 strikeouts per game, and San Francisco’s lineup averages that very number. With the Giants not being more disciplined or more strikeout prone than most teams, this bet depends solely on Scherzer.
Scherzer averages more than 6 1/3 innings per start, which is much higher than the typical MLB starter this season. He has a strikeout rate of 12.16 per nine innings. On a typical night, Scherzer racks up 8.65 strikeouts.
Scherzer’s strikeout rate should remain the same, as he has consistently had the same strikeout rate for the last seven years. However, I’m skeptical the Nationals will continue to rely on him for more than six innings per start.
Last year, Scherzer averaged fewer than 5 2/3 innings per start. With an added strikeout for Scherzer’s prop for extra juice today, I am even more enthusiastic about this bet than I was yesterday.
I believe the Nats will rely on Scherzer for six innings or fewer today and that’s why he should go under his strikeout total of 9.5.
Pick: Max Scherzer Under 9.5 Strikeouts (-154 | Play up to -170)
- Action Labs Score: 8 (Based on 8.5 Strikeouts)
- Kevin Davis Score: 5
Lucas Giolito (CHW) — 7.5 Strikeouts (-155/+120)
|White Sox at Tigers||White Sox -167|
|Time||7:10 p.m. ET|
The Detroit Tigers are one of the worst teams in the league, and they are close to last place in every statistical category. Unsurprisingly, their lineup has the second-worst strikeout rate in the league.
On Friday night, Detroit must go against Lucas Giolito and the Chicago White Sox. Giolito owns a high strikeout rate and pitches for many innings per start. But the question remains: can he have more than 7.5 strikeouts?
When betting on pitcher strikeout props, there are three factors to consider: the pitcher’s strikeout rate, how long they are expected to pitch, and the opposing lineup.
Giolito has favorable conditions for all three factors, but eight or more strikeouts is a high bar to reach. Giolito has had eight or more strikeouts in half of his starts this season. In two starts against Detroit this season, Giolito put up eight or more strikeouts once.
In a typical start this season, Giolito goes about 5 2/3 innings and has 7.24 strikeouts. With Detroit’s lineup averaging 10.10 strikeouts per game, Giolito could go over his total.
The only issue is that the total is juiced to the over. With the under at +120, there’s value on betting against Giolito — even against the Tigers lineup.
Pick: Lucas Giolito Under 7.5 Strikeouts (+120 | Play to +110)
- Action Labs Score: 8
- Kevin Davis Score: 3
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