Eys Breakers: Expert Picks – MLB Strikeout Props For Tuesday
Betting analyst Keith Eyster gives his best MLB player props picks for today – Tuesday, August 23, 2022.
After a short schedule yesterday, we have an absolutely loaded schedule today in MLB. There are 16 games on the docket, including a double-header between the Cubs and Cardinals that kicks off the slate this afternoon. The other 15 games take place this evening, giving us plenty of options to break down.
Weather is mostly clear across the league, with one main exception in Boston. There are some storms around New York as well, but nothing that looks all that threatening at the moment. Kevin Roth has all the updates over on the RotoGrinders weather page.
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Free MLB Player Props Picks For Tuesday
Max Fried Over 5.5 Strikeouts (-125)
Let’s get started in Pittsburgh, where the Pirates host the Atlanta Braves. Braves ace Max Fried will take the ball for his 24th start of the season.
Fried has put together another excellent season with a 2.60 ERA. The strikeouts have been right around league average at 22.9%, and the walk rate is elite again at 4.3%.
Fried has been over 5.5 strikeouts in only 11 of his 23 starts this season, but he gets one of the absolute best matchups for a left-handed pitcher today in one of the best pitcher’s parks in baseball.
The Pirates have managed just an 83 wRC+ versus lefties this year and their .288 wOBA ranks fifth worst. They have struck out at a massive 26.2% rate versus lefties this season, second most in the league. Fried faced the Pirates back in early June, and he went 6.0 innings with only 1 run allowed and 8 strikeouts. I expect a similar outing here today.
Fried should be able to dominate this weak Pittsburgh offense and go over 5.5 strikeouts today.
Mike Clevinger Under 4.5 Strikeouts (-118)
Next, we look to San Diego, where the Padres square off with the Cleveland Guardians. Mike Clevinger will get the ball against his former team in his 15th start of the season for the Padres.
Clevinger has had a mostly successful return from surgery that cost him the majority of last season. He has pitched to a 3.63 ERA this year, but both his 4.26 SIERA and 4.44 xFIP suggest he has had some good fortune with the results. The strikeouts have not quite returned to his peak numbers and sit just below league average at 21.0%.
Clevinger has had a bit of a struggle in his last three starts. We can certainly give him a pass for a rocky performance against the Dodgers that saw him yield 5 runs, but he has also issued 8 walks in his last two starts against Washington and Miami, two much weaker opponents. His walk rate sat at just 6.3% prior to those two performances, so a loss of control in consecutive starts has raised some red flags.
Digging a little deeper, I have noticed a dip in velocity as well. Clevinger has averaged just 92.9 MPH on his fastball in his last three starts. He has had multiple starts this season where he has averaged 94.4 MPH, and had averaged 93.9 MPH on his fastball prior to his last three starts.
Additionally, Clevinger matches up with the best contact offense in baseball today. The Guardians 18.3% strikeout rate is lowest in baseball by nearly two percentage points. Their projected lineup today has struck out at just 17.2% versus right-handed pitching this season.
Clevinger has some warning signs that he could be dealing with a loss of mechanics or even a nagging injury. The walk rate has skyrocketed in his last two starts and the velocity is down slightly. Add in a difficult matchup against a high-contact offense, and I think Clevinger stays under 4.5 strikeouts today.
Robbie Ray Over 6.5 Strikeouts (-139)
Finally, we head out to Seattle, where the Mariners take on the Washington Nationals. Robbie Ray will make his 25th start of the season for the Mariners.
Ray has put together a solid season, although he has dealt with some inconsistency. His ERA sits at 3.87 for the year, but both his SIERA and xFIP sit at 3.44, suggesting he has pitched a bit better than his results. The strikeouts are not quite the elite level we saw last season, but they are still significantly above league average at 28.5%.
When Ray has his best stuff and the control is in check he can be one of the best pitchers in baseball. He has recorded double-digit strikeouts on seven occasions this season, including in two of his last three starts with both of them coming against the Angels. He has recorded over 6.5 strikeouts in six of his last nine starts, and his strikeout rate is all the way up at 32.9% in those games including the two duds against Houston.
The matchup for Ray today is a good one overall. The Nationals traded away their two best hitters, Soto and Bell, at the trade deadline.
They have been a below-average offense since the trade with a 94 wRC+, and they have seen their strikeout rise to 22.6%. The one negative in the matchup is the Nats do have the ability to get very right-handed against Ray, and they project to only have one lefty in the lineup. Ray still has a solid 26.6% strikeout rate versus righties, but he is definitely stronger against same-handed bats.
Despite the lack of lefties, this is still a below average offense and Ray has the arsenal to rack up strikeouts in any matchup. I think he can pitch deep into this game and go over 6.5 strikeouts.
Player Props Betting Card For Today
That will do it for today’s breakdown of the MLB slate. We were able to identify three strikeout props to target:
- Max Fried Over 5.5 Strikeouts (-125, DraftKings)
- Mike Clevinger Under 4.5 Strikeouts (-118, FanDuel)
- Robbie Ray Over 6.5 Strikeouts (-139, Caesars)
Thank you for reading and good luck with your bets!