Eys Breakers: Expert Picks – MLB Strikeout Props For Friday

Our betting experts are targeting the pitching props of Corbin Burnes in tonight's game.
Image Credit: Imagn

Betting analyst Keith Eyster gives his best MLB player props picks for today — Friday, July 1, 2022.

We have a full 15 game schedule in MLB today. There are two afternoon games in Chicago and Toronto, with everything else starting at 6:05 ET or later.

We are going to need to pay attention to Kevin Roth’s updates over on the RotoGrinders’ weather page, as there are several games with risk of delay or postponement on this slate. The biggest threats are in Detroit and Cleveland, while Cincinnati carries significant risk as well.  

Unders for pitchers in those games with weather concerns are always an angle I like to look at. An extended in-game delay can shorten a pitcher’s outing no matter how good they are. I would not just go blindly bet Gerritt Cole unders, because there is a chance of rain in Cleveland, but when I like an under already it does add value if there are also weather concerns. 

We have a situation like that today, and it is in Cleveland, but it is not Gerritt Cole. 

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Free MLB Strikeout Props Picks For Friday

Aaron Civale Under 4.5 Strikeouts (-134) 

The Guardians host the New York Yankees for a three-game set in Cleveland this weekend. Aaron Civale will make his 10th start of the season for Cleveland. 

It has been a difficult season so far for Civale as he carries a bloated 7.20 ERA. He has been unlucky with a .363 BABIP and is a better pitcher than his results show, but he is still nothing more than league average. Civale has been a below average strikeout pitcher in his career and draws a difficult matchup against one of baseball’s best offenses.  

The strikeout rate for Civale this season sits at 20.9%, which is right in line with his career averages. He has recorded at least 5 strikeouts in only 4 of his 9 starts this season. 

The Yankees have been a top tier offense this season as they lead the league with a 116 wRC+ and rank third with a .327 wOBA. They have struck out just below league average at 22.0% this year, and their power could present big problems for Civale. 

Civale has made it through 5 innings in just 3 starts this season. I think the Yankees hit him around today and force an early exit before the end of the 5th inning. There remains a chance the rain could knock him out before the Yankees are able to as well. Give me Civale under 4.5 strikeouts today. 

Corbin Burnes Over 7.5 Strikeouts (-160)

Next, we look to Pittsburgh, where the Pirates welcome the Milwaukee Brewers to town. Reigning NL Cy Young Award winner Corbin Burnes takes the mound for the Brewers. 

Burnes has picked up right where he left off last year as he has elite numbers across the board again this season. He owns a 2.41 ERA with a 32.4% strikeout rate and 5.7% walk rate. 

Burnes has recorded at least 8 strikeouts in 5 of his 6 six starts, and he has done it in 9 of his 15 starts this season. His 16.7% swinging strike rate is tied for the league’s best among qualified starting pitchers, and his 33.5% CSW% ranks second. He is no doubt one of baseball’s best strikeout pitchers.

He also gets an outstanding matchup against Pittsburgh today. The Pirates have been a well-below-average offense with an 86 wRC+ that ranks fourth worst and a .291 wOBA that ranks third worst.  They have struck out at a rate of 25.2%, which is the second highest rate in all of baseball. 

Burnes also has a great leash, as he has thrown over 100 pitches in 6 starts this season, and he has thrown at least 95 pitches in all but his first start of the year. 

He should be able to pitch into the late innings and go over 7.5 strikeouts in this one. If you don’t want to pay the juice on 7.5, I don’t mind taking Burnes over 8.5 strikeouts as long as it is still available at plus money.  

Marco Gonzales Under 4.5 Strikeouts (-148) 

Up in Seattle, the Mariners will take on the Oakland Athletics. Marco Gonzales gets the start for the Mariners for the 16th time this season. 

Gonzales has decent results this season with a 3.31 ERA, but his 5.15 SIERA and 4.91 xFIP show he has been very fortunate and could experience some regression. His 13.5% strikeout rate is the lowest of his career since he became a full-time starter. His 8.9% walk rate is also the highest of his career since 34 innings in his debut season. 

Gonzales’s underlying numbers are awful this season and despite this being a great matchup, he could struggle this evening. He has had an extremely difficult time missing bats this season as his swinging strike rate is just 7.8%. He has only recorded at least 5 strikeouts in 5 of his 15 starts this year. 

Gonzales has faced this Oakland team twice already this season. He went 7 strong innings against them 2 starts ago, but managed only 2 strikeouts in the game. Back on 5/23, he allowed 5 runs in just 5.1 innings and recorded only 3 strikeouts. 

Oakland has been better against lefties than righties this season. Their projected lineup today has struck out at a rate of just 21.3% versus left-handed pitching this season. 

This line for Gonzales is a strikeout too high, in my opinion. I don’t mind paying a little juice when I feel there is value in the line. Give me Gonzales under 4.5 strikeouts tonight.

Lance Lynn Over 5.5 Strikeouts (+120) 

Finally, we head out to San Francisco, where the Giants host the Chicago White Sox. Lance Lynn makes just his 4th start of the season after missing the first part of the year with a knee injury. 

Lynn has been hit around a little in his 3 starts but the strikeout rate has been decent. Lynn put together an elite season for the White Sox last year and I expect him to return to that form eventually this year. The ERA is an ugly 6.19, but his 3.33 SIERA and 3.33 xFIP suggest he has pitched much better than his results. 

Lynn has recorded 17 strikeouts in 16 innings this season for a 23.3% strikeout rate. He was up at a 27.5% strikeout rate last season, so there is even more potential there. He is coming off a start against Baltimore in which he recorded 8 strikeouts. 

He gets a difficult matchup with San Francisco today. They have been above average offensively this season with a 106 wRC+, and they have struck out around league average at 22.9%. Perhaps the biggest concern for Lynn is the Giants propensity to platoon. They currently project to send 5 lefties up there against him, and Lynn has fared better against righties in his career. 

The other positive for Lynn is his leash and ability to pitch deep into games. He was up to 109 pitches in his last start and has routinely thrown over 100 pitches per start in his career. 

If he is able to limit the damage from the lefties, I like his chances of pitching deep in the game. Despite the Giants average strikeout rates, I think Lynn can record a strikeout per inning and go over 5.5 strikeouts. 

Eys Breakers Betting Card

That will do it for today’s breakdown of the MLB slate. We were able to identify four strikeout props to target: 

Thank you for reading and good luck with your bets today!