Eys Breakers: Expert Picks – MLB Strikeout Props For Monday
Betting analyst Keith Eyster gives his best MLB player props picks for today – Monday, August 8, 2022.
We have a short slate in MLB tonight with only 7 games on the schedule. Thankfully, there are no weather concerns across the country leaving 14 pitchers in play for us to analyze.
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Free MLB Player Props Picks For Today
Justin Dunn Under 3.5 Strikeouts (-135)
Let’s get started in New York, where the Mets take on the Cincinnati Reds. Justin Dunn will be making his season debut for the Reds after coming over from the Mariners as part of the Jesse Winker/Eugenio Suarez trade.
Dunn has been working his way back from a shoulder injury and his results in the minors have not been pretty. He has made 8 starts, with 7 of them coming in AAA, and owns a 6.75 ERA and 6.09 xFIP overall. He has managed to strike out just 17.4% of batters while walking 12.3% of them. He has recorded more than 3.5 strikeouts in just 3 of his 8 minor league starts, with none of them over 4 strikeouts.
Today, he gets a matchup against the Mets who have been one of the best offenses in baseball with a 114 wRC+ and a 19.8% strikeout rate that both rank 3rd best in MLB. With Dunn’s struggles in the minors, I don’t see this start going well for him today. Give Dunn under 3.5 strikeouts.
Keegan Thompson Over 4.5 Strikeouts (+125)
Next, we look to Wrigley Field in Chicago, where the Cubs host the Washington Nationals. Keegan Thompson will make his 15th start of the season for the Cubs after working out of the bullpen to begin the year.
Thompson has been erratic as a starting pitcher, flashing huge upside at times with plenty of struggles along the way. His overall numbers are solid with a 3.48 ERA, 21.2% strikeout rate, and 7.9% walk rate.
Thompson seemed to turn a corner this season back on June 17th, with a breakout game against the Atlanta Braves when he struck out 9 in 6.0 shutout innings. Including that game, he has been over 4.5 strikeouts in 5 of his last 8 starts, racking up at least 7 strikeouts in each of the games he went over that number. The teams he struggled against in that stretch are all above-average offenses – Cardinals, Mets, Red Sox.
Today, he has two main factors working in his favor. The first factor is the weather conditions at Wrigley Field.
According to Kevin Roth’s Weather Edge tool at ScoresAndOdds, we can expect 16 MPH winds blowing in from left field this evening. In 39 games with similar weather, home runs have been down 15.7% and total runs down 8.7%. These conditions should help Thompson excel in run prevention today and allow him to pitch deeper into the game.
The second factor aiding Thompson today is the matchup with Washington. The Nationals traded their two best hitters, Soto and Bell, at the trade deadline last week, further weakening what was already a below average offense (92 wRC+.) Additionally, Thompson has struck out lefties (22.6%) at a higher rate than righties (20.0%) this season, and he projects to face 6 lefties today.
Facing a weaker Washington lineup with the wind blowing in should allow Thompson to pitch through the middle innings in this game. I like Thompson over 4.5 strikeouts today.
Zac Gallen Over 5.5 Strikeouts (-135)
Let’s now head out to the desert, where the Arizona Diamondbacks host the Pittsburgh Pirates. Zac Gallen will make his 21st start of the season for the Dbacks.
Gallen has been solid this season with a 3.31 ERA, 3.74 SIERA, and 3.84 xFIP. His strikeouts have been a touch above league average at 23.3%, with his walk rate at a respectable 7.0%.
Gallen has only been over 5.5 strikeouts in 7 of his 20 starts. However, he has landed on exactly 5 strikeouts in an additional 6 starts, giving us 13 of 20 starts with at least 5 strikeouts.
The thing that gets him over the hump today is his matchup with Pittsburgh. The Pirates have been one of the worst offenses in baseball with an 84 wRC+ and a .288 wOBA that ranks 3rd worst. Most importantly, they have struck out at a massive 25.4% rate, which is the 2nd highest strikeout rate in MLB.
He should be able to have success in one of the best matchups we can ask for. I like Gallen over 5.5 strikeouts today.
Blake Snell Over 7.5 Strikeouts (+100)
Finally, we turn to San Diego, where the Padres face off against the San Francisco Giants. Blake Snell will make his 14th start of the season.
Snell remains an inconsistent pitcher as evidenced by his 4.16 ERA and 11.8% walk rate, but he still holds massive strikeout appeal with an elite 30.2% strikeout rate.
This is a big number for Snell, but I love the value at even money and he has double-digit strikeout upside anytime he takes the mound. He has only been over 7.5 strikeouts in 3 of his 13 starts this season. However, each of those 3 occurrences came within his last 6 starts, including the last time he faced San Francisco. Snell was brilliant in his last start against the Giants a month ago, with 11 strikeouts and 1 run allowed in 6.0 innings.
The biggest issue with Snell is always his lack of control leading to an elevated pitch count. He has been in good form with the control recently, with 2 walks or less in 5 of his last 6 starts. His lone bout with wildness came in Coors Field.
The Giants have struck out plenty this season, particularly against left-handed pitching where their 23.5% strikeout rate is the 9th highest in baseball. They have 6 batters in the projected lineup that have struck out over 23% of the time versus lefties this season.
I think he continues to harness the walks and has another solid outing today against the Giants. Give me the over on Snell’s 7.5 strikeouts.
That will do it for today’s breakdown of the MLB slate. We were able to identify four strikeout props to target:
- Justin Dunn Under 3.5 Strikeouts (-135, DraftKings)
- Keegan Thompson Over 4.5 Strikeouts (+125, BetMGM)
- Zac Gallen Over 5.5 Strikeouts (-135, Caesars)
- Blake Snell Over 7.5 Strikeouts (+100, DraftKings)
Thank you for reading and good luck with your bets today!