Eys Breakers: Expert Picks – MLB Strikeout Props For Wednesday

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We have another 16 games scheduled in MLB today. This time the double-header is in Coors Field after their postponement yesterday. Six games get started in the afternoon leaving us 10 games starting at 6:05 ET or later.

We have some weather concerns in New York that will definitely need to be monitored. Philadelphia, Baltimore and Boston have varying degrees of risk as well. As always, Kevin Roth has us covered with all the latest updates over at RotoGrinders. 

Let’s start in Baltimore, where Roth says, “99% chance there’s no (weather) issues here.” 

Free MLB Expert Picks For Today

Robbie Ray Over 6.5 Strikeouts (-125)

The Baltimore Orioles continue their series against the Seattle Mariners at Camden Yards. Robbie Ray will make his eleventh start of the season for the Mariners. 

Ray got off to a very slow start this year and the overall numbers are still down significantly from last year. He has a 4.75 ERA, but his 3.50 SIERA and 3.62 xFIP tell us he has pitched much better than his results. The strikeout rate is down at 27.1% – from 32.1% last year – and the walks are up to 8.4% – from 6.7% last year, but there has been a clear turnaround in his performance over the last four starts. 

A dip in Ray’s average fastball velocity looks to be the main factor of his slow start. Ray averaged just 92.6 MPH on his fastball through his first six starts this season, and his strikeout rate was all the way down at 20.3%. Over his last four starts, the average fastball velocity sits at 94.0 MPH, and his strikeout rate has been an elite 37.8%. He has struck out at least 8 batters in each of those last four starts. 

Today, he gets a great matchup with the Baltimore Orioles. The Orioles have struck out at the second highest rate (26.2%) in the league versus left-handed pitching. Their projected lineup today has struck out 28% of the time versus lefties. 

Ray has returned to form as an elite strikeout pitcher and has one of the best matchups in baseball for a lefty. I am hammering the over on 6.5 strikeouts and betting his alternate strikeouts prop lines up to 10+ as well. 

Tarik Skubal Over 5.5 Strikeouts (+104)

Next, we look to Detroit, where the Tigers take on the Minnesota Twins. Tarik Skubal takes the ball for the Twins in his 10th start of the season. 

Skubal has taken a massive step forward this season. He owns a 2.44 ERA with a 2.91 SIERA and 2.74 xIFIP. The strikeouts are at similar levels to last year at an above average 27.1%, but his other skills have improved drastically. He is getting far more ground balls (48.2% vs 38.5% last year) and limiting free passes with an elite walk rate of 4.4%. These new skills are helping with run prevention and allowing him to pitch deeper into games. He has pitched beyond the fifth inning in six of his nine starts this year. 

Minnesota is not an ideal matchup for strikeouts as they have struck out at a rate of only 20.5% versus left-handed pitching. However, Correa is on the IL who hits lefties well, and Buxton is out of the lineup which removes a high-strikeout bat, but also a huge power threat. Their lineup today includes Garlick and Sanchez at the top of the order who both strikeout a ton, and two lefties in Larnach and Gordon who strike out around 24% vs LHP.

The watered-down lineup improves Skubal’s chances of pitching into the late innings. I like him to go over 5.5 strikeouts today. 

Garrett Whitlock Over 4.5 Strikeouts (-124)

Finally, we look to Boston, where the Red Sox take on the Cincinnati Reds. Garrett Whitlock will make his eighth start of the season as he continues his conversion from the Boston bullpen into the rotation. 

Whitlock has translated his skills from the bullpen to the rotation nicely, and is showing the makings of an above-average starting pitcher. He owns a 3.49 ERA with a 3.14 SIERA and 3.22 xFIP. The strikeout rate sits at 27.3% and the walk rate is at 6.8%. 

The biggest concern with Whitlock is his pitch count as he has not yet gone beyond 84 pitches this year. The season-high pitch count came in his last start, so there is a chance he can improve on that number and land somewhere around 90 pitches today. 

The matchup today is a good one versus the Reds. They have struck out at 24.2% this season – the fifth highest rate in baseball. They also rank near the bottom of the league with a .296 wOBA and 84 wRC+ despite playing half their games in one of baseball’s best hitter’s parks. 

I think Whitlock is able to cruise through this well-below-average Reds lineup and make it through six innings for the second start in a row. He has a good chance to record at least one strikeout per inning and go over 4.5 strikeouts

Eys Breakers Betting Card For Wednesday

That will do it for today’s breakdown of the MLB slate. We were able to identify three pitcher’s strikeout props to target, and added some alternate strikeout props for Ray as well: 

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