Eys Breakers: Expert Picks – MLB Strikeout Props For Wednesday

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Betting analyst Keith Eyster gives his best MLB player prop picks for today — Wednesday, June 22, 2022.

We have another 15 games on the MLB schedule today. Four games get started between 2:10 ET and 4:10 ET, with everything else later on this evening. 

There are some potential weather issues lurking, with the biggest threat coming in Baltimore. Make sure to check out the RotoGrinders weather page, where Kevin Roth has you covered with all the updates. 

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Free MLB Strikeout Prop Picks For Wednesday

Tarik Skubal Over 5.5 Strikeouts (-110) 

We get started in Boston, with the Red Sox hosting the Detroit Tigers in Fenway Park. 

Tarik Skubal will take the mound for the Tigers for the 14th time this season. He has clearly been the ace of the Detroit staff this year posting a 3.13 ERA over 74.2 innings. His 3.10 SIERA and 3.02 xFIP strongly support his results. The strikeouts are solidly above-average at 26.7% and the walks have improved to an excellent 4.7%. 

The matchup today for Skubal is not ideal as he takes on the powerful Red Sox in Fenway Park. However, they do have several high-strikeout bats in the lineup and Rafael Devers is getting the night off.

While Devers has struck out 25% of the time versus lefties, he also owns a .216 ISO and his absence is a net positive. Duran is leading off with Story, Vasquez and Dalbec offering additional high-strikeout bats down the lineup. Rookie Jeter Downs will be making his debut in the 9 spot, and he had a 31% strikeout rate in AAA. 

Despite the tough park and plenty of power righties in the Boston lineup, I think he can navigate this version of the Red Sox successfully. I like Skubal to go over 5.5 strikeouts tonight. 

Eric Lauer Under 4.5 Strikeouts (+122)

Next, we look to Milwaukee, where the Brewers take on their NL Central rival St. Louis Cardinals. Eric Lauer gets the start for Milwaukee for the 13th time this season. 

Lauer has good numbers overall for the year posting a 3.57 ERA, with a career-best 25.3% strikeout rate and 7.7% walk rate. He got off to a scorching hot start this year showing increased velocity and a ridiculous 35.5% strikeout rate through his first 6 starts. 

Unfortunately, for Lauer, that is where the good news ends. He has come back down to earth over his last 6 starts and the increased velocity has disappeared.

He averaged 94.1 MPH on his fastball in his first 6 starts, but he has seen that average dip to 93.0 MPH in his last 6 starts – including a season-low average of 92.3 MPH on his fastball in his most recent start. The strikeout rate over his last 6 starts is all the way down to 15.6%. 

Today, he gets a tough matchup against a high-contact Cardinals offense. They have struck out at a rate of only 19.6% on the season, which is the 3rd lowest in the league. They are above average overall with a 108 wRC+ and their .319 wOBA ranks 10th in baseball. 

Lauer’s true strikeout rate probably settles somewhere between the 15.6% he has produced over his last 6 starts and his 25.3% mark for the season, but I think he is likely to be closer to the former number today unless the velocity spikes again. Give me Lauer under 4.5 strikeouts today in this difficult matchup. 

George Kirby Over 4.5 Strikeouts (-115) 

Out in Oakland, the Athletics host the Seattle Mariners. Rookie right-hander George Kirby will make his 9th start of the season for the Mariners. 

Kirby has been very solid in his debut season for the Mariners. He has posted a 3.56 ERA, which is supported by a 3.36 SIERA and 3.41 xFIP. The strikeouts have been around league average at 22.9%, while the walks are at an elite 2.8%. Kirby had elite strikeout stuff throughout the minors, so I expect his strikeout rate ticks up as he gains more big-league experience. 

Kirby gets an elite matchup with one of the worst offenses in baseball today. Oakland ranks second worst in the league with a 77 wRC+ and dead last with a .268 wOBA. They have struck out at a rate of 23.5%, which ranks 9th highest in baseball. He took on this Oakland offense nearly a month ago in his fourth big league start. He lasted 5 innings and did give up 4 runs, but he also recorded 9 strikeouts.

Kirby has thrown at least 90 pitches in each of his last five starts, so there are no concerns about the leash here. He has recorded at least 5 strikeouts in four of his eight starts this season. I think he does a better job of limiting the hits and runs this time against Oakland, which should allow him to pitch past the 5th inning. I like him to go over 4.5 strikeouts tonight

Shohei Ohtani Over 6.5 Strikeouts (+112) 

Finally, we look out west to Anaheim, where the Los Angeles Angels host the Kansas City Royals. Two-way superstar Shohei Ohtani takes the ball for the Angels in his 12th start of the season. 

Ohtani has been very good on the mound with a 3.28 ERA, although there has been some inconsistency. He has posted an elite 31.2% strikeout rate and harnessed the walk issues that plagued him in his first few seasons. While the walks are at an above-average 6.1%, he has struggled with command inside the strike zone at times and allowed too much hard contact. 

Ohtani seems to have corrected the contact issues in his last two starts as he allowed only 13.3% hard contact in his last start against Seattle, and only 15.8% against Boston before that. He recorded 6 strikeouts in each of those starts. 

Ohtani gets arguably his weakest opponent of the season tonight against Kansas City. They could also be without their best hitter tonight, as Salvador Perez is dealing with a thumb injury and left last night’s game early. 

While the Royals are a high-contact team, they do not pose the same power threat as most of his other opponents this season – especially if Perez is out of the lineup. I think he will be more aggressive today and overpower this Royals lineup to go over 6.5 strikeouts

Free Props Betting Card For Today

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!