Eys Breakers: Expert Picks – MLB Strikeout Props For Friday

Our MLB expert recommends to take the over that sportsbooks are offering for Rodon's strikeout props tonight.
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Betting analyst Keith Eyster gives his best MLB prop bets for today — Friday, June 17, 2022. Make sure to use our PrizePicks bonus and Caesars promo code to begin betting baseball props now!

We have 16 games on the MLB schedule with the Phillies and Nationals playing a double-header. Game 1 of the double-header and the Wrigley Field game both get started this afternoon, while everything else will be played later on in the evening. 

Weather looks mostly clear across the country, so we have 14 games to choose from. 

Free MLB Strikeout Props Picks For Today

Carlos Rodon Over 6.5 Strikeouts (-140)

We start in Pittsburgh, where the Pirates host the San Francisco Giants for a three-game weekend set. The Giants send Carlos Rodon to the mound for his 13th start of the year. 

Rodon got off to an excellent start this season as he did not allow more than two earned runs in any of his first six starts. He was blown up for eight runs against St. Louis in his seventh start.

He experienced a decline in velocity over his next three starts and saw his strikeout rate dip down to 20.4% over that stretch. Rodon appeared to right the ship in his last start against the Dodgers. His average fastball velocity was back up to a season-high 97.6 MPH as he struck out 8 in 6.0 innings. 

For the year, Rodon owns a 30.6% strikeout rate despite that stretch where he was dealing with a dip in velocity. When he is right he is one of the best strikeout pitchers in baseball. The strikeout rate ranks 5th in baseball among qualified starting pitchers, and his 13.1% swinging strike rate ranks 13th. 

His matchup today is one of the best in baseball. The Pirates 25.1% strikeout rate ranks second-highest in the league. Their .286 wOBA and 83 wRC+ both rank third-worst. The projected lineup contains five batters that have struck out over 25% of the time versus left-handed pitching. 

I think Rodon is able to carve up this weak Pirates offense and go over 6.5 strikeouts. I will also be on some of his alternate strikeout lines as we have seen him reach double-digits when he is at his best. 

Zach Thompson Under 3.5 Strikeouts (-115)

On the other side of this game, Pittsburgh counters with Zach Thompson who will make his 12th start of the season. Thompson has been below average overall, with a 4.50 ERA. He owns just a 17.2% strikeout rate and 8.2% walk rate. 

The leash has been inconsistent as well as he has been given a quick hook at times this season. He has been pulled before reaching 80 pitches in six of his eleven starts this year. He has topped the 90-pitch mark in just one outing. 

He gets a difficult matchup today with San Francisco who has been an above-average offense. The Giants’ .317 wOBA and 107 wRC+ both rank 11th in the league. They have struck out at only 22.4% which ranks 15th. Their projected lineup contains just 2 batters that have struck out over 21% of the time versus right-handed pitching this season. 

Thompson has failed to record at least 4 strikeouts in 6 of his 11 starts this season. The below-average strikeout rate, relatively short leash and difficult matchup should keep Thompson under 3.5 strikeouts today. 

John Gray Over 5.5 Strikeouts (-125)

Next, we turn to Detroit, where the Tigers take on the Texas Rangers. Jon Gray will make his 11th start of the season for the Rangers. 

On the surface, Gray has struggled in his first season away from Colorado. If we look under the hood, he has actually pitched a good bit better than his 4.85 ERA suggests. His SIERA is a much more respectable 3.82, and the 3.75 xFIP is even more favorable. He is still walking too many guys with a 10% walk rate, but the strikeouts are sitting at a career-best 26%. 

Gray has flashed elite strikeout ability in two of his last three starts. He struck out 10 White Sox in his last start, and struck out 10 Rays three starts back. In each of those starts his average fastball velocity was over 96.0 MPH.

In his first three starts of the season, his average fastball was sitting at 94.6 MPH, and he failed to record over four strikeouts in any of those starts. If he can maintain the increased velocity, we could see a new trend and the strikeouts tick up more consistently. 

The other huge positive for Gray today is the matchup. He faces a Tigers team that ranks dead last in both wRC+ and wOBA. Their 24.2% strikeout rate is the 5th highest in baseball.

The projected lineup contains four batters that have struck out over 28% of the time versus right-handed pitching, and three others have struck out over 20% of the time. 

The pitch count for Gray has been over 90 pitches in each of the last 5 starts, and he topped 100 pitches for the first time this season in his last outing. 

He should be able to pitch deep against one of the worst offenses in baseball, and I like him to go over 5.5 strikeouts today. 

Zach Plesac Under 3.5 Strikeouts (+110)

Finally, we head out to Los Angeles, where the Dodgers welcome the Cleveland Guardians to Chavez Ravine. Zach Plesac gets the start for the Guardians for the 12th time this season. Plesac has struggled to a 4.70 ERA this season while striking out only 16.3% of the batters he has faced. 

Plesac gets a very difficult assignment today against the Dodgers who rank 4th in MLB with a 112 wRC+ and .328 wOBA. They have struck out at just 21.4% on the season. They also project to have four lefties in the lineup. Plesac has struck out just 12.7% of the lefties he has faced this season. 

Plesac has been under four strikeouts in 5 of his 11 starts this year. The Dodgers should be able to hit Plesac around and elevate the pitch count leading to a shorter than usual outing. I like him to stay under 3.5 strikeouts today. 

Eys Breakers Friday 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!