Eys Breakers: Expert Picks – MLB Strikeout Props For Friday
Betting analyst Keith Eyster gives his best MLB player props picks for today – Friday, August 19, 2022.
We have 15 games on the MLB schedule today. The Cubs and Brewers kick off the slate early in the day, and everything else is under the lights this evening.
Weather is mostly clear across the league, with Minnesota currently the only spot to monitor for a chance of a delay or postponement. Atlanta carries its usual chance for a pop-up storm and Denver has a slight risk of delay, but we are not interested in pitchers there anyway.
Let’s get started in Tampa Bay, where we have an exciting pitcher’s duel with some intriguing young arms.
Shane McClanahan gets the ball for Tampa Bay as he tries to get his season back on track. He has had a brilliant season overall, but he has struggled his last three times out with a strikeout rate of only 14.3%. I will pass on McClanahan and simply hope he returns to form so we can jump back on his overs in the future.
I would side with the under for him today, but he has filthy stuff and is an elite strikeout pitcher when he is right. I do not think it is worth the risk as I expect him to return to form in the very near future.
- Editor’s Note: Make sure to use our PrizePicks bonus and Caesars promo code to begin betting on baseball now!
Free MLB Player Props Picks For Friday
Brady Singer Over 6.5 Strikeouts (+105)
My interest in this game lies on the other side of the matchup, where Brady Singer will make his 17th start of the season for Kansas City.
Singer has quietly put together an excellent season with a 3.29 ERA that is fully supported by a 3.37 SIERA and 3.35 xFIP. The strikeouts are well-above average at 25.5%, as are the walks at 6.0%. He gets a great matchup against a high-strikeout Tampa Bay lineup in one of the best pitcher’s parks in baseball.
Singer faced this Tampa Bay team less than a month ago and it was one of his best starts of the season. He lasted 6 innings, allowing only 1 earned run with 12 strikeouts and 2 walks. He has only been over 6.5 strikeouts in 6 of his 16 starts this season, but 3 of those 6 occurrences have been in his last 5 starts, including the one against Tampa Bay.
The projected lineup for Tampa Bay is loaded with strikeout potential. Only one hitter in the projected lineup has a strikeout rate below 23% versus right-handed pitching this season. The bottom five hitters in the lineup all have strikeout rates above 27% to righties, and the collective group has a 26.5% strikeout rate against righties this season.
This is an incredible spot for him and it is not difficult to see how he racked up 12 strikeouts in their last meeting. I am not saying he should be able to replicate those results, but I do think Singer has a great chance to go over 6.5 strikeouts today.
Matt Manning Under 4.5 Strikeouts (-120)
Next, we turn our attention to Detroit, where the Tigers host the Los Angeles Angels. Mike Trout is expected to make his return to the Angels lineup after missing over a month with a back injury.
Matt Manning gets the assignment for the Tigers in just his 6th start of the season. Manning missed significant time himself this year with a shoulder injury. He has pitched to a 3.24
ERA so far, but the underlying metrics tell a bit of a different story. His 4.84 SIERA and 4.73 xFIP are both significantly higher than his ERA. He has benefited from a very low 5.9% HR/FB ratio and a 79.5% strand rate. There is likely some regression coming his way.
Manning displayed elite strikeout skills on his way through the minor leagues, but he has not yet been able to translate those skills to the big leagues. In 110.1 career major league innings, he owns just a 15.1% strikeout rate. He has posted a 16.2% strikeout rate through 5 starts this season.
The Angels have not been a good offense this season and they do strike out plenty, but they have been without Trout for a significant portion of the season, as well as extreme contact-specialist David Fletcher at the top of the lineup. Both Trout and Fletcher should be in the lineup today.
The majority of the strikeouts for the Angels should be near the bottom of the order, and I don’t think he can make it to them for a third time today. I think Manning stays under 4.5 strikeouts.
Tommy Henry Under 3.5 Strikeouts (+105)
Our next stop is the desert in Arizona, where the Diamondbacks take on the St. Louis Cardinals. Tommy Henry will make the 4th start of his young career for the Diamondbacks.
Henry has gotten decent results with a 4.15 ERA in his first three starts, but an unsustainable .208 BABIP stands out if we look under the hood. He has posted a low strikeout rate of just 12.3% and a high walk rate of 11.0%.
Henry is probably a better strikeout pitcher than his results so far if we are talking long-term. He has had 2 very low strikeout opponents in Cleveland and Colorado, but he did still manage only 3 strikeouts against Pittsburgh as well. The bad news for him is he gets a very difficult matchup against St. Louis today.
The Cardinals have been the very best offense in MLB against left-handed pitching this season. Their 128 wRC+ and .348 wOBA are both tops in all of baseball, and their 19.2% strikeout rate is 5th lowest against left-handed pitchers. I think they make life very difficult for the inexperienced Henry this evening. I like him to stay under 3.5 strikeouts and exit the game before the end of the 5th inning.
Blake Snell Over 7.5 Strikeouts (+110)
Finally, we head out to San Diego, where the Padres take on Juan Soto’s former squad, the Washington Nationals. Blake Snell will make his 16th start of the season for the Padres.
Snell has put together a solid season with a 3.66 ERA. His 3.40 SIERA and 3.32 xFIP both solidify his good results. He has been an elite strikeout pitcher again this season with a 31.4% strikeout rate, while the walks continue to be an issue at 10.8%.
Snell has been over 7.5 strikeouts in 5 of his last 8 starts, including each of his last 3 starts. He is one of the better strikeout pitchers in baseball when he is on his game, which has been more often than not in his recent starts.
The walks are generally what gets him in trouble, but have a bit of safety in that regard today due to his matchup with the Nationals. This version of the Nationals, sans Juan Soto and Josh Bell, has a low walk rate. Their projected lineup today contains five batters with a walk rate below 6% versus left-handed pitching, and another one in Cesar Hernandez with just a 6.5% walk rate.
Snell should be able to limit the walks today which will allow him to pitch deeper into the game. He can rack up the whiffs against anyone, and I like him to get over 7.5 strikeouts against the Nationals today.
Friday’s Player Props Betting Card
That will do it for today’s breakdown of the MLB slate. We were able to identify four strikeout props to target:
- Brady Singer Over 6.5 Strikeouts (+105, DraftKings)
- Matt Manning Under 4.5 Strikeouts (-120, FanDuel)
- Tommy Henry Under 3.5 Strikeouts (+105, BetMGM)
- Blake Snell Over 7.5 Strikeouts (+110, BetMGM)
Thank you for reading and good luck with your bets!