Eys Breakers: Expert Picks – MLB Strikeout Props For Tuesday
Betting analyst Keith Eyster gives his best MLB prop bets for today — Tuesday, June 7, 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 today. The Rangers and Guardians start off the day with the make-up of yesterday’s postponement before playing their regularly-scheduled game later on this evening. Everything else gets started at 6:40 ET or later.
There are some weather spots to monitor again today with the biggest risk currently residing in Baltimore. As always, Kevin Roth has us covered with all the updates over at RotoGrinders. Most of the risk looks to be of the “late start” variety rather than in-game delays that could impact pitchers.
Free MLB Strikeout Prop Picks For Tuesday
Tarik Skubal Over 5.5 Strikeouts (-116)
Let’s get started in Pittsburgh, where the Pirates host the Detroit Tigers for a short, two-game series.
Tarik Skubal will look to continue his excellent year with his 11th start of the season for the Tigers.
Skubal has taken his game to another level this season by improving his skills across the board. The strikeouts have improved to 27.0% from 25.9% last year, walks are down to 4.4% from 7.4%, and ground balls have improved to 46.4% from 38.5%. Those are the skills of a borderline ace and the results have followed. The ERA sits at a sparkling 2.15 and is backed up by an equally impressive 2.97 SIERA and 2.79 xFIP.
Today, he gets a matchup with the Pirates, who have struck out at the fourth-highest rate (24.2%) in the league. Their .293 wOBA ranks sixth worst, while their 88 wRC+ ranks fifth worst. Their current lineup has four batters who have struck out at a 24.5% rate or higher versus left-handed pitching this season, and another projected to make his MLB debut (Swaggerty) who owns a 28% strikeout rate in AAA this year.
Skubal has also reached the 100-pitch mark in three of his last four starts. He has pitched through the sixth inning in six of his 10 appearances this year, and through the seventh inning in three of his last five starts. I like him to pitch deep into this game and go over 5.5 strikeouts.
Kyle Wright Over 5.5 Strikeouts (-110)
Next, we look to Atlanta where the Braves will host the Oakland Athletics. Kyle Wright makes his eleventh start of the season for the Braves.
Wright is in the midst of a breakout season, as he currently owns a 2.41 ERA. His 3.43 SIERA and 3.31 xFIP suggest there is a little luck involved in those results, but he has clearly taken a huge step in his development. The strikeout rate is all the way up to 27.5% after sitting around 17% last year. He has improved his swinging strike rate to 12.1% from 9.8%, and his CSW% is up at 31.0% from 27.8% last year. His curveball has been the difference maker as he has increased the usage to 31% this year after using it only 14% of the time last year.
The walks have improved as well from an ugly 14.3% last year to a still concerning 9.8% this season. His control problems popped up again in his last start as he issued 5 walks, but he still made it through 6 innings. The good news is he faces an Oakland team today that owns the fifth lowest walk rate in baseball.
Oakland has also struck out 24.2% of the time this year – the sixth-highest rate in the league. Their .268 wOBA and 79 wRC+ each rank second to last in MLB. Oakland has 4 batters in their projected lineup that have struck out over 26% of the time versus right-handed pitching this season.
Wright also eclipsed the 100-pitch mark in his last start for the first time this season. He has thrown over 90 pitches in seven of ten starts this year. That leash should be enough for him to work through any control issues that may pop up again.
I think he works into the late innings against one of the league’s worst offenses and goes over 5.5 strikeouts.
Edward Cabrera Over 5.5 Strikeouts (+120)
Let’s now shift the focus to Miami, where the Marlins take on the Washington Nationals. Edward Cabrera makes his second start of the season after dazzling in his season debut in Coors Field.
Cabrera tossed six shutout innings against the Rockies in his first start. He allowed just one hit and recorded nine strikeouts, but he did issue four walks as well. The walks are definitely the biggest concern going into start number two. The pitch count reached 94 pitches in his first start, so he is fully stretched out as well.
Cabrera has flashed an outstanding arsenal of pitches including a fastball that runs into the upper-90s. In the minor leagues, he has maintained a strikeout rate above 30% since the beginning of last year. In a brief Major League sample last season, it was an above-average 23.1%.
Washington has been below league-average with a .310 wOBA and 96 wRC+. They have been among the lowest strikeout teams in baseball, but Cabrera’s stuff can win in any matchup when he is on. He just demonstrated this by recording 9 strikeouts in Coors Field against another low-strikeout team in the Rockies.
The strikeout prop line is accounting for the matchup and we are getting plus odds on the over. If Cabrera can harness the control, he should be able to go over 5.5 strikeouts.
Taijuan Walker Over 3.5 Strikeouts (+110)
Finally, we head out to San Diego where the Padres and Mets square off. Taijuan Walker will make his ninth start of the season for the Mets.
This is an uncomfortable play when looking at the numbers this year. Walker has pitched to an incredibly fortunate 2.88 ERA this season. His 4.93 ERA and 4.50 xFIP tell us he has not deserved the results he has gotten. His strikeout rate is a ridiculously low 12.5%, but that is far below his career 21.6% strikeout rate coming into this season.
There is regression coming in the strikeouts for Walker despite his unjustified positive results this season. I am going to take a chance that comes today against San Diego with a very low strikeout prop for a fully stretched starting pitcher with plus odds on the over. Despite his egregiously-low strikeout rate this year, Walker has recorded at least four strikeouts in three of his eight starts this season.
The schedule for Walker to open the season has been brutal. He has faced Philadelphia a whopping four times in eight starts. It is not that Philly is the most difficult matchup in the league, just that facing the same opponent four times in any two-month stretch cannot be easy. His other four opponents this season (Dodgers, Rockies, Cardinals, Nationals) all rank in the top 10 for lowest strikeout rates in the league.
Today, he gets a matchup with San Diego. They are not the easiest matchup either, but there is an argument to be made it is Walker’s easiest matchup of the season so far. The Padres strikeout around the league average at 22.5%. Their .297 wOBA and 93 wRC+ are both solidly below the league average.
The pitch count for Walker is also stabilizing. He has thrown at least 94 pitches in three of his last four starts, and I think he can make it through at least 6 innings today. If the strikeouts return to anywhere near his 21.6% career rate, he has a great chance to go over 3.5 strikeouts.
That will do it for today’s breakdown of the MLB slate. We were able to identify four pitchers’ strikeout props to target:
- Tarik Skubal Over 5.5 Strikeouts (-116, FanDuel)
- Kyle Wright Over 5.5 Strikeouts (-110, BetMGM)
- Edward Cabrera Over 5.5 Strikeouts (+120, FanDuel)
- Taijuan Walker Over 3.5 Strikeouts (+110, DraftKings)
Thank you for reading and good luck with your bets today!