Eys Breakers: Expert Picks – MLB Strikeout Props For Wednesday
Betting analyst Keith Eyster gives his best MLB prop bets for today — Wednesday, June 15, 2022. Make sure to use our PrizePicks bonus and Caesars promo code to begin betting baseball props now!
We have 15 games on the MLB schedule today and they are spread throughout the day. Six of the games get started at some point in the afternoon, so we will focus on the nine games starting at 7:05 ET or later.
Weather is mostly clear across the country with high temperatures and great hitting conditions in several spots.
Free MLB Strikeout Props Picks For Wednesday
Shane McClanahan Over 6.5 Strikeouts (-125)
Let’s get started in New York, where the Yankees host the Tampa Bay Rays. AL Cy Young favorite Shane McClanahan makes his 13th start of the season for Tampa.
McClanahan has been nothing short of brilliant in only his second big league season. He has improved his skills across the board to launch himself into the elite tier. The results have been fantastic as his ERA sits at a miniscule 1.87 on the year.
He leads MLB starting pitchers with a 35.5% strikeout rate and 16.9% swinging strike rate. He has improved his walk rate to an elite 4.7%, and his groundball rate sits well-above average at 49.1%. There is absolutely nothing flukey about what he is doing this year.
He gets a tough assignment going into Yankee Stadium today to face one of the league’s top offenses. The Yankees rank first in MLB with a .333 wOBA and 120 wRC+. This will be no walk in the park today for McClanahan.
The silver lining here is the Yankees have been slightly worse against left-handed pitching. They rank eighth in wOBA and fifth in wRC+, and their strikeout rate is also significantly higher against southpaws. The projected lineup contains six batters with strikeout rates over 22% versus lefties.
I usually lean to elite pitching to win out when facing elite offense, and I will ride that train again today. Give me McClanahan over 6.5 strikeouts.
Spencer Strider Over 5.5 Strikeouts (-104)
Next, we look to the nation’s capital, where the Washington Nationals square off against the streaking Atlanta Braves. The defending world champs will try to make it 14 wins in a row tonight as they send rookie phenom Spencer Strider to the mound for his 4th start of the season.
Strider began the year in the Atlanta bullpen, but his ridiculous numbers have forced a move into the rotation where he has continued to thrive. His elite fastball that often reaches triple digits and has been nearly unhittable. He owns a 2.35 ERA and 36.8% strikeout rate through his first 38.1 MLB innings. That strikeout rate would be tops among starting pitchers if he had enough innings to qualify.
He does not come without risk, however. His control can often lead to elevated pitch counts as his walk rate sits at 12.3%. He also gets a matchup with a high-contact Washington team today. I am more concerned about the walks than the matchup as Strider has the arsenal to mow down even the most elite hitters, but let’s dig in a little.
Washington has struck out at the third-lowest rate in the league this season. Juan Soto is dealing with a bit of a knee issue that forced him to miss yesterday’s game. His potential absence today would be a significant boost for Strider as he sports a 13.8% strikeout rate and 20.7% walk rate versus righties this season.
The rest of the lineup is well-below average despite their contact ability. The projected Washington lineup contains five batters who own walk rates of 7% or lower versus right-handed pitching. Victor Robles would be the potential replacement for Soto, and he is on the opposite end of the strikeout and walk rates spectrum. He would add a high-strikeout low-walk bat to the lineup.
I am jumping on the over 5.5 strikeouts for Strider before the Washington lineup is announced. If we get Robles in for Soto, I want the alternate strikeout lines all the way up the ladder for Strider as well.
Roansy Contreras Over 4.5 Strikeouts (+110)
Now we shift our focus to the midwest where the warm temperatures and elite hitting conditions from yesterday return for another day. In St. Louis, the Cardinals will take on the Pittsburgh Pirates again after sweeping the double-header yesterday. Pittsburgh will turn to rookie right-hander Ronasy Contreras to try and get them back in the win column. Contreras will be making just his fourth start of the season.
We backed Contreras in his last start with a difficult matchup and he did not disappoint. He was able to last 4.2 innings despite getting hit around a bit by the elite Atlanta offense. He flashed an elite pitch arsenal and was able to record 7 strikeouts to easily cash the over on his strikeout prop.
Contreras owns a 2.57 ERA on the season, with a 28.2% strikeout rate and 7.7% walk rate. Very solid numbers for a rookie getting his first extended look in the big leagues. The strikeouts are already bordering on elite and the walks are very manageable. He has recorded at least 5 strikeouts in five of his seven outings this season, including twice in separate three-inning relief stints.
That is where the good news ends as there seems to be a theme developing among the picks today. We have some very young, but very talented strikeout pitchers we are backing to succeed in difficult situations. For Contreras, that situation is two-fold.
The weather in St. Louis today is ideal for hitting and could put Contreras on the wrong side of home run variance. He also faces a high-contact Cardinals offense that could present some problems. The Cardinals own the second-lowest strikeout rate in the league at just 19.2%. They have been above average overall, with a .318 wOBA that ranks 11th in the league and a 108 wRC+ that ranks 9th.
This is all baked into the strikeout prop though as his line would be at least 5.5 in a more favorable matchup. Getting plus money on this line offers additional value. I am backing the talented pitching to have success against the talented offense again with over 4.5 strikeouts for Contreras.
Caleb Kilian Over 3.5 Strikeouts (-126)
Finally, we look to Wrigley Field in Chicago, where the Cubs host the San Diego Padres. Temperatures are warm again and the wind is blowing out even harder than yesterday when we saw 17 runs put on the board. Rookie-righthander Caleb Kilian will make his second career start for the Cubs.
Kilian’s MLB debut was mostly successful overall. He was lights out the first time through the Cardinals order before struggling a bit the second time through. In total, he allowed 3 runs in 5 innings and recorded 6 strikeouts. He also showed an ability to keep the ball on the ground as well with 6 ground balls.
I am more concerned about the weather conditions leading to home run variance than I am about the matchup with San Diego. The Padres are around league average with a 22.1% strikeout rate. Their .300 wOBA and 96 wRC+ place them slightly below league average overall.
The strikeout and ground ball ability translating from his very strong AAA numbers into his first MLB start are what keeps me interested in Kilian today despite the very difficult conditions. If he can miss some bats and keep the ball in the park, he should be able to have some success today and stay in the game long enough for us to cash the over 3.5 strikeouts.
Eys Breakers Betting Card
That will do it for today’s breakdown of the MLB slate. We were able to identify four strikeout props to target:
- Shane McClanahan Over 6.5 Strikeouts (-125, PointsBet)
- Spencer Strider Over 5.5 Strikeouts (-104, FanDuel)
- Roansy Contreras Over 4.5 Strikeouts (+110, FanDuel)
- Caleb Kilian Over 3.5 Strikeouts (-126, FanDuel)
Thank you for reading and good luck with your bets!