Eys Breakers: Expert Picks – MLB Strikeout Props For Friday

Zack Wheeler's Cy Young odds in 2022
(Image Credit: Imagn)

Betting analyst Keith Eyster gives his best MLB player props picks for today — Friday, July 8, 2022.

We have a full 15-game schedule in MLB tonight with all 30 teams in action. Everything takes place under the lights, with the first game getting started at 6:40 ET. 

There are some weather risks to keep track of on this slate. Storms are threatening a phenomenal pitching matchup in Cincinnati between Shane McClanahan and Luis Castillo. There is also some risk in Baltimore and Atlanta. As always, Kevin Roth has you covered with the weather updates over at RotoGrinders. 

Expert Strikeout Props Picks For Today

Pablo Lopez Over 4.5 Strikeouts (-115)

Let’s get started in Citi Field, where the New York Mets host the Miami Marlins. 

Pablo Lopez will make his 17th start of the season for the Marlins. He has been outstanding this year with a 2.97 ERA, 24.6% strikeout rate and 7.1% walk rate. 

The strikeouts are actually down slightly from last season, but he has a career-high 13.4% swinging strike rate and 29.0% CSW% this year. There is room for him to improve on his above average strikeout rate. 

The matchup is a difficult one against the Mets. They have struck out at just 19.7%, which is the third-lowest rate in the league. Their 112 wRC+ places them solidly above league average, and their .320 wOBA ranks in the top 10. Lopez had one of his worst starts of the season against them last month. He allowed 7 runs (6 earned) in 5.1 innings, but he did manage 5 strikeouts. 

Lopez has recorded at least 5 strikeouts in 14 of his 16 starts this year, and I think the value still lies on the over despite the difficult matchup. Lopez has been over 100 pitches in 2 of his last 3 starts, so he should have the leash to work through some adversity today. We likely need him to get through 6 innings, but he has done that in 9 of his 14 starts. Give me Lopez over 4.5 strikeouts

Lucas Giolito Over 6.5 Strikeouts (-120)

Next, we look to Chicago, where the White Sox and Detroit Tigers square off in a battle of disappointing AL Central teams. 

Lucas Giolito makes the start for the White Sox for the 15th time this season. It has been a rocky season for Giolito as he owns a 4.90 ERA. However, he has been extremely unlucky with a career-high .349 BABIP and a 16.9% HR/FB rate. His 3.63 SIERA and 3.69 xFIP suggest there are much better days ahead in the very near future. 

Giolito’s strikeout rate sits well-above average this season at 27.3%, and he has recorded at least 7 strikeouts in 8 of his 14 starts this year. 

His matchup today is one of the best in baseball against the Tigers. Their 76 wRC+ and .278 wOBA both rank second worst in MLB. They have struck out at a rate of 23.5%, which is the 8th highest in baseball. They also project to send 6 lefties to the plate against Giolito today, and he has a wide reverse-strikeout split. He has fanned 36.6% of lefties this season versus just 21.0% of righties. 

He should have no problems with this Detroit lineup today, and I like Giolito to go over 6.5 strikeouts. 

Zack Wheeler Over 5.5 Strikeouts (-136) 

Finally, we head over to St. Louis, where the Cardinals take on the Philadelphia Phillies. Zack Wheeler will make 16th start of the season for the Phillies as looks to build on his impressive season that has him among the favorites for the NL Cy Young Award. 

Wheeler has a fantastic 2.66 ERA this year that is supported by a 3.08 SIERA and 3.03 xFIP. His strikeouts are well-above average at 27.9% and the walks are great as well at 5.6%. 

Wheeler has recorded at least 6 strikeouts in 10 of his 15 starts this season. Three of the starts he came up short were his first three of the season when he was not fully stretched out, so that puts him with at least 6 strikeouts in 10 of his last 12 starts.

The biggest concern for him today is that he just faced this Cardinals team in his last start. He was very good over 7 shutout innings, but he recorded only 5 strikeouts. 

The Cardinals remain a contact-heavy offense with a strikeout rate of 20.6% that ranks 8th lowest in the league. We are relying on Wheeler’s exceptional leash and above average strikeout ability to push us over the top in this one.

He should have at least 100 pitches to work with, and I think he makes it through 7 innings again. Give me the over on Wheeler’s 6.5 strikeouts

Eys Breakers Player Props Betting Card

That will do it for today’s breakdown of the MLB slate. We were able to identify three strikeout props to target

Thank you for reading and good luck with your bets today