Eys Breakers: Expert Picks – MLB Strikeout Props For Wednesday

Max Scherzer and the Mets make today's free MLB betting pick
(Image Credit: Imagn)

Betting analyst Keith Eyster gives his best MLB player props picks for today — Wednesday, July 27, 2022.

We have 14 MLB games spread all throughout the day today. With a bunch of games already underway or starting soon, we will focus on the evening set of games starting at 6:40 ET or later. We still have some quality targets among those five games. 

Weather is mostly clear for the games we are focused on, with only Baltimore holding a slight risk for a delay. 

Free MLB Player Props Picks For Today

Kevin Gausman Over 6.5 Strikeouts (+122)

Let’s get started north of the border in Toronto, where the Blue Jays take on the St. Louis Cardinals. Kevin Gausman will make his 19th start of the season for the Blue Jays. 

Gausman recently missed a couple starts after taking a line drive off his leg, but he returned to make a start before the All-Star break and then dominated in his first start after the break with 10 strikeouts against Boston. We can feel comfortable that any lingering issues from that incident are behind him. 

Gausman’s overall numbers for the season are excellent. He owns a 3.00 ERA with a 27.8% strikeout rate and an elite 4.3% walk rate. He has recorded at least 7 strikeouts in 9 of his 18 starts this season, so getting this number at plus money feels like great value. 

The matchup against St. Louis is not near as difficult as it may seem on paper. The Cardinals will be without their two best players, Paul Goldschmidt and Nolan Arenado, for the second straight game due to their vaccination status. The projected lineup still does not strike out a ton – 22.4% versus right-handed pitching this season – but removing Goldy and Arenado is a huge boost for Gausman. 

One minor concern for Gausman is his strikeout split this season strongly favors righties and St. Louis projects to send 6 lefties up there today. However, if we look at last year’s data, Gausman actually struck out more lefties than righties. I think we can at least consider the split neutral especially when factoring in the depleted quality of the Cardinals lineup. 

I think Gausman limits the damage here and goes deep into the game. I prefer the plus money on over 6.5 strikeouts, but if you are not as confident there are 5.5 strikeout lines out there that you can get by paying heavy juice

Cal Quantrill Under 4.5 Strikeouts (-144)

Next, we look to Fenway Park in Boston, where the Red Sox host the Cleveland Guardians. Cal Quantrill will make his 19th start of the season for the Guardians. 

Quantrill has posted solid results this year with a 3.75 ERA, but his 4.78 SIERA and 4.65 xFIP suggest he has had some good fortune to achieve those results. His strikeout rate is well-below average at just 15.1% and the walk is around average at 7.0%. 

Quantrill has been under 4.5 strikeouts in 14 of his 18 starts this season. Three of the four games he had over 4.5 strikeouts he finished with 5 strikeouts, with his season-high of 7 strikeouts being the other occasion. His 8.2% swinging strike rate ranks 4th worst among 63 qualified starting pitchers. He is very clearly not a strikeout pitcher. 

He gets a tough assignment today going into the hitter-friendly Fenway Park. The only positive for him is Boston continues to be without two huge threats in their lineup with Rafael Devers and Trevor Story still sidelined. I still think this lineup can give Quantrill problems in this park that is a horrible fit for Quantrill’s skills.

I expect Boston to be able to get to Quantrill and knock him out of the game early. Should he have continued luck with fly ball variance that allows him to pitch deep, he still does not miss many bats at all. I like Quantrill to stay under 4.5 strikeouts today. 

Max Scherzer Over 7.5 Strikeouts (-130)

Finally, we head to New York, where the Subway Series between the Mets and Yankees continues. The Mets send Max Scherzer to the mound in an attempt to sweep the brief two-game series. 

Scherzer has missed some time with injury, but he has been his typically elite self when he has been healthy this season. His ERA is all the way down at 2.28 with an impressive 2.56 SIERA and 2.89 xFIP to back it up. The strikeout rate is an elite 33.8% and the walk rate is equally elite at 4.5%. There is no doubt about Scherzer’s status as one of the best in baseball despite his advanced age. 

Scherzer has been incredible since his return from the Injured List less than a month ago. He has posted four straight quality starts and recorded at least 8 strikeouts in each one of them, including 11 strikeouts in two of them. He did not allow more than 2 runs or more than 1 walk in any of those four starts.

Today, he gets a difficult matchup with the elite Yankees offense. Despite the deep lineup and multiple power threats, the Yankees still strikeout plenty. They have 6 batters in the projected lineup with a strikeout rate over 20% vs RHP. Stanton is now on the IL, so we almost certainly get Gallo and his 33.7% strikeout rate in the lineup. 

I think Scherzer gets into the late innings today and goes over 7.5 strikeouts. If you are a fan of narratives, today happens to be Scherzer’s 38th birthday for a little icing on the cake. Let’s hope he celebrates in style.

Eys Breakers’ Betting Card

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

Thank you for reading and good luck with your bets today