Eys Breakers: MLB Pitching Props & Expert Predictions For Today (5/20/22)
Betting analyst Keith Eyster gives his best MLB props for today — Friday, May 20, 2022, Make sure to use our PrizePicks bonus and Caesars promo code to begin betting baseball props now!
We have 13 games left on the MLB schedule today with the weather in Colorado and New York causing postponements. The Cubs and Diamondbacks got the day started with an afternoon game at Wrigley where baseballs are flying in the wind today.
The weather in New York didn’t seem all that threatening, but they apparently didn’t want to deal with it and just announced the early PPD. Philadelphia is the only remaining game where there appears to be weather concerns. It seems likely to play fine, but as we just saw with New York, teams do unexpected things so always make sure you are monitoring the weather. Kevin Roth has you covered with the updates over at RotoGrinders.
Let’s get started down in Miami where the Marlins host the Atlanta Braves.
MLB Pitching Props For Today
Charlie Morton Over 4.5 Strikeouts (-160)
Charlie Morton will make his eighth start of the season for the Braves.
Morton got off to an awful start this season and the overall numbers are still pretty ugly. He owns 4.93 ERA and the strikeouts are down at only 20.6% with the walks up to 11.6%. However, his last two starts have been much better.
Two starts back against Milwaukee, Morton began to turn his season around with no runs allowed and just 2 hits over 5 innings. He struck out 5, but still walked 3. He put it all together in his last start against San Diego, allowing 1 run over 6 innings with just 2 hits again. He struck out 9 with only 1 walk.
Today, he gets a great matchup against Miami. The Marlins have struck out at a 23.6% rate this season. Their projected lineup contains 6 batters who have struck out at 25% or higher versus right-handed pitching this season.
I am willing to pay the juice on over 4.5 strikeouts because I think the line is a full strikeout low. If you don’t like the juice, I am fine with the over on 5.5 strikeouts as well.
Robbie Ray Over 6.5 Strikeouts (+110)
Next, we head to Fenway Park where the Boston Red Sox face the Seattle Mariners. Robbie Ray takes the mound for the Mariners in his ninth start of the season.
Ray has gotten off to a rough start as well and has been dealing with a decline in velocity. He owns a 4.62 ERA with a 25.0% strikeout rate and 9.0% walk rate. He was roughed up again in his last start as he allowed 5 runs to the Mets in 6 innings.
The encouraging thing with Ray is the fastball velocity is returning and the strikeouts are coming along for the ride. Ray was back to an average of 94.3 MPH on his fastball in his last start against the Mets after being as low as 91.7 MPH in his second start of the year. He struck out 9 Mets in 6 innings despite getting hit around a bit. He also recorded 10 strikeouts in the start before that against the Phillies.
Last year, Ray was one of the best strikeout pitchers in baseball with a strikeout rate of 32.1%. His average fastball velocity was 94.6 MPH. Now that he seems to have recaptured the velocity, I think we continue to see the strikeout rate above 30% as it has been in his last 2 starts.
The matchup is not ideal for Ray as a flyball pitcher going into Fenway Park. It would benefit him to miss as many bats as possible today to limit the damage against him. Another thing that could help him today is Boston’s walk rate. They rank second to last with only a 6.8% walk rate this season.
I think we continue to see the elite strikeout version of Ray today, and he goes over 6.5 strikeouts.
Chase Silseth Under 4.5 Strikeouts (-105)
Out in Anaheim, the Los Angeles Angels take on the Oakland Athletics. Chase Silseth will make his second career start for the Angels.
Silseth was very good in his MLB debut against this Oakland team. He threw 80 pitches over 6 scoreless innings. He allowed only 1 hit with 4 strikeouts and 2 walks.
Silseth is a talented pitcher and he has a great matchup against this weak Oakland offense, but there are a few things working against him today. For one, he has only 37.1 professional innings under his belt after being an 11th round pick just last year.
Secondly, he just faced this Oakland team and now has the task of repeating his success from that outing just 7 days later. I think Oakland will have better at bats against him this time around now that they have an idea of what Silseth will be working with.
Finally, I expect the pitch count to be limited again. I am not saying he can’t throw more than 80 pitches, but I don’t think he would be allowed to go much over that. This is a 22-year-old pitcher who the Angels will likely handle with care.
Oakland is among the worst offenses in baseball as evidenced by their league-worst 78 wRC+, but they have the experience advantage over the youngster. They are projected to roll out some high-contact veterans like Tony Kemp, Jed Lowrie and Elvis Andrus.
I like them to make plenty of contact and keep Silseth under 4.5 strikeout today.
Sean Manaea Over 5.5 Strikeouts (-122)
Finally, we head out to San Francisco where the Giants host the San Diego Padres. Sean Manaea will make his eighth start of the season for the Padres.
Manaea has quietly been the ace of the San Diego staff with a 3.77 ERA, 28.7% strikeout rate and 8.0% walk rate. Estimators say he has been a little unlucky this year as he owns a 3.28 xERA and 3.22 xFIP.
He is coming off a monster 12 strikeout performance in his last start against Atlanta. Manaea has been over 5.5 strikeouts in six of his seven starts this year. The lone start he did not record at least 6 strikeouts was against the elite Dodgers offense when he ended with 5.
Manaea gets the benefit of one of the longest leashes in the game. He threw over 100 pitches for the second time this season in his last start and he has averaged over 104 pitches in his last 3 starts.
San Francisco is an above average offense with a 112 WRC+ and .323 wOBA on the season. Their season strikeout rate is down at 21.5%, but they have struck out more versus left-handed pitching. Their projected lineup today owns a 24.7% strikeout rate versus LHP this year.
Manaea will have plenty of pitches to work with and should be able to make it through at least 6 innings. I like him to get at least a strikeout per inning and go over 5.5 strikeouts today.
That will do it for today’s breakdown of the MLB slate. We were able to identify
- Charlie Morton Over 4.5 Strikeouts (-160, Caesars)
- Robbie Ray Over 6.5 Strikeouts (+110, FanDuel)
- Chase Silseth Under 4.5 Strikeouts (-105, Multiple Sportsbooks)
- Sean Manaea Over 5.5 Strikeouts (-122, FanDuel)
Thank you for reading and good luck with your bets today!