One of my favorite ways to grab some get some skin in the game is to bet on MLB player props. It’s an area that can exploit, what many consider, the biggest weakness in Vegas. During the week, I’ll be giving you some of my favorites to target and why I’ll be doing so. So let’s make some money and if your heart desires, you can follow me on Twitter @SBuchanan24.
Arizona Diamondbacks OVER 4.5 runs
I really like the Diamondbacks tonight going up against Mike Minor. Looking at his splits from last season, Minor surprisingly excelled when he was pitching at Globe Life Park but had an abundance of issues when he was on the road. Tonight, he gets a D-Backs offense that has come out of the gate swinging and is averaging a whopping 6.1 runs per game, which ranks as the fifth highest in the league (surprised?).
Last season on the road, Minor would go on to sport a .323 wOBA with a 4.64 xFIP while allowing nine of his 25 home runs. It’s also worth noting that the Rangers bullpen have been shouldering a heavy workload already, pitching the seventh most innings in the league. Getting the Diamondbacks at almost even odds for the over feels like a bet I can’t pass up on with an offense that is firing on all cylinders.
Stephen Strasburg UNDER 7.5 strikeouts
On the surface, this might feel like a weird bet to take for someone that has started the season with 17 strikeouts over his first two starts. Those two starts were against the Mets and well, the Mets. The Phillies are a bit different breed when it comes to striking out and is currently ranked amongst the lowest in the league. In fact, five of their starters currently have a K% no higher than 13%. Granted, it’s very early, but when half of your lineup simply isn’t striking out, it feels like a bit of a reach to see Strasburg hit eight strikeouts.
What also has my attention is the over is currently at plus money, which solidified my thoughts even before I looked at the odds. I think with the way the odds are set currently, we can still get a worthy return on our investment by taking the under.
Atlanta Braves OVER 4.5 runs
I was surprised to see the Braves were sitting at 4.5 runs tonight despite playing at Coors Field. When initially seeing the over/under set at 11, I assumed the Braves would be sitting at 5.5 So getting them at 4.5 really feels a bit too low despite a perceived tough matchup against German Marquez. Despite how well he pitched last season overall, his numbers at Coors Field weren’t exactly stellar. Marquez would go on to sport a .339 wOBA through 89.1 innings at Coors with 13 of his 24 home runs allowed. Lefties would get the best of him in home matchups, tagging him with a .375 wOBA and a 3.68 xFIP.
As we all know, the Braves have plenty of power in this lineup and have the ability to post runs in bunches, as we’ve seen already in the early going. The Braves are currently averaging 5.2 runs per game and just round out the top 10 list of highest ISO in the league at .167, which ranks 13th. With games at Coors always showcasing those high scoring affairs, I think the Braves hit the over tonight.