2019 MLB Player Prop Mega List, More Value Picks
Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Chris Sale.
- More than 400 additional 2019 MLB player props were released a few days ago.
- Mark Gallant found 15 that he liked and explains his reasons for taking every one.
MLB player props have been gradually trickling out here and there over the past few weeks — nothing too crazy. Well, that changed on Friday, when one book released over 400 MLB season long player prop over/unders. Christmas morning for your boy over here.
Though it took me a couple hours just going through and assessing them, I landed on 15 to add to my laundry list of bets I’ve already made. Maybe I’ll add more before the season starts, you never know!
Home run props are certainly my favorite. There are tons to choose from and, for the most part, have some degree of predictability. A couple weeks back I dedicated an entire article to ten home run props that I took when they were released at another book. Some of the numbers are still out there, others aren’t.
However, six more caught my eye when this girthy selection of props was unveiled.
Mike Moustakas under 30.5: My original list contained two Brewers unders (Yelich and Aguilar), but I’m adding Mike Moustakas to the hopper. The Moose fell from 38 to 28 home runs last year, hitting only eight in 54 games with the Brewers. This was the second consecutive offseason in which his services weren’t really sought after, but the Brew Crew decided to bring him back even with an already crowded infield. Despite his burly stature, he’s set to be their second basemen, but I see him having trouble reaching the ~150 games and ~600 plate appearances he’s posted in each of the past two seasons, as they have a very good 2B prospect in Keston Hiura that is essentially MLB-ready. If Moustakas has any struggles at the plate, the Brewers could begin playing a more reliable glove to improve their infield defense.
Joc Pederson under 24.5: If Joc were guaranteed to play every day, I think 24.5 would be a fair number. In his three relatively-full seasons, he’s posted 26, 25 and 25 home runs. In 2017 when he played just over 100 games, he hit only 11. This year he’ll need to perform to get consistent appearances. The Dodgers dealt Yasiel Puig and Matt Kemp, but have essentially replaced them with A.J. Pollock and top prospect Alex Verdugo, who’s expected to make the opening day roster and get regular at-bats. Cody Bellinger, Chris Taylor and Enrique Hernandez can all play the outfield, too. With so many solid players fighting for playing time, Pederson will have trouble reaching 25 jacks again.
Jed Lowrie under 16.5: Now a New York Met, Jed Lowrie is already off to a bad start to the year. He’s been dealing with a knee problem all spring and is just now doing “light agility work.” Pete Alonso has proved that he deserves to be the everyday first baseman. Robinson Cano is at second. The also-ailing Todd Frazier can play first or third, while J.D. Davis and Jeff McNeil can also play third. Though Lowrie is coming off a career high 23 jacks, the almost-35-year-old infielder needed nearly 700 plate appearances to get there. He’s topped 16.5 only that one time and I doubt he’ll be able to repeat the feat again.
Robinson Cano under 20.5: Speaking of Bob Cano, I took his under, too. With the Mariners, he posted home run totals of 14, 21, 39 (!?!), 23 and 10 in a half-season last year. The other half of the season, of course, he was sitting on the sidelines thanks to his PED suspension. Now 36 years old, Cano has to play in a tough division in a ballpark that’s sneakily limited offensive production. This could be close if he plays 150+ games, but given his age and change of scenery I like the under.
Javier Baez under 95.5: Buy low, sell high. Javier Baez is coming off of easily his best season, improving his home run career high from 23 to 34 and RBI career high from 75 to 111. He’s a popular player on a popular team, but not someone who should be counted on for nearly 100 ribbies year in and year out. He also played in 160 games last year, a number I’d expect to fall at least slightly.
Mike Moustakas under 89.5: Remember all of that stuff I said about his home run total? Just apply the same things here.
Andrew Benintendi under 85.5: Though not exactly a slugger, Andrew Benintendi has been a consistent above-average bat near the top of the Red Sox lineup the past couple years. In 2017, he knocked in 90 runs. Last year, 87. But now he’s moving from the 2-hole to the leadoff spot, which could seriously limit his RBI potential. We all remember Mookie Betts’ monster MVP season last year, but he only managed 80 RBI despite 32 homers. With his first AB guaranteed to have nobody on base, Benintendi will have to rely on the bottom of the order to get on base for most of his RBI opportunities. With Jackie Bradley Jr. and whomever they’re rolling with at catcher taking up those spots, Benintendi might find out why Mookie failed to reach this RBI over/under last year.
David Peralta under 75.5: The Diamondbacks lost Paul Goldschmidt and A.J. Pollock this winter and will need guys like David Peralta and Jake Lamb to step up. Lamb is coming off a rough injury shortened season, but Peralta is coming off a career-high 30 homers and 87 RBI. Remember what I said, though. Buy low, sell high. I don’t expect another 30-homer season, and that, with the addition of a weaker all-around D-backs lineup, should lead to less runs driven in.
Mitch Haniger under 85.5: Speaking about weaker all-around lineups, the Mariners lost Nelson Cruz, Jean Segura and Cano this offseason. Kyle Seager is also going to miss a couple months. Mitch Haniger proved that his 2017 breakout was no fluke last year by posting 26 homers and 93 RBI, but RBI can be hard to come by when guys aren’t on base.
Scooter Gennett under 80.5: Scooter Gennett is an interesting little ballplayer. In 456 games with the Brewers, he hit 35 homers to go along with 160 RBI. In two seasons and 295 games in Cincinnati, he’s jacked 50 homers and driven in 189 runs. Per Statcast’s expected statistics, though, he’s been very lucky to post the numbers he has. Last year, his expected wOBA was .309 — .053 points worse than his actual wOBA. That margin was the third-most in baseball. 2017 was no different, as he was fourth-luckiest. These basically suggest that someone who hits the ball as hard (or not hard) as he does shouldn’t be producing nearly as much. If he can continue to get very lucky for a third straight season, I guess I will just eat my hat. Instead, I’m thinking his power numbers drop, and in turn, his RBI count is 80 or less.
Vladimir Guerrero Jr. under 80.5: Ahh, Vladdy Jr. Vladito, as he’s called. This super-prospect hall-of-famer’s-son is being hyped to the moon and with good reason. However, he’s not going to be playing a full season of baseball. The earliest he’ll get called up will be late April, which would leave him with ~140 games if he plays every day for the rest of the year. He’s already dealing with an oblique strain in spring training that could push his MLB arrival back a little. There’s really no reason for a team like the Blue Jays to rush him to the majors. This is a high bar set for someone with zero MLB experience that may end up playing only ~120 games or less.
Sorry, I got nothin’ for ya here.
Once again, I must disappoint you with no picks.
Back to the picks!
Eduardo Nunez under 34.5: Well, this line could certainly be a mistake, but it’s still posted. Eduardo Nunez stole 40 bases in 2016 with the Giants, but that fell to 24 in 2017 and just seven last year in nearly 130 games. The Sox utility-man should get playing time at second base with Dustin Pedroia working his way back, but shouldn’t come close to this number.
Ender Inciarte under 23.5: The Braves, like the Dodgers, have a lot of bodies. Though one might not expect the addition of Josh Donaldson to impact Ender Inciarte’s playing time, it actually could. With Donaldson at third, the Braves will be turning Johan Camargo into a super-utility player, which will include outfield playing time. He’ll likely find himself towards the bottom of the order more often than the top. Even if he manages 155+ games, for a third straight year, he’s reached 24 stolen bases or more just once in his career — 28 last season. He’s a year older, has less guaranteed playing time and will have fewer plate appearances. In turn, he shouldn’t get on base as much and will have less opportunities to steal.
Wins are a very fickle stat — so fickle that I’m not playing any of these.
Chris Sale under 260.5: I think Chris Sale’s best days are behind him … and I’m a Red Sox fan. A couple weeks away from 30 years old, Sale’s gangly build may be catching up to him. In each of his two years with Boston, he’s had a troublesome second half of the season. Last year, he was averaging between 97 and 98 mph with the heater before his shoulder inflammation, but was between 92 and 94 after returning. He was eased into action in spring training this year, reaching only the lower 90s in his first start on Saturday the 16th. A combination of a lower K/9 and questionable health leaves me doubting his ability to go over this lofty total. Plus, you have to consider the fact that the Red Sox will be very cautious with him to preserve him for the postseason, which will mean missed starts and potentially trips to the DL if he’s having any type of discomfort.
I know what you’re thinking, and yes — Mike Trout is the only person with a hit prop.
Cody Allen under 30.5 saves: Honestly this is one of my least favorites of these, but it was still good-looking enough for me to bet it, apparently. With the Indians, Allen posted 32, 30 and 27 saves in each of the past three seasons for teams that had 94, 102 and 91 wins, respectively. Now he’s pitching for an Angels team expected to be right around .500. From a statistical standpoint, Allen is coming off the worst season of his career. His strikeout and walk rates were the worst since his rookie season, while his ERA of 4.70 was his worst, period. Though he’ll get the first crack as the Angels’ closer, it’s possible he loses it if that level of pitching continues. Even if he doesn’t lose it, 31 saves is nowhere near a lock.