Freedman’s Favorite Strikeout Prop (May 3): Bet the Over with Clayton Kershaw

Freedman’s Favorite Strikeout Prop (May 3): Bet the Over with Clayton Kershaw article feature image

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Clayton Kershaw.

  • Matthew Freedman continues his series featuring at least one of his favorite bets for each day of 2019.
  • On Friday, he looks at his No. 1 pitcher strikeout prop for the 14-game MLB slate.

Each day, I publish 1-2 pieces on props I like. See my master list of 2019 prop bets for more information.

In this piece, I highlight my favorite pitcher prop for Friday, May 3, which offers a 14-game slate.

For more daily player props, follow me in The Action Network app.

2019 Year-to-Date Record

693-530-40, +96.16 Units

  • NFL: 21-13-0, +11.72 Units
  • NBA: 339-261-7, +36.56 Units
  • NHL: 66-80-7, -7.57 Units
  • MLB: 44-49-12, -9.89 Units
  • Golf: 8-8-2, +1.85 Units
  • NASCAR: 10-17-0, -5.97 Units
  • NCAAB: 125-70-12, +38.82 Units
  • NCAAF: 0-1-0, -1.00 Units
  • Exotic: 74-31-0, +28.25 Units

Favorite Pitcher Prop for Friday, May 3

Please note that in some cases I might go against what’s recommended in the FantasyLabs Props Tool and the strikeout projections we have in the FantasyLabs MLB Models.

Los Angeles Dodgers Pitcher Clayton Kershaw at San Diego Padres

  • Time: 10:10 p.m. ET
  • Over: 6.5 (-114)
  • Under: 6.5 (-114)

Each year since 2016, Kershaw has had injury-impacted campaigns. He’s a mortal lock each season to miss at least a handful of games, and he didn’t make his first start this year till a few weeks into the campaign.

Even though everyone knows how great Kershaw is, his consistent fragility probably makes it easier for people to undervalue him.

For instance, in his three starts this year, he is 3-0 to the over on his strikeout props with an average of seven Ks per game.

Last year, Kershaw averaged 8.6 strikeouts per nine innings — the lowest mark of his career since his 2008 rookie season — but this year he’s rebounded to 9.5, which is comparable to the 9.8 mark he averaged for the decade prior (2009-18).

And he has a favorable matchup: The projected Padres lineup has the slate’s fifth-highest average of 0.264 strikeouts per at-bat, and the Padres have the fifth-most strikeouts in the league at 9.63 per game.

On top of that, the Padres have the sixth-fewest runs per game at 3.72, and Kershaw has a slate-best 88 Park Factor at Petco Park, so there’s little reason to think he won’t be able to pitch deep into the contest.

Kershaw is very much the pitcher he’s always been with his 2.82 xFIP this season, and he’s gone seven full innings in two of his three starts and at least six innings in all of them.

Against the Padres, he should be able to go six-plus innings, and if he does, I like his chances to get seven-plus strikeouts against a team that whiffs at an above-average rate.

We have him projected for 7.6 strikeouts, and I’d bet over 6.5 all the way to -145.

The Pick: Over 6.5 (-114)

Matthew Freedman is the Editor-in-Chief of FantasyLabs. He has a dog and sometimes a British accent. In Cedar Rapids, Iowa, he’s known only as The Labyrinthian.

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