Friday MLB Props Odds, Picks: 2 Bets for Shane Baz & Devin Smeltzer (June 17)

Friday MLB Props Odds, Picks: 2 Bets for Shane Baz & Devin Smeltzer (June 17) article feature image

Nick Wosika/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Devin Smeltzer.

My associate Jules Posner (and his cat) stepped in yesterday for the Action Network's MLB Player Props column and cashed both bets easily.

I'm here to carry the torch with my two favorite strikeout totals on Friday's loaded slate.

Our Action Labs Props Tool grades each prop on a scale from 1-10, and I’ll be sure to include the grade for each of my betting recommendations in my discussions below.

Shane Baz over 4.5 Strikeouts (+110)

Rays @ Orioles
First Pitch7:05 p.m. ET
Best LineDraftKings

Happy Shane Baz Day to all who observe.

Baz has some stuff. His fastball hangs in the high 90s with a ton of rising action, forcing nearly 40% of batters to whiff. He backs it up with a plus slider and a changeup/curveball mix that can be effective.

Baz also tunnels them quite nicely.

Shane Baz, 97mph Fastball and 86mph Breaking Ball, Overlay/Tails.

— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) October 2, 2021

Baz blew up in his 2022 debut against Minnesota, allowing five runs on three hits and three walks while striking out only two. He'll get some reprieve with the Orioles, who have posted a 95 wRC+ with a 7.3% walk rate against righties this season.

The Orioles also are the second-worst fastball-hitting team in the league this season, with their -29.7 Weighted Fastball Runs Created being bested only by Detroit. Baz should have no trouble throwing that heater by the Birds.

Our Action Labs Player Props tool projects Baz for 5.8 strikeouts today, while FanGraphs SaberSim projects him for 5.2.

And we get to bet his over 4.5 Ks at plus-money.

Pick: Over 4.5 Ks (+110)

Action Labs Grade: 10/10

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Devin Smeltzer over 2.5 Strikeouts (-205)

Twins @ Diamondbacks
First Pitch9:40 p.m. ET
Best LineDraftKings

This is a tough one. This line is a bit out of control and really sucks the value out of backing Smeltzer today. There's an over 3.5 at -166 you can get a FanDuel, but I'm not in love with that either.

But I want to take some time to talk about Smeltzer, because he's starting to find his way in the Twins rotation and I think there are ways to back him today.

Smeltzer is eating up innings, and the Twins rotation is thankful for it. He's averaging 5 2/3 innings per start, pitching six, 6 2/3 and seven frames in three of his last four appearances.

Smeltzer is a soft-tossing lefty that works the zone to force strikes, chases, and ground balls, and then he ultimately turns over the lineup card a few times. He's going to get a lot of opportunities to earn strikeouts and outs every time he takes the mound.

And that's why he's interesting today. The Diamondbacks have posted the second-worst wRC+ (82) and the seventh-highest strikeout rate (23.8%) against southpaws this season.

Smeltzer could really work this Snakes team in Phoenix today. Our Action Labs Player Props tool projects him for 4.4 strikeouts today while FanGraphs SaberSim projects him at 3.6.

So, the only thing to figure out is the best way to back him.

I'll probably eat the juice and bet the over 2.5 at DraftKings. There is an over 2.5 down at -180 at Bet365, but that's available only in New Jersey.

DraftKings also offers an over 15.5 pitching outs line at -115, which seems like a pretty good bet given my outlook on him today.

Whichever way you decide to bet this, know that Smeltzer is worth a look today and moving forward.

Pick: Over 2.5 (-205) or 3.5 (-166) Strikeouts or Over 15.5 Pitching outs (-115)

Action Labs Grade: 9/10

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