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Friday MLB Props Odds, Picks: 3 Bets for Merrill Kelly, Antonio Senzatela and Lance Lynn (July 1)

Friday MLB Props Odds, Picks: 3 Bets for Merrill Kelly, Antonio Senzatela and Lance Lynn (July 1) article feature image
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Rob Tringali/MLB Photos via Getty Images. Pictured: Lance Lynn

  • Friday's MLB props market is robust, and there are a trio of strikeout totals to like.
  • Two of them come from Diamondbacks-Rockies, but our analyst also like a veteran hurler in White Sox-Giants.
  • Continue reading for full analysis of all of the top picks in Friday's MLB props market.

Our Action Network MLB player props team put in an easy 2-0 effort on Thursday night, but we’re always hungry for more value.

We’re targeting three more pitchers in the prop market on Friday’s 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.

Merrill Kelly over 3.5 Strikeouts (-155)

Diamondbacks @ Rockies
First Pitch 8:10 p.m. ET
Best Line DraftKings

I quite like what Merrill Kelly is doing this season. He’s given the Diamondbacks a legitimate second option in the rotation. It isn’t the best second option in baseball, but he’s managed 15 starts with a 3.64 ERA and a 3.32 FIP.

Kelly’s HR/FB rate is slightly low, but I don’t project much negative regression for him outside of that. His 3.64 xERA projects literally zero regression, positive or negative.

So, what can we expect from him in the strikeout market?

Well, Kelly’s cashed over 3.5 Ks in 12 of his 15 starts this season, good for an 80% hit rate that should imply -400 odds to the over.

That includes an 8 2/3 innings performance against the Rockies where he struck out eight while allowing just one run. Kelly’s faced the Rockies seven times in his career and has managed five or more strikeouts in five of those starts.

On the season, the Rockies have posted just an 80 wRC+ against the right side but have been striking out at the eighth-lowest rate, 21.5% of the time. But over the last 30 days, their wRC+ is just 74 and their strikeout rate has jumped to 23.5%, which is the eighth-highest during that stretch.

Our Action Labs Player Props tool projects Kelly for 4.8 Ks today, giving us close to a 10% edge over the line DraftKings is offering.

Pick: Over 3.5 Ks (-155)

Action Labs Grade: 8/10

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Antonio Senzatela over 2.5 Strikeouts (-165)

Diamondbacks @ Rockies
First Pitch 8:10 p.m. ET
Best Line DraftKings

Facing Kelly today will be Rockies’ starter Antonio Senzatela. Unlike Kelly, I don’t like what Senzatela has done this season.

Senzatela is on track to post a career-high 5.85 xERA and a career-low 5.12 K/9. His groundball rate is down close to 10% year-over-year, helping contribute to one of the worst Baseball Savant pages you’ll see:

But Senzatela has snuck over 2.5 Ks in six straight starts, racking up 25 total strikeouts in 30 innings during the stretch. While his season-long CSW rate is just 21%, he’s managed at least a 24% mark in four of those six starts.

I think there’s a good chance he picks up a few against a Rockies team that combines the fifth-highest strikeout rate (24.1%) with the third-lowest wRC+ against the right side this season.

Besides, Senzatela went up against the Diamondbacks four times last season and eclipsed 2.5 strikeouts in each start. He picked up five Ks over six innings in Arizona on July 7th last year.

Our Action Labs Player Props tool projects Senzatela for 3.5 Ks Friday evening, giving us a solid enough edge to back him in this spot.

Pick: Over 2.5 Ks (-165)

Action Labs Grade: 7/10

Lance Lynn over 5.5 Strikeouts (+115)

White Sox @ Giants
First Pitch 10:15 p.m. ET
Best Line DraftKings

Lance Lynn’s fastball velocity is down. It’s sitting at its lowest level in years, barely eclipsing 92 mph. But as Lynn works his way back from injury, I expect that fastball velocity to rebound.

And it already has, however so slightly. Lynn’s average fastball sat at 92.2 mph in his first start, then 92.4 mph in his second start, and finally 92.9 mph in his most recent start against Baltimore.

Lynn used that added velocity to force 21 swings and misses against the O’s en route to a 6 2/3 inning, eight-strikeout performance. He may have allowed five earned runs, but his xFIP was just 3.75.

Over the last 30 days and against RHPs, Baltimore has the third-highest strikeout rate in the league at 25.2%. But sitting right behind the Birds during that time period is Lynn’s opponent today, as the Giants are striking out 24.8% of the time against righties in June.

I think we may see Lynn unload a bit more when throwing his stuff today, and his struggles returning from injury make him slightly undervalued in the betting market. Especially in the strikeout market, considering we can get over 5.5 Ks at plus-money but our Action Labs Player Props tool projects Lynn for 5.8 Ks tonight.

Pick: Over 5.5 Ks (+115)

Action Labs Grade: 7/10

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