Friday’s MLB Player Prop Bets & Picks: Target Dylan Cease and Kyle Gibson’s Strikeout Totals (September 24)
Winslow Townson/Getty Images. Pictured: Kike Hernandez.
Friday’s MLB card is ripe with player prop value, and by using the Action Labs Player Props tool, I’ve identified two pitchers worth fading tonight.
Plus, I’ve found a position player prop in tonight’s marquee matchup that I believe provides value while adding an extra sweat.
Our Action Labs Player Props tool grades each play on a scale from 1-10, and I’ll be sure to include that underneath my explanation.
MLB Player Props & Picks
Dylan Cease Under 8.5 Strikeouts (-128)
|White Sox vs. Indians||White Sox (-120)|
|Time||7:10 p.m. ET|
The White Sox clinched the division title yesterday, and that could have an impact on Cease’s usage today. Plus, with Carlos Rodon banged up, the White Sox can’t afford to push their rotation guys.
But this is a great play regardless of all that.
Cease has hit nine strikeouts in just 10 of his 30 starts this season, which gives us implied odds of -200 on the under. He’s cashed this number in just four of his 15 road starts, and he only managed two strikeouts in his one start against Cleveland this season (June 1).
Cleveland strikes out a lot. Specifically, they’ve struck out at the second-highest rate vs. RHPs over the past month, but this line is just too high.
Our Action Labs Player Props tool projects Cease at 6.7 strikeouts today while FanGraphs SaberSim projections have him at 6.85. Either way, my research and projections indicate tons of value on the under.
I absolutely love the 8.5 number being offered at -128 on FanDuel. However, you can find under 7.5 at plus-money at other books, and that’s also worthy of consideration.
Action Labs Grade: 10/10
Kyle Gibson Under 5.5 Strikeouts (-128)
|Phillies vs. Pirates||Phillies (-225)|
|Time||7:05 p.m. ET|
Fading starting pitchers against the Pirates has been a solid play all season. For all their faults, the Pirates are disciplined.
On the season, the Pirates have posted the seventh-lowest strikeout rate vs. RHPs (22.4%). Over the past 30 days, that number has jumped up slightly (22.6%), but it still ranks in the back half of the league.
When Kyle Gibson faced the Pirates back on August 1, he went 6 2/3 innings and allowed only two earned, but he managed just five strikeouts.
On the season, Gibson has hit six strikeouts in just nine of his 29 starts. That 31% hit rate gives us implied odds of -210 to the under. His strikeout numbers are slightly higher at home, but only to 7.91 K/9 and he’s cashed over 5.5 in only five of those 13 outings.
Our Action Labs Player Props tool is projecting Gibson at just 4.9 strikeouts today, while FanGraphs SaberSim projections have him at 5.4. I’ll happily play under 5.5 in this spot.
Action Labs Grade: 7/10
Kike Hernandez Over 1.5 Total Bases (+125)
|Red Sox vs. Yankees||Red Sox (+100)|
|Time||7:40 p.m. ET|
Red Sox-Yankees is the biggest series of the weekend, and I’d be remiss if I didn’t offer a play on this massive Friday night matchup.
For how well his season has gone, Cole has struggled against Boston. He’s walked 5.6% of batters faced on the season and has posted a 1.03 WHIP, but those numbers jump to 8.2% and 1.56 against Boston. As a result, he’s posted a whopping 4.41 FIP in 16 innings against the Red Sox.
Specifically, Kike has taken advantage of Cole this season. Hernandez is 4-for-10 vs. Cole this season, with three of those hits going for extra bases. Plus, he hasn’t struck out once in those ABs and has whiffed just 13% of the time.
Add in Hernandez’s 97.8 mph average exit velocity against Cole, and he’s posted a .366 xBA and a .878 xSLG vs. Cole on the year.
Hernandez is working on a four-game hit streak while Cole has posted a 4.64 ERA in September. Since Cole is a Cy Young favorite, we’re being offered this prop at solid plus-money odds, and I’m ready for Kike to knock one for extra bases tonight.