Freedman’s Favorite Strikeout Prop (May 10): Bet on Red-Hot Luis Castillo

Freedman’s Favorite Strikeout Prop (May 10): Bet on Red-Hot Luis Castillo article feature image

Aaron Doster, USA Today Sports. Pictured: Luis Castillo

  • 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 15-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 10, which offers a full 15-game slate.

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

2019 Year-to-Date Record

729-556-42, +99.83 Units

  • NFL: 21-13-0, +11.72 Units
  • NBA: 366-277-7, +43.01 Units
  • NHL: 72-85-9, -7.04 Units
  • MLB: 44-52-12, -12.89 Units
  • Golf: 9-9-2, +2.30 Units
  • NASCAR: 11-17-0, -5.77 Units
  • NCAAB: 125-70-12, +38.82 Units
  • NCAAF: 0-1-0, -1.00 Units
  • Exotic: 79-32-0, +30.50 Units
  • Horse Racing: 1-0-0, +0.04 Units

Favorite Pitcher Prop for Friday, May 10

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.

Cincinnati Reds Pitcher Luis Castillo at San Francisco Giants

  • Time: 10:15 p.m. ET
  • Over: 6.5 (-114)
  • Under: 6.5 (-114)

Castillo is currently pitching the best baseball of his young career. In his third year, Castillo has personal-best marks with 10.5 strikeouts per nine innings, a 2.87 FIP and a 1.97 ERA.

He’s straight dealing.

Most impressive has been his consistency. In each start this year he’s thrown more than 90 pitches. In all eight games he’s gone five-plus innings. In only one start has he failed to get at least seven strikeouts.

He could regress at some point, but there’s reason to believe he can sustain his recent performance. Throughout his career, Castillo has relied primarily on his nondescript 96-mph fastball, but this year he’s thrown his changeup more frequently (per FanGraphs).

  • 2019: 31.7%
  • 2017-18: 25.1%

And he’s also picked up the velocity on his slider.

  • 2019: 85.3 mph
  • 2017-18: 84.0 mph

And both of those factors are important because Castillo’s changeup and slider are better than his fastball (based on value per 100 pitches, via FanGraphs).

  • Changeup: 2.32
  • Slider: 0.72
  • Fastball: -0.25

Castillo’s matchup isn’t incredibly advantageous, but it is favorable. The projected Giants lineup has a middle-of-the-road average of 0.25 strikeouts per at-bat, but it also has the slate’s third-lowest Weighted On-Base Average at .291.

On top of that, Castillo has a slate-best 94 Park Factor at the pitcher-friendly Oracle Park.

There’s little reason to think that Castillo won’t be able to pitch six-plus innings, which should give him plenty of opportunity to get his Ks.

I’d bet over 6.5 strikeouts to -135.

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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