Friday MLB Home Run Props: Bet Schwarber, Steer & Smith (Sep. 8)
Getty Images. Pictured: Spencer Steer, Will Smith, Kyle Schwarber.
Baseball betting is one of a kind. Each day diving into a full slate is grueling and sometimes edges are nowhere to be found within a side or total. But opportunities to fade pitchers at a lesser degree remains a constant. One of the areas in which I've tapped into this season has been the player prop market. More specifically, looking at hitters and their total bases/home runs props.
Whether it's a positive split or the wind blowing out in double-digit force, there's always opportunities to back some of MLB's best hitters to find the outfield seats. These bets are rarely not (+) money and home run props can often reach the 6-700 mark, providing plenty of value at a small cost.
That leads us to my new regular feature here at Action Network: DiSturco's Triple 7s. In each article, I will give out my three favorite total bases props and pair that with the odds for those same players to hit a home run.
The idea of Triple 7s comes from the slot machines. That's the ultimate jackpot and it's important to note the rarity of notching that feat. Similar to slots, parlaying all three players below to hit a home run is nothing more than a lottery ticket.
It's important to bet responsibly and you shouldn't overextend yourself with a parlay of all three. It's a long shot for a reason.
But if you're feeling confident or have no plans and want to try and hit Triple 7s, pull the lever and cross your fingers. Today's lottery ticket comes with +9836 odds.
Visit our MLB Props page for a full list of props and odds for every player on the MLB slate each and every day.
Spencer Steer, Cincinnati Reds
Cardinals vs. Reds, 6:40 p.m. ET | Opposing Starter: Drew Rom (LHP)
A player who has made multiple appearances on Triple 7s this season, Spencer Steer has arguably been Cincinnati’s most consistent hitter against left-handed pitching.
Aside from Matt McLain, who remains on the injured list, no Red with 50+ plate appearances has a higher wRC+ (142) or ISO (.244) when facing southpaws than Steer. His production and power take a significant step forward.
The difference in his spits are stark. Against left-handed pitching, 19% of his hits result in a home run. Against righties? That number shrinks to 12.8%.
Steer ended a 21-game home run drought last week against the Cubs before taking Bryan Woo deep in a win over the Mariners. On Friday, he draws a great matchup against Cardinals left-hander Drew Rom.
Rom has made just three starts but has been hit around in all three. Command has been an issue at times and with a low-90s fastball, he isn’t able to overpower hitters. He had a 10+ K/9 rate in the minors, but that hasn’t translated early here. Rom’s whiff and chase rates sit around that 20% mark.
A 12.5% barrel rate is the biggest concern for Rom. Opponents haven’t experienced any trouble seeing the left-hander and have a .281 xBA against him.
Steer’s rolling hard-hit graph has been all over the place, as expected with a rookie. But of late, that number is starting to creep up and I’m looking to buy on him tonight against a lefty. He is +500 at FanDuel.
Kyle Schwarber, Philadelphia Phillies
Marlins vs. Phillies, 7:05 p.m. ET | Opposing Starter: Eury Perez (RHP)
If you want to talk about a man on a mission the last couple of weeks, look no further than Kyle Schwarber.
While he has a batting average under the Mendoza Line, it’s what he’s done when he makes contact that’s worth noting. Over the last three weeks, Schwarber has hit 11 home runs in 18 games.
Schwarber ranks inside the top 6% of all hitters in barrel rate and is in the 100th percentile in BB%. For being such a strikeout-heavy and boom-or-bust player, the lefty does not chase. Schwarber ranks inside the top 10% in average exit velocity as well, and his hard-hit rate hovers around that 50 mark.
The reason why I love him on Friday night is because of the fire-throwing Eury Perez opposite him. Yes, he has a whiff rate that ranks in the top 6% of all pitchers and opponents have just a .211 xBA against him. But it’s when they make contact that brings concerns.
Perez ranks in the bottom 3% of all pitchers in ground-ball rate and he’s barreled at an 11.2% clip. In other words, when opponents are able to turn on the righty, the ball is often crushed and in the air.
That home run problem has been on display of late. Perez gave up three home runs to the Nationals his last time out and in his last seven games, nine have left the park in just 31 2/3 innings.
Bet365 is hanging a +310 and at that number I can’t pass up Schwarber given his recent form. Boom or bust, baby.
Will Smith, Los Angeles Dodgers
Dodgers vs. Nationals, 7:05 p.m. ET | Opposing Starter: MacKenzie Gore (LHP)
The dominance of Mookie Betts and Freddie Freeman has been all the talk of Los Angeles this season. But quietly, right behind them, is one of the best catchers in baseball.
Will Smith ranks inside the top 15% of all hitters in sweet-spot%, walk rate and strikeout rate. He doesn’t chase nor does he swing and miss often. While his barrel rate has dropped considerably based on career averages, his OPS remains above .800.
Against left-handed pitching, Smith ranks third on the Dodgers in wRC+ (133) — behind, you guessed it, Betts and Freeman — with a .234 ISO. Not to mention, 21% of all his hits against southpaws have left the park.
Betts left Dodger Stadium on crutches last night and will likely miss tonight’s game, which is why he didn’t make Triple 7s. But I wanted to find a way to fade MacKenzie Gore, the once highly-touted prospect who has struggled mightily in the majors.
Gore’s xERA sits at 5.12 and his barrel rate has jumped nearly 2% from his rookie season (11.6). While he’s an above-average strikeout pitcher, his command at times can be shaky. He’s also a fly-ball pitcher, which is not ideal when you get barreled at such a consistent rate.
In his last five starts, Gore has given up seven home runs. In five of his last 14 starts, he has given up 2+ home runs, too.
Even with Smith’s barrel rate dropping, his hard-hit rate remains above 40%. His success against lefties and Gore's high barrel rate is enough for me to pull the trigger here. He is +370 at FanDuel.
DiSturco's Triple 7s Home Run Bets for Friday, September 8
- Spencer Steer (+450)
- Kyle Schwarber (+310)
- Will Smith (+370)
If you like all three plays and want to try a spin at hitting triple 7s, a $10 parlay of these three home run props at FanDuel comes in at $983.60.