MLB Odds & Pitcher Props for Friday: Targeting Joe Musgrove’s Strikeout Total (May 14)

MLB Odds & Pitcher Props for Friday: Targeting Joe Musgrove’s Strikeout Total (May 14) article feature image
Credit:

Matt Thomas/San Diego Padres/Getty Images. Pictured: Joe Musgrove.

  • Friday's MLB slate features plenty of action, but there are two strikeout props Kevin Davis likes.
  • Both start at 10:10 p.m. ET when the Padres' Joe Musgrove takes on the Cardinals and the Mariners' Chris Flexen takes on the Indians.
  • Check out both of Davis' picks with a full betting breakdown below.

With a slate of 15 games and a doubleheader on Friday, there are many props to choose from. Today, there are two strikeout props that I like: an under and an over.

For this article, I will be evaluating my favorite MLB player props based on what my model likes and what the Action Labs Player Prop tool likes. The Action Labs Player Prop tool grades each bet on a scale from 1-10, with 10 being the best possible grade. I will be adding my own personal grades as well.

Below, I have laid out two prop bets that I am playing, the case for each bet, and the best books to find odds on those player props.


2021 MLB Pitcher Prop Record: 26-27, -5.27 Units, 9.9% ROI (My action can be followed on the Action App at BoogieDownPicks).


MLB Player Props & Picks

Joe Musgrove (SD) Under 7.5 Strikeouts (+115)

Cardinals vs. Padres Padres -190
Time  10:10 p.m. ET
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Since joining the Padres in the offseason, Joe Musgrove is performing at the highest level of his career. Musgrove owns a 3.00 ERA, 2.32 xFIP, and a strikeout rate of 12.46 strikeouts per nine innings.

Additionally, Musgrove averages almost 5 2/3 innings per start. With a high usage rate, and a high strikeout rate, the question is whether or not he will go over his high strikeout total of 7.5 strikeouts.

While Musgrove is averaging 5 2/3 innings per start, when you factor out his no-hitter, he averages only five innings per start. Additionally, in his last three starts, Musgrove has pitched only 4 1/3 innings each time out.

If you adjust Musgrove’s innings based on his strikeout rate, it’s unlikely he goes over his strikeout total. If Musgrove pitches for his current innings per start average, he should have 7.65 strikeouts. Realistically, Musgrove should pitch for only five innings and put up 6.75 strikeouts.

At plus money, the under is a great bet to make as he is likely to have fewer than 7.5 strikeouts. Additionally, Musgrove’s strikeout rate should go down, as he was projected to have a strikeout rate of only 10 strikeouts per nine innings entering the season.

Pick: Joe Musgrove Under 7.5 Strikeouts (+115 | Play to -105)

  • Action Labs Score: 10
  • Kevin Davis Score: 7

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Chris Flexen (SEA) Over 3.5 Strikeouts (-141)

Indians vs. Mariners Indians -113
Time  10:10 p.m. ET
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The Mariners’ Chris Flexen is a pitcher who is hard to assess.

At 26 years old, Flexen has an MLB career that dates back to 2017. Despite being in his fourth MLB season, Flexen has only pitched for 101 1/3 career innings. Last year, Flexen played in Korea (KBO) and was brought back to the states due to his success.

Flexen now owns a strikeout rate of 6.21 per nine innings. For Flexen’s MLB career, he only has a 6.39 strikeout rate. For the Seattle starter to have four or more strikeouts, he typically would have to pitch for almost six innings. Flexen averages almost 5 2/3 innings per start, which might mean Flexen should go under his strikeout total.

However, I believe that Flexen’s strikeout total will improve, and that is why I like the over. Last year in the KBO, Flexen had a strikeout rate of 10.18 per nine innings. The KBO might be a lower caliber league than MLB, but Flexen’s high strikeout rate is a good sign.

Before coming to the states, Hyun-Jin Ryu averaged between nine and 10 strikeouts per nine innings in the KBO and now averages 8.62 in the MLB.

FanGraphs projects Flexen to average 8.56 strikeouts per nine innings this season. If Flexen throws at his projected strikeout rate tonight, he should have 5.4 strikeouts. Even at a heavy juice, Flexen’s strikeout total over is too good to pass up.

Pick: Chris Flexen Over 3.5 Strikeouts (-143 | Play to -155)

  • Action Labs Score: 10
  • Kevin Davis Score: 5
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