MLB Player Prop Odds & Picks: 2 Starting Pitching Bets, Including Max Scherzer (Tuesday, April 27)
Mark Brown/Getty Images. Pictured: Max Scherzer.
- Max Scherzer has been one of the best pitchers in baseball across the last decade, and his strikeout rate is up there.
- But Kevin Davis sees value on Scherzer's under today, along with another MLB prop bet.
- Check out both picks and breakdowns for Tuesday's slate below.
With a large slate of games, there are many props to choose from. Today, there are two props I like: an over and an under.
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: 18-14, +1.47 Units, +4.6% ROI (My action can be followed on the Action App at BoogieDownPicks).
MLB Player Props & Picks
Max Scherzer (WAS) 8.5 Strikeouts (-135/+100)
|Nationals vs. Blue Jays||WAS -115|
|Time||7:07 p.m. ET|
Max Scherzer has consistently been one of the best pitchers in the league over the last decade. Scherzer can be relied on to pitch around six innings per start and allow only one or two runs. Most importantly for strikeout prop bets, Scherzer has had a strikeout rate between 11.2 and 12.7 strikeouts per nine innings in each season since 2016.
Despite the mounting evidence that Scherzer should have many strikeouts on Tuesday night, his strikeout total is too high at 8.5 strikeouts. On a typical night, Scherzer would have to pitch for almost seven innings to have nine or more strikeouts.
In four starts this season, Scherzer pitched for seven innings only once. In 12 starts in 2020, Scherzer threw for seven or more innings only 25% of the time. When you factor in that the Blue Jays are not particularly strikeout prone, betting on Scherzer to go under his strikeout total at even money is a good bet to make.
Pick: Max Scherzer Under 8.5 Strikeouts (+100) (Play to -110)
- Action Labs Score: 7
- Kevin Davis Score: 5
Daniel Castano (MIA) 3.5 Strikeouts (+115/-155)
|Marlins vs. Brewers||MIL -155|
|Time||7:40 p.m. ET|
The median MLB lineup this season has 8.96 strikeouts per game. The Milwaukee Brewers lineup averages 10.86 strikeouts per game, which is the most in the league.
This is no coincidence, as the Brewers had the second-most strikeouts in 2020 and the fifth-most in 2019 and 2018. Milwaukee knows how to win, but it strikes out frequently.
On Tuesday, the Brewers are up against Marlins starting pitcher Daniel Castano. Even though Castano played last season, he is still considered a rookie.
The reason Castano’s strikeout total is so low is that in limited big-league experience, he has very few strikeouts. In 39 2/3 career innings, Castano has only 14 strikeouts for a strikeout rate of 3.2 strikeouts per nine innings.
However, past performance is not always predictive of future performance. FanGraphs projects Castano to have a strikeout rate of 6.41 strikeouts per nine innings. Most importantly, Castano tends to pitch for five innings per start. It will be a sweat, but at plus money against a strikeout-prone Brewers lineup, I like Castano to go over his strikeout total.
Pick: Daniel Castano Over 3.5 Strikeouts (+115) (Play to +100)
- Action Labs Score: 10
- Kevin Davis Score: 7