MLB Player Prop Bets & Picks for Monday: 2 Strikeout Totals to Target, Including German Marquez (August 30)
Jayne Kamin-Oncea / Getty Images. Pictured: German Marquez
After taking a good, hard look at Monday’s pitching matchups using the Action Labs Player props tool, I’ve found two strikeout totals on the card that provide value.
Our Action Labs tool grades each prop on a scale from 1-10, so I’ll be sure to include the grade below my explanation.
MLB Player Props & Picks
Robbie Ray — Under 8.5 Strikeouts (-120)
|Blue Jays vs. Orioles||Blue Jays -300|
|Time||7:07 p.m. ET|
I’ve made this argument so many times on this website that it’s starting to feel cliche, but I must make it one more time: The Orioles smash left-handed pitching.
On the season and vs. LHPs, the Orioles are a top 10 offense via OPS (.754), wOBA (.323) and wRC+ (105). They don’t walk a lot against lefties, but they’ve managed to post a .262 average, good for fourth best in MLB against that side.
While Baltimore has performed excellent this season, the lineup will have a tough test today. Robbie Ray is pitching like a Cy Young winner, and he’s posted a 1.59 ERA in a whopping 34 innings over five starts this month (exactly 5 2/3 innings per start).
Ray’s strikeout numbers have been insane lately. He’s posted 25 strikeouts over his past two starts, 14 against the White Sox and 11 against Detroit.
While Ray throws a fastball about 60% of the time, his slider is the kill shot, as 17 of those aforementioned 25 punch outs came on that pitch. On the season, Ray is forcing a 46% whiff rate on his slider, which is one of the highest marks in the league.
But before I praise the man I’m fading any longer, I’ll get to the point: This line is just a tad inflated from Ray’s recent excellence. I don’t expect the Orioles to light Ray up, but they’re going to be a slightly tougher out than this 8.5 line infers. Last time Ray took on Baltimore, he managed just five strikeouts over 4 1/3 innings.
All-in-all, the Orioles are slightly undervalued in this spot while Ray is slightly overvalued. Our Action Labs tool is projecting Ray at just 7.4 strikeouts today while FanGraphs SaberSim projections has him at 7.27. Either way, there’s value on the under in this spot.
Action Labs Grade: 8/10
German Marquez — Over 5.5 Strikeouts (-145)
|Rockies vs. Rangers||Rockies -145|
|Time||8:05 p.m. ET|
This is the Action Labs tool’s top player prop of the day, as we’re projecting Marquez at 6.2 strikeouts today, and FanGraphs SaberSim projections also has him hitting over 5.5.
After years of performing awesome on the road and just average at Coors, Marquez’s home-road splits have been flipped this season. However, one thing he’s still doing away from Denver is missing bats, as he’s posted a 10.18 K/9 on the road (compared to just 8.59 K/9 at home).
Moreover, he’s hit over 5.5 strikeouts in eight of his 11 road starts, good for a 73% hit rate that already creates value on the over.
The Rangers are disciplined, but the lineup stinks. Over the past 30 days, they’ve posted a .673 OPS and a .289 wOBA, both stats that rank among the bottom five teams over that span. When Marquez took on the Rangers earlier this season (6/1 at Coors Field), he pitched seven one-run frames while striking out seven.
I’m prepared to back Marquez against the Rangers again, and there’s value on his over 5.5 number, even down to -150.
Action Labs Grade: 10/10