MLB Player Prop Bets & Picks: Friday’s Top Plays Including Marquez and Altuve (Sept. 17)
Alex Trautwig/MLB Photos via Getty Images. Pictured: Jose Altuve
It’s a loaded MLB slate tonight, and therefore there’s tons of value to be found in the MLB props market. Using the Action Labs Player Props tool, I’ve found three strikeout totals that I believe provide value — two of them that would best be played together.
Plus, there’s a position player prop that also provides value while adding an extra sweat to the card.
The Action Labs Player Props Tool grades each play on a scale from 1-10, and I’ll be sure to include the grade below my explanation.
MLB Player Props & Picks
German Marquez Over 5.5 Strikeouts (+105)
|Rockies vs. Nationals||Rockies (-115)|
|Time||7:05 p.m. ET|
Marquez has always been a stud, but historically, he’s been a dominant road pitcher while suffering from the Mile-High effect at home.
However, the script has flipped this year. Here’s Marquez’s home/road splits for this year:
- Home: 8-2 record, 3.16 ERA, 1.10 WHIP
- Road: 4-8 record, 4.93 ERA, 1.34 WHIP
But I don’t care about those numbers for today, because there’s two other home/road split metrics that are more important to consider for this prop:
- Home: 5 2/3 innings per start, 8.62 K/9
- Road: 5 2/3 innings per start, 9.49 K/9
Marquez has been a strikeout machine away from Coors this season. While he’s hit over 5.5 strikeouts in just 17 of his 29 total starts, he’s cashed that number in nine of his 13 road starts. That’s a 69% hit rate for a prop we’re being offered at plus-money.
Unfortunately, he’s going up against a Nationals lineup that is very disciplined. However, our Action Labs Player Props tool has him projected for 6.3 strikeouts tonight, while FanGraphs SaberSim projections has him at 5.73.
So either way, there’s too much value on this over to ignore it.
Action Labs Grade: 8/10
Jose Altuve Over 1.5 Total Bases (-120)
|Astros vs. Diamondbacks||Astros (-240)|
|Time||8:10 p.m. ET|
Altuve’s a super consistent bat at the top of the Astros lineup. He makes a lot of contact (92nd percentile in Whiff rate, 92rd percentile in strikeout rate), hits for a fairly high average (.280 on the season), and puts up above-average all around metrics (127 OPS+).
Plus, he’s been hitting pretty well lately. Here are some stats from Altuve’s last 10 and 30 games:
- Last 10 Games: 15-for-40, 1.118 OPS
- Last 30 Games: .293 BA, .812 OPS, 16 extra-base hits
As such, he’s been cashing this prop at a very high rate. Altuve’s cashed this prop in eight of his last 10 games and in 18 of his last 30.
Today, he’ll be facing Madison Bumgarner. Altuve hasn’t been amazingly successful against Bumgarner in the past, hitting just 8-for-23 lifetime, but he’s posted excellent advanced stats.
As always, Altuve is so consistent with his approach. He’s Whiffed just 5.6% of the time against Bumgarner in his career, and his 89.1 mph average exit velocity has resulted in a .391 xBA and a .857 xSLG.
Plus, Bumgarner relies on a cutter and four-seam mix (Bumgarner throws the two 68.2% of the time), and Altuve is going to attack those pitches. On the season, Altuve is slugging .563 against the cutter (130 pitches) and .584 on the four-seam (680 pitches). Altuve has also posted a whopping +14 run value against four-seamers in 2021.
Finally, if Altuve doesn’t square up one of Bumgarner’s pitches, he’ll have plenty of opportunities against a Diamondbacks bullpen that has posted the league’s worst xFIP over the past month (5.73).
Corey Kluber Under 7.5 Strikeouts + Adrian Houser Under 5.5 Strikeouts Parlay (+150)
|Yankees vs. Indians
Brewers vs. Cubs
|Time||7:05 p.m. ET
8:10 p.m. ET
When it comes to strikeout props, FanDuel tends to offer slightly different lines than the rest of the market. While market consensus on Kluber is 6.5 and on Houser is 4.5, FanDuel is offering these alternate lines.
The catch is, of course, that the unders are far more juiced. Kluber’s under 7.5 number is being offered at -180, while Houser’s under 5.5 is being offered at -164.
Which is why instead of playing them separately, I’m going to play them together to reduce potential losses and increase potential payout. Both pitchers are facing strikeout-happy teams, but both lines are outrageous compared to past statistics and future projections.
Kluber has hit over six strikeouts in just two of his twelve starts this season. Meanwhile, the Indians have held opposing starters to under 7.5 strikeouts in 18 of their last 20 games.
Meanwhile, Houser has stayed under 5.5 strikeouts in 20 of his 25 starts this season. He’s going up against the worst offense in baseball in the Cubs, but he’d have to make a big jump to notch six strikeouts, as he averages just 3.8 per start.
Our Action Labs Player Props tool has Kluber projected at six strikeouts today and has Houser at 4.3. Therefore, let’s take the safer, alternate lines for both these guys today and see if we can get a big payout on the two of them together.
Corey Kluber Action Labs Grade: 8/10
Adrian Houser Action Labs Grade: 10/10