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MLB Player Prop Bets & Picks: Take the Overs on Jorge López & Steven Matz Strikeout Totals on Friday (April 16)

MLB Player Prop Bets & Picks: Take the Overs on Jorge López & Steven Matz Strikeout Totals on Friday (April 16) article feature image

Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty Images. Pictured: Steven Matz.

  • Jorge López isn’t much of a strikeout pitcher, but there’s still value on his total against the Rangers.
  • Elsewhere, Steven Matz’s number is lower than expected against a Royals lineup that is thriving to start the season.
  • Kevin Davis breaks down why these present great value for bettors in the MLB player props market.

With a full slate of games, there are tons of props to choose from. Today, there are two overs that I like.

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 also be adding my own personal grades.

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: 14-9, +2.82 Units, +12.2% ROI (My action can be followed on the Action App at BoogieDownPicks).

MLB Player Props & Picks

Jorge López (BAL) 4.5 Strikeouts (+120/-160)

Orioles vs. Rangers Rangers -130
Time  8:05 p.m. ET
Best Book BetMGM

Jorge López is an unknown and relatively mediocre pitcher on an unknown and relatively mediocre Baltimore Orioles team. López has a career ERA of 6.23  over six seasons. However, Lopez has only pitched 237 innings over his career, which is equivalent to a little more than a full season for a starting pitcher. López has a career xFIP of 4.76, which while dreadful indicates that he is not nearly as bad as he looks on paper.

Against an offensively anemic Texas Rangers team, López should have a good game. If López pitches a good game, the Orioles are likely to leave him in the game long enough for him to get five or more strikeouts. At +120 odds, that is a risk that I am willing to take.

The Rangers average only 4.23 runs per game, which is slightly worse than the league average. Over the course of a full season, the Rangers should average around 4.16 runs per game, according to my model. Most importantly, the Rangers should average about 10.04 strikeouts per nine innings this season, which is even worse than their current average of 9.74 that ranks as the fourth most in the league.

Lopez may not be a power pitcher, but he should go over his strikeout total against the Rangers’ lineup.

Pick: Jorge López Over 4.5 Strikeouts +120 (play to -110)

  • Action Labs Score: 8
  • Kevin Davis Score: 5

Steven Matz (TOR) 4.5 Strikeouts (-115/-110)

Blue Jays vs Royals Blue Jays -120
Time  8:10 p.m. ET
Best Book BetMGM

Steven Matz has two attributes that make him great for betting strikeout total overs: he is a power pitcher who pitches for many innings.

This season, Matz is averaging around six innings per start. In the past, he could be counted on for 5 2/3 innings per start. Additionally, Matz has a strikeout rate of 9.49 strikeouts per nine innings. If the lefty pitches five or more innings, he should have at least five strikeouts and that is why I like the over tonight.

Currently, the Royals are averaging 5.09 runs per game, which could mean a premature exit for Matz. If he is taken out of the game early, then he is unlikely to go over his strikeout total. However, the Royals’ lineup is doing better than it should. My model projects them to score 2% fewer runs per game than a league-average lineup.

Additionally, while the Royals only average 8.67 strikeouts per game, over the course of a full season my model projects them to average 9.2.

I would have expected Matz’s strikeout total to be set at 5.5 strikeouts for today’s game. I believe that his strikeout total is one too low because of Kansas City’s strong offensive output so far.

Against a consistent innings eater like Matz, Kansas City will be in trouble.

Pick: Steven Matz Over 4.5 Strikeouts -115 (play to -135)

  • Action Labs Score: 5
  • Kevin Davis Score: 8

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