Friday MLB Player Prop Bets & Picks: Which Pitcher’s Strikeout Total Should You Bet? (May 7)
Matthew Stockman/Getty Images. Pictured: Austin Gomber
- Should you bet on a pitcher to perform better or worse when he's facing a team that recently traded him?
- That's exactly the case tonight when Austin Gomber faces the Cardinals.
- Find out below how Kevin Davis is betting Gomber and one other player prop tonight.
With a full slate of games, there are many props to choose from. Today, there are two strikeout props 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: 23-22, -2.48 Units, -5.5% ROI (My action can be followed on the Action App at BoogieDownPicks).
MLB Player Props & Picks
José Urquidy Over 4.5 Strikeouts (+100)
|Blue Jays vs. Astros||Astros -145|
|Time||8:10 p.m. ET|
The Houston Astros are worth betting against when José Urquidy pitches this season. In only 104 2/3 career innings, he may have a career ERA of 3.53, but he also has a career xFIP of 4.80. However, for pitcher props, Urquidy is tough to figure out. He is averaging 5 2/3 innings per start but has a low strikeout rate. The million-dollar question is will Urquidy pitch enough innings to go over his strikeout total today?
The opposing Toronto Blue Jays lineup is averaging 9.35 strikeouts per game, the seventh-most in the league. On a typical night, Toronto’s hitters reach five or more strikeouts after fewer than five innings. Urquidy — with his 7.15 per nine innings strikeout rate — will reach five or more strikeouts after 6 1/3 innings on a typical night. For Urquidy to go over his total, he would have to pitch better than usual on Friday night, and that’s exactly what I project him to do against this especially strikeout-prone lineup.
In his last start against Tampa Bay, Urquidy lasted seven innings and had five strikeouts. Eventually, his strikeout rate should increase and if he continues to pitch deeper into games, Urquidy’s strikeout total overs will be bets worth making.
Pick: José Urquidy (HOU) Over 4.5 Strikeouts (+100). Would play up to -125 (BetMGM)
- Action Labs Score: 9
- Kevin Davis Score: 7
Austin Gomber Under 5.5 Strikeouts (-139)
|Rockies vs. Cardinals||Cardinals -215|
|Time||8:15 p.m. ET|
Austin Gomber is a hard to pitcher to assess as a 27-year-old with only 133 innings of experience. Last year with the St. Louis Cardinals, Gomber split time as a reliever and starting pitcher and had a 1.86 ERA. After being traded to the Colorado Rockies in the Nolan Arenado deal, Gomber has solely been a starter. This season Gomber has a much worse 5.90 ERA.
I am not the type of bettor to believe in “revenge games.” Even though Gomber is probably mad at the Cardinals for trading him, he shouldn’t pitch better or worse because it is the Cardinals. Gomber is being paid $575,000 this season on a one-year contract and he isn’t eligible for arbitration until 2023. Based on the amount of money that he could potentially make in the future, I am sure he would be just as motivated against the Pittsburgh Pirates as he would be against his former employer in St. Louis.
From a strikeout props angle, Gomber typically pitches around six innings a night and he is averaging 8.38 strikeouts per nine innings. If Gomber throws his typical six-inning game, he should have 5.59 strikeouts, which is right in line with his strikeout total. However, six innings might be unrealistic going forward. Gomber should revert to throwing about five innings per start, which is the league average for starting pitchers. At 5.5 strikeouts, his total has been set too high and that is why I like the under.
Pick: Austin Gomber Under 5.5 Strikeouts (-139). Would play up to -155 (DraftKings)
- Action Labs Score: 6
- Kevin Davis Score: 3