MLB Pitcher Prop Bets & Picks: Two Strikeout Totals for José Urquidy & Joe Ross (Monday, May 31)

MLB Pitcher Prop Bets & Picks: Two Strikeout Totals for José Urquidy & Joe Ross (Monday, May 31) article feature image

Jim McIsaac/Getty Images. Pictured: Joe Ross

  • Neither José Urquidy nor Joe Ross are known for their bat-missing abilities on the mound.
  • Kevin Davis is targeting both of those pitchers, though, in his player prop picks for Monday.
  • Find out which way Davis is betting and why by reading below.

Last week, I went 9-1 on my MLB strikeout prop picks, helping me rebound from a rough May to enter June with a winner record overall.

With a small slate of games, there are not many props to choose from. Unsurprisingly, most of the pitcher props have been efficiently set for today’s slate. Despite this, there are two strikeout props that I like today, both overs.

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: 38-31, +1.63 Units, +2.4% ROI (My action can be followed on the Action App at BoogieDownPicks).

MLB Player Props & Picks

José Urquidy (HOU) — 4.5 Strikeouts (+128/-167)

Red Sox at AstrosRed Sox (-115)
Time 4:10 p.m. ET
Best BookDraftKings

José Urquidy over his first three seasons is a hard pitcher to analyze. With only 115 1/3 career innings, there is not much of a sample size on which to judge him. This season, Urquidy is averaging almost 5 2/3 innings per game with a strikeout rate of only 6.65 per nine. As a high usage, low strikeout pitcher, it is hard to know whether it is worth it to take the under or over on his strikeout totals.

For Monday’s game, Urquidy’s strikeout total is set at 4.5 strikeouts. In a typical start this season Urquidy goes almost 5 2/3 innings and has 4.12 strikeouts. Additionally, the opposing Red Sox lineup averages only 8.53 strikeouts per game, which is slightly better than the league average. On the surface, the under looks like a good bet, but at -167 odds it is not.

Based on how Urquidy has pitched, he should go under. However, based on how Urquidy should pitch, he should go over his strikeout total. FanGraphs projects Urquidy to average 7.93 strikeouts per nine innings. In 2019, Urquidy averaged 8.78 strikeouts per nine innings. With his projected strikeout rate, Urquidy should have 5.44 strikeouts in a typical start.

Once you adjust that number for the Boston lineup, I project Urquidy to have 5.26 strikeouts tonight. Additionally, the Action Labs model projects Urquidy to have 4.7 strikeouts. At +128 odds, Urquidy is a nice longshot to go over his strikeout total.

Pick: José Urquidy (HOU) Over 4.5 Strikeouts (+128) (DraftKings) would play up to +105

  • Action Labs Score: 9
  • Kevin Davis Score: 6

Joe Ross (WAS) — 4.5 Strikeouts (+130/-167)

Nationals at BravesBraves (-190)
Time 5:10 p.m. ET
Best BookBetMGM

After taking off the 2020 season, Joe Ross is quietly having an OK season. He may have a 5.19 ERA, but he also has a 4.60 xFIP. Most importantly for strikeout total props, Ross is averaging almost five innings per start and has a strikeout rate of 8.31 per nine innings.

In a typical start, Ross lasts almost five innings and has 4.44 strikeouts. The opposing Atlanta Braves lineup averages 9.06 strikeouts per game, or 2.3% more than the league average. When you adjust Ross’s typical strikeout number to the Braves' lineup, he should have 4.54 strikeouts.

At the current price, +130 on something that happens about half of the time is a great bet to make. Ross is certainly not a strong starting pitcher, but the Nats like to give him five innings a game even if he pitches poorly.

Pick: Joe Ross Over 4.5 Strikeouts (+130) (BetMGM) would play up to +115

  • Action Labs Score: N/A
  • Kevin Davis Score: 3
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