MLB Player Prop Bets & Picks: Buying Marco Gonzales & Fading Lance Lynn (Thursday, April 8)
Steph Chambers/Getty Images. Pictured: Marco Gonzales
After finishing 0-3 on my three player props Wednesday, I am looking to rebound with two more MLB player props for today’s slate. We’re still at a positive ROI through one week of the season, and with nine games on the schedule on Thursday, there are many props to choose among.
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. Additionally, I will be adding my 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: 9-6, +2.02 Units, +13.5% ROI (My action can be followed on the Action App at BoogieDownPicks)
MLB Player Props & Picks
Lance Lynn Under 7.5 Strikeouts (Under -160)
|Royals vs. White Sox||White Sox -165|
|Time||3:10 p.m. ET|
There are not many pitchers who fascinate me as much as Lance Lynn this season. In the last two seasons with the Texas Rangers, Lynn resurrected his career, finishing in the top 10 in AL Cy Young voting in 2019 and 2020. Lynn has a decent strikeout rate and the ability to pitch deep into games. In 2020, he averaged almost 6 2/3 innings per start and led MLB in innings pitched. Innings-eaters like Lynn are typically good bets to go over their strikeout totals, but Lynn’s total at 7.5 strikeouts has been set too high.
In Lynn’s lone start this season, he pitched only 4 2/3 innings and had six strikeouts. While Lynn would have likely had eight or more strikeouts if he lasted longer, I like his under for today because of his lack of usage in his last start.
Last season, Lynn averaged 9.5 strikeouts per nine innings, which would mean that at that rate Lynn would have to pitch for about seven innings to go over his strikeout total. With the White Sox looking to be more conservative with Lynn’s usage, I do not think that he reaches seven innings today. While the -160 odds are steep, the juice is worth the squeeze.
Pick: Lance Lynn — Under 7.5 Strikeouts (-160)
Action Labs Score: 6
Kevin Davis Score: 2
Marco Gonzales Over 4.5 Strikeouts (-145)
|Mariners vs. Twins||Twins -190|
|Time||3:10 p.m. ET|
While Gonzales is one of my favorite regression candidates this year, he has one attribute that strikeout total over bettors should always look for: stamina. In 2020, Gonzales averaged 6 1/3 innings per start, which was impressive during a year where the average starter pitched for fewer than five innings per start.
This season, Gonzales seems to have picked off where he left off. In his first start, he went a full six innings despite allowing five earned runs, three home runs, eight hits, and three walks. The Mariners have proven time and again that they will leave Gonzales in games even if he pitches poorly.
Gonzales will never be mistaken for Randy Johnson. He has a career average of only 7.3 strikeouts per nine innings. However, last season Gonzales had a career high of 8.3 strikeouts per nine innings and five or more strikeouts in nine of his 11 starts. Gonzales should get five or more strikeouts tonight based on his usage, and that is why I am taking his over.
Pick: Marco Gonzales Over 4.5 Strikeouts (-145, play up to -155
Kevin Davis Score: 7