MLB Player Prop Bets & Picks: Find Value on Carlos Hernández & Buster Posey (Monday, August 16)
Norm Hall/Getty Images. Pictured: Buster Posey
- With 10 games on Monday night, there's plenty of value on the props market.
- Tanner McGrath has his eyes on one strikeout total and a position player prop.
- Continue reading for McGrath's two favorite plays from Monday's slate.
Following a 7-4 week last week, I’ve now posted a 31-14 record on MLB player props since the All-Star break, and it’s all thanks to the Action Labs Player Props tool. A $100 bettor tailing me and Action Labs would be up $1,610 in recent weeks.
So, after taking a good, hard look at Monday’s matchups using our tools, there’s one strikeout total I’m targeting on the card. Plus, there’s a position player prop I’ve found that both provides value and adds an extra sweat to the card.
Our Action Labs tool grades each prop on a scale from 1-10, and I’ll be sure to include the grade below my explanation.
MLB Player Props & Picks
Carlos Hernández — Over 3.5 Strikeouts (-105)
|Royals vs. Astros||Royals (+135)|
|Time||8:10 p.m. ET|
Carlos Hernández is undervalued in this spot, primarily due to an absurdly disciplined Houston offense.
This season, the Astros combine the 10th-best walk rate (9.2%) with the lowest strikeout rate (19.8%). The Astros’ lineup has an uncanny ability to put the bat on the ball, as the team has posted both the highest zone contact rate (85.3%) and the highest chase contact rate (62%), leading to the lowest whiff rate in MLB (21.1%).
However, they’ve been swinging and missing a little more than usual this month. Since August 1, the Astros’ strikeout rate is up at 23.2% — the 16th highest in MLB during that stretch — while their walk rate is down to 7.1%.
Meanwhile, Hernández has a few advantages for him today. First, he’s been absolutely rolling since being plugged into the rotation. In six starts since July 1, Hernández has posted a 3.21 ERA and a 3.95 xFIP while striking out close to nine batters per nine innings.
Additionally, he’s tagged over 3.5 Ks in four of those six appearances, and struck out six in three of them.
The Astros are often impossible to strike out, but they seem a tad vulnerable and overvalued today. Meanwhile, Hernández’s latest streak has him a little undervalued, and so I love the over 3.5 number at close to even money.
The Action Labs Player Props tool has Hernandez projected at a whopping 5.8 strikeouts today, giving us close to a 30% edge on the line BetMGM is offering.
Action Labs Grade: 10/10
Buster Posey — Over 1.5 Total Bases (+125)
|Giants vs. Mets||Giants (-200)|
|Time||9:45 p.m. ET|
There are so many reasons to love this matchup.
First: Posey’s lit up Rich Hill in the past. He’s 10-for-20 lifetime against Hill with a double and a home run. While that’s added up to a .700 SLG, his 95.5 mph average exit velocity in those ABs has produced a .752 xSLG. So, Posey is batting .500 against Hill but is probably due for positive regression. Ha!
Second: Posey mashes southpaws. Posey’s .309 average, .529 SLG and .940 OPS against righties is “respectable,” but his numbers against lefties are supernatural. The 34-year-old is batting .387 with a .600 SLG and a 1.065 OPS against southpaws this year.
Third: Posey’s on a hot streak. Posey’s posted a .343 BA and a 1.037 OPS in the 10 games since August started. He’s recorded a hit in eight of those games and has recorded multiple bases in five of those contests — a 50% hit rate already gives us good value at the +125 number.
Fourth: Posey’s a fastball annihilator. He’s batting .352 with a .574 SLG against the fastball group this year, but he’s been particularly good against the four-seamer:
Season-long, Posey is batting .405 with a .655 SLG against the four-seam. But, as you can see above, he’s posted an impossible 1.002 xSLG on that pitch since August started. Hill throws the four-seamer nearly half the time (47.1%), so Posey should salivating heading into this matchup.
Finally: That dangerous Mets bullpen has posted just a 4.85 xFIP over the past seven days while tossing the fourth-most innings in MLB. So if Posey doesn’t light up Hill, he should have a chance to cash this prop against an overworked and underwhelming Mets relief staff.
Posey’s total bases is my favorite prop, but I’d consider playing over 0.5 hits (-250), over 0.5 home runs (+500), or over 0.5 RBIs (+165).
I think Buster’s in for a big game today.