MLB Player Prop Bets & Picks: 3 Strikeout Totals, Including Carlos Rodón & Brad Keller (Saturday, August 7)
Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images. Pictured: Brad Keller.
Throughout this season, I’ll be evaluating my favorite MLB player props of a slate based on what the Action Labs Player Prop tool likes — the tool grades each bet on a scale from 1-10, with 10 being the best possible grade.
MLB Player Props & Picks
Chris Flexen — Over 4.5 Strikeouts (+120)
|Mariners vs. Yankees||Yankees (-200)|
|Time||1:05 p.m. ET|
Chris Flexen is quietly having a fantastic season up in Seattle this year. If you are like me, Flexen probably won you a lot of money last year with the Doosan Bears when betting on the KBO as our only baseball option.
Flexen has been plenty profitable this season in MLB, as well, with a 10-5 record, 3.75 ERA and 3.76 FIP. He certainly isn’t known as a strikeout specialist but he has lasted for an average of 5.75 innings per start, pitching into the sixth inning in 14 of his 20 starts.
The Yankees lineup is starting to heat up and has been much better of late, but they have plenty of guys that tend to swing and miss often. This 4.5 number is a bit low, and I’ll back Flexen to go over it on Saturday.
Action Labs Grade: 10/10
Carlos Rodón — Under 8.5 Strikeouts (-120)
|White Sox vs. Cubs||White Sox (-210)|
|Time||2:20 p.m. ET|
Carlos Rodón has been one of the best pitchers in the majors this season. He has been dominant at times and sits with a 2.49 ERA and 12.81 K/9 rate, both of which rank in the top 5% of the league. So yes, the idea of fading him is slightly terrifying.
However, Rodón has a 4.06 ERA over his last six starts and has lasted just four innings in each of his last two starts, allowing four runs and two home runs in each.
In 18 starts this year, Rodón has stayed under this 8.5 number 11 times, including in seven of his last 10 outings. I expect Rodón to pitch well and come close to this number, but I think he’ll finish just below it.
Action Labs Grade: 7/10
Brad Keller — Over 4.5 Strikeouts (+120)
|Royals vs. Cardinals||Cardinals (-165)|
|Time||7:15 p.m. ET|
It has been a rough year for Brad Keller in Kansas City. After a terrific 2020 campaign, the Royals had high hopes for Keller and gave him the Opening Day start. He has struggled, though, to the tune of a 7-10 record and 5.64 ERA while opposing teams hit .304 against him.
Keller has allowed the highest xwOBA among all qualified starters at .379. So why am I dumb enough to bet the over for a guy who has literally been one of the worst pitchers in the league?
Well, over his last five starts, Keller has been much better and posted a 2.93 ERA. His slider is finally working well, generating ground balls and strikeouts.
Even with his struggles this season, his 7.74 K/9 is the highest of his career. Over the last five starts it has been even better at 8.51 K/9.
I will back Keller to go over 4.5 strikeouts on Saturday night.
Action Labs Grade: 8/10