MLB Player Prop Bets & Picks for Friday: 2 Strikeout Totals, Including Joey Lucchesi & Johnny Cueto (June 18)
Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images. Pictured: Johnny Cueto.
- Neither Joey Lucchesi or Johnny Cueto have great numbers on the season, but they have value in the player props market on Friday night.
- Lucchesi and Cueto have great matchups against the Nationals and Phillies with plus numbers for their strikeouts overs.
- Tanner McGrath breaks down where bettors can benefit in the MLB player props market.
After taking a good, long look at today’s pitching matchups using the Action Labs Player Prop tool, there are two strikeout total props I’m targeting today.
Fading pitchers can be very profitable. However, taking overs can be too, while also being a much-more enjoyable sweat. For Friday night, I’ve found two pitchers who should smash their strikeout total prop.
Our Action 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
Joey Lucchesi (NYM) — 4.5 Strikeouts (+130 / -167)
|Mets at Nationals||Nationals -124|
|Time||7:05 p.m. ET|
Lucchesi hasn’t had an excellent season. Because he usually gets pulled early, he’s only hit this strikeout number twice in his seven starts. But Lucchesi strikes out 9.82 batters per nine innings, meaning he barely has to make it five innings for this plus-money prop to cash.
Not only does that present good value, I think he can pull it off today.
Lucchesi’s numbers are terrible, but he’s definitely due for some positive regression. While his ERA sits at 5.18, his xERA and xFIP are both well below 4.00. This Nationals’ lineup is a great get-right spot for Lucchesi.
I see that as the case because Washington is a poor offense at Nationals Park. In fact, the Nationals have the worst home-scoring offense in the league, scoring just 3.31 runs per game this season. Among home teams over the last 30 days, the Nationals rank 26th in wRC+ (84). During this stretch, the lineup has posted a lousy .677 OPS with a mediocre .294 wOBA at home.
Additionally, Lucchesi’s most used pitch is the sinker, and the Nationals rank 28th in weighted sinker runs created this season (-5.0).
In 21 innings on the road this season, Lucchesi’s posted 25 strikeouts. We’re projecting Lucchesi at 5.1 Ks tonight, so look for him to have a quality start in a good spot and get over this number.
Pick: Lucchesi Over 4.5 Strikeouts +130
Action Labs Grade: 10/10
Johnny Cueto (SF) — 4.5 Strikeouts (+100 / -130)
|Phillies at Giants||Giants -140|
|Time||9:45 p.m. ET|
Cueto doesn’t have a high strikeout rate, and he’s actually due for some slight negative regression. But I think he can hit this number because this is a good spot for him.
Cueto is a much-better pitcher at Oracle Park. In five home starts this season, he has managed 28 2/3 innings while posting a 3.14 ERA and a 1.05 WHIP. He only struck out 22 in those outings but has matchup advantages today.
Cueto relies on his four-seam fastball and has produced a whiff rate over 30% on the pitch. Meanwhile, the Phillies are one of the worst fastball-hitting teams in the league, ranking 24th in weighted fastball runs created (-8.4).
Plus, the Phillies offense has been very bad on the road. Among road teams this season, the Phillies rank 22nd in wRC+ (88). Additionally, they’ve posted just a .686 OPS and a .298 wOBA on the road, both of which rank in the back half of the league. Most importantly, however, the Phillies rank ninth in away strikeout rate this season (26%).
Cueto’s numbers are better at home while the Phillies numbers are much worse on the road. I’m looking for Cueto to blow his fastball by this Phillies lineup and post a high-quality start with a lot of strikeout opportunities.
We’re projecting Cueto at 5 Ks exactly, so there’s certainly value in taking the over 4.5 at even money.
Pick: Cueto Over 4.5 Strikeouts +100
Action Labs Grade: 8/10