MLB Player Prop Bets & Picks for Saturday: 3 Strikeout Totals, Including Hyun Jin Ryu & Yusei Kikuchi (August 14)
Getty Images. Pictured: Hyun Jin Ryu (left) and Yusei Kikuchi.
- With a full slate of MLB games on Saturday's schedule, Mike Ianniello has targeted three pitchers' props for bettors.
- James Kaprielian has a strong matchup vs. the Rangers, while Hyun Jin Ryu starts opposite Yusei Kikuchi at night.
- Ianniello lays out how bettors can find value with those three starters below.
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.
Below, I have laid out three prop bets that I am playing for Saturday, the case for each bet and the best books to find odds on those player props.
MLB Player Props & Picks
James Kaprielian — Over 5.5 Strikeouts (-110)
|Athletics vs. Rangers||Athletics (-215)|
|Time||7:05 p.m. ET|
The Oakland A’s are hot, having won eight of their last 10 games behind great pitching and a scorching offense.
Rookie James Kaprielian is in his first season as part of the Oakland rotation and has been pretty solid all year. The former first-round pick by the Yankees was dealt to Oakland in the deal that Sonny Gray to the Bronx in 2017.
Kaprielian is 6-4 this season with a 3.22 ERA and is allowing just a .209 batting average against. He also has a solid 9.54 K/9 rate this season.
In 14 starts this year, Kaprielian has gone over this total in nine of them and is averaging 5.9 strikeouts per start. He has done a good job staying in games, averaging 5.5 innings per start and has pitched into the sixth inning nine times.
The Rangers’ offense is one of the worst in the league and has been anemic recently, so I like Kaprielian to last long enough to reach six strikeouts.
Action Labs Grade: 7/10
Hyun Jin Ryu — Under 6.5 Strikeouts (-158)
|Blue Jays vs. Mariners||Blue Jays (-150)|
|Time||10:10 p.m. ET|
Hyun Jin Ryu has a strong record at 11-5, but his 3.62 ERA is a big jump up from the sub-3.00 ERAs he has posted in the previous three seasons. His expected ERA is even worse at 4.15.
The biggest dropoff for Ryu this season has been his strikeout rate. Last year, Ryu had a K/9 rate of 9.67, but this year that has dropped to 7.32. That is the lowest mark in his career since his first season in the MLB.
The strikeout percentages of all of Ryu’s pitches have dropped this season. He is averaging just 4.7 strikeouts per game this year and has gone under this total in eight of his last 10 starts.
Action Labs projects him at five strikeouts, so we are getting a full strikeout and a half of value here.
Action Labs Grade: 9/10
Yusei Kikuchi — Over 5.5 Strikeouts (+130)
|Mariners vs. Blue Jays||Blue Jays (-150)|
|Time||10:10 p.m. ET|
I’ll be honest, I love Yusei Kikuchi.
I am obsessed with betting on the Mariners whenever he or Chris Flexen starts, and both have been incredibly profitable this season. Kikuchi earned an All-Star nomination in just his third MLB season and is having his best year with a 3.73 ERA.
The one hiccup for Kikuchi has been giving up a home run ball a bit too much this season, with a 1.58 HR/9 rate. His 9.69 K/9 rate, though, has been really solid and ranks in the top third of the league. Kikuchi uses both his fastball and slider as a put away pitch.
In 21 starts this year, Kikuchi has gone over this total 15 times and nine of his last 11 starts. He is averaging 6.4 strikeouts per start this year and 7.0 per start at home.
This is the highest-graded play at Action Labs for today and I agree.
Action Labs Grade: 10/10