MLB Player Prop Bets & Picks for Sunday: Two Strikeout Totals & Randy Arozarena Under Spotlight (August 1)

MLB Player Prop Bets & Picks for Sunday: Two Strikeout Totals & Randy Arozarena Under Spotlight (August 1) article feature image
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Jason Miller/Getty Images. Pictured: Tampa Bay Rays standout Randy Arozarena.

  • Two strikeout totals. One for a Tampa Bay Rays slugger to go yard. That's where Sunday's MLB player props have led you.
  • Using the Action Labs prop tool, Major League Baseball editor Collin Whitchurch breaks down his favorite bets on the loaded docket.
  • Check out below why he's backing these three picks.

After taking a good, long look at Sunday’s pitching matchups using the Action Labs Player Prop tool, there are two strikeout totals I’m targeting on the schedule.

Additionally, there’s a position player prop that presents value while adding 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 Prop & Pick

Logan Webb (SF) — Over 4.5 Strikeouts (+110)

Astros vs. Giants Giants (-110)
Time 4:07 p.m. ET
Best Book FanDuel

I generally hate betting the over on strikeout totals against the Houston Astros. They’re the toughest team in baseball to strike out, with a K% of just 19.4% and that’s two percentage points lower than the next-best team against the whiff in the Toronto Blue Jays.

However, this total has been set a bit too low and at plus money I really like Webb to hit this number. The 24-year-old has been a revelation for the Giants, posting a 3.36 ERA in 14 starts and 67 innings. More impressively, he’s striking out 9.4 batters per nine and talking just three, both career-best marks.

Webb has hit five strikeouts in eight of his 14 starts this season. In the six starts where he failed to hit the total, he went fewer than five innings in four of them. So simply put, if Webb can go five innings he has a very strong likelihood of hitting this total.

There’s always a chance for a blowup against this fearsome Houston offense, but Webb has been steady and efficient for the Giants all season long and is worth betting on here.

I like Webb over 4.5 strikeouts at +110 and would bet it to +105 odds.

Action Labs Grade: 9/10

Caleb Smith (ARI) — Under 5.5 Strikeouts (-122)

Dodgers vs. Diamondbacks Dodgers (-235)
Time 4:10 p.m. ET
Best Book FanDuel

Caleb Smith has made four appearances and two starts against Los Angeles this season. In the two starts, he totaled seven innings and had six strikeouts. In the two relief appearances, he went a combined three innings with four strikeouts. All told, Smith has thrown nine innings against the Dodgers in 2021 and struck out 10 hitters.

Smith’s last time out against Los Angeles, he allowed a whopping nine earned runs in just an inning in what amounted to a 22-1 Dodgers’ win. The time before that, he was decent and worked six shutout innings. Even then, he still only struck out five batters.

I don’t think we’re going to see Smith give up nine runs, but I also don’t think six shutout innings is in the cards. Either way, this line has been set too high given Smith’s history against the fearsome Los Angeles lineup.

There’s certainly some precedent for Smith hitting the over. He’s got nasty strikeout stuff, and his last two times out his totals have hit 8 and 7… against the moribund Cubs and Pirates, respectively.

The Dodgers are a different story, and given the mismatch in overall talent between these two teams, there’s a good chance Smith gets knocked around before he can even accumulate the innings to notch a decent strikeout total. I like Smith under 5.5 strikeouts at -122 and would bet it to -130 odds.

Randy Arozarena (TB) — Over 0.5 Home Runs (+490)

Red Sox vs. Rays Rays (-165)
Time 7:08 p.m. ET
Best Book FanDuel

Here at The Action Network, we love to base a lot of our analysis on data. We have tools galore to help bettors make the best decision possible when placing a wager, and will often engorge both ourselves and our readers in an endless array of numbers and data to back up whatever picks we make.

This pick doesn’t have any of that.

You might remember Arozarena as that guy who went absolutely berserk in last year’s postseason. He’s having a fine rookie year in Tampa, with a .257/.335/.428 line and 14 home runs while seeing the most consistent playing time of his career. He’s probably not going to be taking home any hardware this season, but he’s a solid hitter in the middle of the Rays’ lineup and likely to see more postseason action this October.

Yet, if there’s one thing we’ve learned about Arozarena the last calendar year, it’s that he shines under the spotlight.

Tonight, Arozarena will be on ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball broadcast against the Boston Red Sox. He’ll face Nick Pivetta, who’s kind of turned into a pumpkin after a decent first couple of months in Boston. Pivetta has allowed 16 home runs this season, and 11 of them have come in his last nine starts. He has allowed at least one in three consecutive starts, and has outings during that stretch where he allowed both three and four runs.

If Pivetta gets tagged, I expect Arozarena to be in the center of the action. Home-run props are fun but also risky, which is why you generally get fairly long odds on any hitter. Arozarena’s number stuck out to me.

Grab the +490 odds, sit back and watch Sunday Night Baseball, and pray for some fireworks in St. Petersburg, Fla.

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