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MLB Player Prop Bets & Picks: 2 Monday Picks, Including Michael Pineda & Joey Votto (July 26)

MLB Player Prop Bets & Picks: 2 Monday Picks, Including Michael Pineda & Joey Votto (July 26) article feature image

Dylan Buell/Getty Images. Pictured: Joey Votto

  • Michael Pineda might be on the move soon, but takes the mound for the Twins tonight against the Tigers.
  • Tanner McGrath is targeting Pineda's strikeout total as one of his favorite player prop bets on the day.
  • Continue reading for McGrath's full betting card from Monday's MLB slate.

After taking a good, long look at Monday's pitching matchups using the Action Labs Player Prop tool, there’s just one strikeout total I’m targeting on the card.

Additionally, there’s a position player prop that I believe might provide some value while adding an extra sweat.

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 Prop & Pick

Michael Pineda — Over 4.5 Strikeouts (+100)

Twins vs. TigersTwins -160
Time8:10 p.m. ET
Best BookDraftKings

Pineda hasn’t cashed over 4.5 strikeouts since May 26, so why am I betting him in this spot?

Because he pitched against the Orioles, Yankees, Astros and White Sox (twice) during this stretch – all teams that are more disciplined than the Tigers.

The Tigers have been playing excellent baseball, but there’s no question they are prone to whiff. They have the second-highest strikeout rate in MLB this season (26.3%) and the ninth-highest over the past 30 days (23.8%).

Pineda strikes out just 7.8 batters per nine, but he tends to pitch better at home and thus log more innings:

Avg. IP/Start5 1/34 2/3

Given this, the Action Labs tool is projecting Pineda at 5.2 Ks today, creating loads of value on the over 4.5 number at even money.

Action Labs Grade: 10/10

Joey Votto Over 1.5 Total Bases (+110)

Reds vs. CubsReds +110
Time8:05 p.m. ET
Best BookDraftKings

Kyle Hendricks has had a solid season, but his game relies on control and weak contact.

Joey Votto will not play by the same rules. Votto combines his 11.6% walk rate with a 92.4 mph average exit velocity — both stats that rank better than 80% of qualified hitters. It’s part of the reason Votto has posted an OPS better than .800 every year since he entered the league.

Votto has feasted on Hendricks. In 45 PAs, Votto is 12-for-33 with three doubles, three home runs and 12 walks to just seven strikeouts. That’s a .364 BA and .514 wOBA for those counting at home.

However, Votto’s 92.4 mph average exit velocity and 24-degree average launch angle produce expected stats that are even higher. Votto’s recorded a .727 xSLG and a .519 xwOBA against Hendricks lifetime.

“The Professor” is having a fine year, but his walk rate is up (4.6% in 2021, 2.5% in 2020) and his barrel rate (8.9% in 2021, 5.1% career) and hard-hit rate (34.4% in 2021, 30.5% career) are higher than ever.

Plus, Hendricks is going to have a tough time with the sinker he loves to throw so much. Votto is batting .388 with a .714 SLG against sinkers this season, and he’s only whiffing 18.2% of the time on the pitch — by far the least of any other pitch he’s seen.

Given the Cubs are spiraling and the Reds still consider themselves contenders, it looks like a great spot for Votto to feast.

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