MLB Player Prop Bets & Picks: Monday’s Top Plays, Including Sandy Alcantara & Zac Gallen (September 13)
Dustin Bradford/Getty Images. Pictured: Zac Gallen
It’s a new week for The Action Network’s MLB props team, and using the Action Labs Player Props tool, we’ve identified three plays on Monday’s MLB card that provide value.
The Action Labs Player Props tool grades each play on a scale from 1-10, and I’ll be sure to include the grade below my explanation.
MLB Player Props & Picks
Sandy Alcantara Under 6.5 Strikeouts (-105)
|Marlins vs. Nationals||Marlins (-110)|
|Time||7:05 p.m. ET|
It’s not often I’m willing to fade Sandy Alcantara, who’s one of the brightest young arms in the league. It makes it tougher when he’s recorded 50 strikeouts over his last five starts.
However, his performances lately have brought him too close to the sun, and this 6.5 number is a tad inflated.
On the season, Alcantara has hit over 6.5 strikeouts in just 11 of his 29 starts, good for a 38% hit rate. Meanwhile, he’s hit over 6.5 strikeouts in just four of his 15 road starts, where all of his numbers significantly worsen:
- Home: 2.21 ERA, 0.90 WHIP, 9.60 K/9
- Away: 4.34 ERA, 1.31 WHIP, 8.08 K/9
Meanwhile, he faces a Washington lineup that is nothing if not disciplined.
On the season, the Nationals rank top 10 in MLB in both zone contact rate (82%) and chase contact rate (56.6%), and they’ve posted the fourth-lowest Whiff rate as a result (24.3%).
Moreover, they’ve been super disciplined in this situation. Over the past 30 days and vs. RHPs, the Nationals’ lineup pairs the eighth-lowest strikeout rate (21.2%) with the highest walk rate (11%). Moreover, that number drops in D.C., where the Nationals are striking out just 18.9% of the time vs. RHPs over the past month.
This is not a total fade of Alcantara, who I am still very high on. But this is a really tough spot for him, especially after he managed just three strikeouts in 5 1/3 innings the last time he faced Washington.
Our Action Labs Player Props tool is projecting Alcantara with just 5.5 strikeouts today, while FanGraphs’ SaberSim projections has him at just 4.97. I’m projecting him even lower than that, and am seeing tons of value on the under 6.5 number DraftKings is offering.
Action Labs Grade: 10/10
Paul Goldschmidt Over 1.5 Total Bases (-105)
|Cardinals vs. Mets||Cardinals (-115)|
|Time||7:10 p.m. ET|
Goldschmidt hasn’t been on fire recently, hitting over 1.5 bases in just four of his last 10 games. However, he’s posted a .955 OPS since August started, and he’s got a great matchup today.
Enter Rich Hill, Goldschmidt’s opponent today. The southpaw should be shaking in his boots, considering Goldschmidt has posted a .960 OPS vs. LHPs this season (compared to just .760 vs. RHPs). But things get even worse when you consider Hill’s arsenal.
Hill throws a four-seam fastball and a curveball roughly 85% of the time, and part of Goldschmidt’s second-half success has been his performance against those two pitches:
So it follows that Goldschmidt would dominate against Hill. In 23 lifetime PAs vs. Hill, Goldy is 10-for-20 with two home runs, a 95.7 mph average exit velocity and a .765 xSLG. Plus, Goldschmidt’s whiffed just 7.7% of the time on swings against Hill.
Look for Goldschmidt to make some solid contact against the 41-year-old lefty, and play this prop at anything better than -110.
Zac Gallen Over 5.5 Strikeouts (-125)
|Diamondbacks vs. Dodgers||Diamondbacks (+235)|
|Time||10:10 p.m. ET|
I’m never afraid to fade the Dodgers’ lineup, as it’s generally overvalued and creates some interesting opportunities for opposing pitchers.
While he’s had an injury-riddled season, Zac Gallen has hit this number in 12 of his 19 total starts, good for a 63% hit rate. Plus, he’s cashed over 5.5 in his last three road starts, compiling 22 strikeouts in the process.
Today, he faces a Dodgers lineup that has posted the eighth-highest strikeout rate (25%) and the third-lowest wRC+ (79) against righties over the past month. Plus, the last time Gallen faced the Dodgers, he notched eight Ks over six innings while allowing just two runs.
I’m not guaranteeing a great start for Gallen tonight, but everything indicates he should go over this number. Our Action Labs Player Props tool has him projected at a whopping seven strikeouts tonight, making the over 5.5 number at DraftKings an excellent value play.
Action Labs Grade: 10/10