MLB Player Prop Bets, Picks: Strikeout Totals for Taijuan Walker & Alex Wood (September 29)
Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images. Pictured: Alex Wood.
- From coast to coast, the Action Labs Player Props tool has you covered on Wednesday night.
- Taijuan Walker is starting for the Mets, while Alex Wood looks to help the Giants seal the National League West.
- Tanner McGrath breaks down where there's betting value with each starting pitcher below.
After hitting three out of four picks in yesterday’s edition of this column, the Action Network’s MLB player props team is back with two more bets today.
After taking a good, long look at the MLB slate using the Action Labs Player Props tool, I’ve identified two strikeout totals that provide value on the slate — one under and one over.
Action Labs 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
Taijuan Walker Under 5.5 Strikeouts (-130)
|Mets vs. Marlins||Mets (-180)|
|Time||7:10 p.m. ET|
Walker has had a catastrophic season. It’s one of the worst second-halves from an All-Star I can remember.
Since June started, he’s posted an ERA and FIP both approaching six. Although his xFIP is down below five (4.88), suggesting a bit of positive regression, his strikeout numbers have dipped anyways.
Although he’s posted an 8.4 K/9 this season, that number is down to 7.9 since June 1. As such, he almost never cashes this number, hitting over 5.5 strikeouts in just 11 of his 29 starts this season (38%), and in just five of his last 17 (29%).
It’s true that the Marlins are very strikeout happy. Over the past 30 days, Miami’s struck out at a 27.8% clip, which trails just Chicago. However, the Fish have been successful against Walker this season.
Walker has pitched 16 2/3 innings over three starts vs. Miami, allowing nine earned runs in the process while posting a 4.74 xFIP. Moreover, he’s struck out just 14 batters through those innings (7.7 K/9), hitting over 5.5 once in the three starts.
Miami will swing-and-miss, perhaps a lot, but this line gives Walker far too much respect. Our Action Labs Player Props tool projects Walker at just 4.8 strikeouts today
Action Labs Grade: 7/10
Alex Wood Over 4.5 Strikeouts (-125)
|Giants vs. Diamondbacks||Giants (-275)|
|Time||9:45 p.m. ET|
This feels like stealing.
Wood’s hit this number in 18 of his 25 starts this year, which includes 12 of his last 15 starts. At home, he’s striking out nearly 10 batters per nine innings while hitting at least five strikeouts in 10 of his 14 home starts.
In four starts against Arizona, he’s cashed over 4.5 in all of them.
The Diamondbacks are going to strike out, as they’ve posted the eighth-highest strikeout rate vs. LHPs this season. Arizona has a lot of left-handed hitters in their lineup, which could cause problems for the southpaw Wood. But while Wood’s strikeout numbers dip slightly facing lefties, he’s actually posted a lower xFIP against that side (3.36 vs. LHPs, 3.54 vs. RHPs).
So while I expect Wood to miss bats, I also expect him to give some length today. Especially since L.A. is still just two games back of San Francisco for the division. Wood has gone at least six innings in three of his four starts against Arizona, including his most recent start vs. them where he pitched six on just 80 pitches.
Plus, the projections love Wood today. Our Action Labs Player Props Tool is projecting Wood at 6.2 Ks tonight, while FanGraphs SaberSim projections have him at 5.14. Either way, there is tons of value on the over 4.5 number DraftKings is offering us.
Action Labs Grade: 10/10