Tuesday MLB Player Prop Bets & Picks: Fade Sean Manaea’s & Luis Castillo’s Strikeout Totals (April 20)

Tuesday MLB Player Prop Bets & Picks: Fade Sean Manaea’s & Luis Castillo’s Strikeout Totals (April 20) article feature image
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Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images. Pictured: Cincinnati Reds starting pitcher Luis Castillo.

  • If Major League Baseball is your cup of tea, Tuesday's loaded card is right up your alley.
  • There are 16 games on Tuesday's slate, including a doubleheader, and Collin Whitchurch has uncovered two solid player prop angles for your betting interest.
  • Check out his plays on two starting pitchers' strikeout totals below.

There’s a full slate of Major League Baseball action Tuesday, including a doubleheader between the Minnesota Twins and Oakland Athletics that boosts our total to 16 games on the day. With all that action, there’s plenty of value to be found in the props market.

I will be evaluating my favorite MLB player props based on what the Action Labs Player Prop tool likes. The tool grades each bet on a scale from 1 to 10, with 10 being the best possible grade.

Below, I have laid out two prop bets that I’m playing, the case for each bet and the best books to find odds on those player props.

MLB Player Props & Picks

Sean Manaea — Under 5.5 Strikeouts (-141)

Twins vs. Athletics Oakland -120
Time  6:30 p.m. ET
Best Book DraftKings

Sean Manaea has made three starts this season against two different teams. Against the Houston Astros, who are one of the toughest teams in the league to strike out, he recorded four in each of his first two starts. His last time out against the whiff-happy Detroit Tigers, he punched out seven batters.

Now, he faces a Minnesota team that isn’t quite as contact-oriented as Houston, but not nearly as whiffy as Detroit. The Twins rank in the top half of the league in terms of strikeout rate (12th), and swing and miss at the fifth-best rate in the league.

It’s also important to note this is the first game of a doubleheader, meaning it’s only a seven-inning game. That said, this can be a double-edged sword. On one hand, Manaea obviously has fewer innings to work with to reach this strikeout total. On the other hand, manager Bob Melvin might leave him out there longer to save his bullpen for the nightcap.

In this case, I’m more interested in the first point. Oakland had Monday off and its bullpen wasn’t incredible taxed over the weekend against Detroit. Manaea will likely get a time — and maybe two — through the Minnesota order before Melvin turns to the bullpen. That, coupled with the Twins’ aversion to strikeouts, makes a bet on the under worth it even at -141 odds. I would play it to -150 as well.

Luis Castillo — Under 6.5 Strikeouts (-120)

Diamondbacks vs. Reds Cincinnati -143
Time  6:40 p.m. ET
Best Book DraftKings

Luis Castillo has had an interesting start to the season. He got bombarded by the St. Louis Cardinals for eight earned runs in 3 1/3 innings on Opening Day, with nary a strikeout to be found. His next time out, he threw up a goose egg on the moribund Pirates over seven innings with five strikeouts.

Finally, Castillo allowed four runs in five innings against the San Francisco Giants with a season-high seven strikeouts.

Given Castillo’s unpredictability, it’s tough to understand out why his strikeout prop would be as high as the 6.5 figure you can find at most books. It’s true he went over that total last time out, but just barely, and it also took a season-high pitch count against a team that ranks in the bottom 10 in strikeout rate.

He now faces the Diamondbacks, who aren’t world-beaters by any stretch of the imagination, but have the ninth-best strikeout rate in the league and, perhaps most shockingly, the third-best walk rate. That means few strikeouts and a lot of pitches early, which could spell an early night for Castillo.

Further working in our favor is the forecast in Cincinnati, which is calling for a chance of rain as we move later in the night. If the weather hits early and the game gets postponed, that’s no good of course. However, there’s a non-zero chance that a lengthy delay ends Castillo’s night early, leading to an even easier cash.

I’m playing Castillo under 6.5 strikeouts at -120 and would bet it to -130 odds.

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