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MLB Player Prop Bets & Picks: Three Strikeout Totals to Bet on Sunday Afternoon (May 23)

MLB Player Prop Bets & Picks: Three Strikeout Totals to Bet on Sunday Afternoon (May 23) article feature image

Brace Hemmelgarn/Minnesota Twins/Getty Images. Pictured: Minnesota Twins starting pitcher J.A. Happ.

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 1-10, with 10 being the best possible grade.

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

MLB Player Props & Picks

J.A. Happ — Over 3.5 Strikeouts (+111)

Twins vs. Indians Indians -141
Time  1:10 p.m. ET
Best Book DraftKings

J.A. Happ has not had much strikeout upside this season, but I like him to improve that a bit in Sunday’s game. In five of his last six starts, he has finished with exactly three strikeouts, whether he has pitched three or seven innings.

The 38-year-old veteran has a strikeout rate of 5.09 K/9, by far the lowest of his career. Prior to this season, he has never had a K/9 rate below 6.5 and his career average is 7.9 K/9. He had a strikeout rate of 7.66 last season and has been above 7.0 for 11 consecutive seasons before 2021.

Happ is due for a bit of positive regression in the strikeout department, plus Cleveland ranks just 28th in batting average this season and 24th in OPS. Happ should be able to stay in this game long enough to reach this total.

Action Labs Grade: 10/10

Luis Castillo — Under 6.5 Strikeouts (-120)

Brewers vs. Reds Brewers -125
Time  1:15 p.m. ET
Best Book BetMGM

In 2019, Luis Castillo was a National League All-Star selection. Now, he’s one of the worst pitchers in the league. Though nine starts, Castillo has a 1-6 record and 7.44 ERA. Teams have a .397 wOBA against him, which ranks in the bottom 6% of all big league pitchers.

Castillo’s strikeout rate is down to an 8.50 K/9 and his walks and home runs allowed are way up. Opponents are batting .330 against him with a 40.0 HardHit%.

While Castillo was able to go well over this total in his last start, he has stayed under 6.5 strikeouts in seven of his nine starts this season. I expect him to stay under this total once again.

Action Labs Grade: 10/10

Anthony DeSclafani — Over 4.5 Strikeouts (+105)

Dodgers vs. Giants
Dodgers -148
Time  4:05 p.m. ET
Best Book DraftKings

Just like most of the San Francisco Giants pitching staff, Anthony DeSclafani is off to a terrific start to the season. He is 4-1 with a 2.03 ERA and teams are batting just .186 against him. He has allowed just a .231 wOBA against, which ranks in the top 10% of the league.

DeSclafani has a 8.10 K/9 this season and has struck out at least five batters in five of his nine starts this season. His sinker and slider have both been fantastic this season, allowing a batting average against below .175 and generating a K% above 20%.

He has allowed one run or less in six of his nine starts this season, and last at least five innings in every start except one this season. Even against a strong Dodgers lineup, I think DeSclafani can make his was into the sixth inning and go over this total.

Action Labs Grade: 10/10

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