3 MLB Prop Bets For Monday: A Jose Quintana Over & More
Abbie Parr/Getty Images. Pictured: Jose Quintana
- Thirteen games on Monday's MLB slate means a bevy of strikeout props to choose from.
- Prop betting analyst Kevin Davis identifies three that are offering value.
- Find his picks for a Jose Quintana over and more below.
After finishing 4-2 on my first six player prop picks of the 2021 season, I’m back with three more for Monday’s 13-game slate.
For this article I will be evaluating my favorite player props based on what my model likes and 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. Additionally, I will be adding my own personal grades as well.
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
Record: 4-2 (+1.47 Units, +24.5% ROI)
» Follow all my picks in the Action app
Michael Foltynewicz Over 4.5 Strikeouts (+102)
|Rangers vs. Blue Jays||Blue Jays -153|
|Time||4:05 p.m. ET|
I project strikeouts based on projected usage, strikeout rate and opposing lineup strikeout rate. Most of the time, projected usage ends up being the most important factor in estimating strikeouts.
Whether Foltynewicz goes over his strikeout total comes down to how many innings he pitches. A new acquisition for the Rangers, Foltynewicz pitched only 3.1 innings in one start for the Braves last season. That disastrous performance prompted his release, but in his previous season with Atlanta, he averaged 5.57 innings per start, which generally good enough to go over a strikeout total of 4.5 strikeouts.
As a rule, if a player’s strikeout rate is around nine per nine innings, you can expect them to get a strikeout for each inning pitched. In 2019, Foltynewicz averaged 8.08 strikeouts per nine innings and in 2021 PECOTA projects him to average 8.61 strikeouts per nine innings.
Against a Blue Jays lineup that my model projects to average 9.08 per game over the course of a full season, I believe that Foltynewicz will get around five strikeouts in five innings of baseball.
He may be a bad pitcher, but Foltynewicz is an improvement for the Rangers’ bullpen, so he should get enough innings. At around even money, taking the over is a good bet.
Pick: Over 4.5 strikeouts (+102); Bet to -110
Action Labs Score: 6
Kevin Davis Score: 4
Jacob deGrom Under 8.5 Strikeouts (+105)
|Mets vs. Phillies||Mets -200|
|Time||7:05 p.m. ET|
Jacob deGrom is undisputedly one of the best pitchers in baseball. The two-time Cy Young award winner finished the 2020 season with a 4-2 record and a 2.38 ERA. Most importantly, he is a power pitcher who struck out 13.8 batters per nine innings last season. For his Cy Young seasons in 2018 and 2019, deGrom had “only” 11.2 strikeouts per nine innings.
But despite his strong strikeout numbers, deGrom’s strikeout total is set too high.
Over the course of a longer season, I believe deGrom will regress to his previous numbers and throw for fewer strikeouts. That is why I like the under for his strikeout total on Mets’ Opening Day.
This season Baseball Prospectus’ PECOTA projections project that deGrom will have a strikeout rate of 11.7 strikeouts per nine innings. With deGrom likely to pitch for only six innings, I project only 7.6 strikeouts and ActionLabs projects him to have only 8.1 strikeouts.
Even against a strikeout-prone Phillies’ lineup, deGrom’s under is too good to pass up at better than even money.
Pick: Under 8.5 Strikeouts (+105); Bet to -110
Action Labs Score: 7
Kevin Davis Score: 4
Jose Quintana Over 3.5 Strikeouts (-139)
|Angels vs. Astros||Angles -112|
|Time||9:38 p.m. ET|
Jose Quintana has had an odd career. With the White Sox from 2012-17, he was a reliable arm who could be counted on to produce a sub 3.50 ERA. Once he went crosstown to the Cubs, Quintana regressed.
However, even when Quintana’s performance regressed something remained constant: His usage. In 2019, Quintana averaged 5.52 innings per start and in 2018, Quintana averaged 5.47 innings per start. If a pitcher throws for at least five innings, then they usually get at least four strikeouts.
In my opinion Quintana’s total is low because of his injured riddled 2020 season in which he pitched for only 10 innings. Despite the uncertainty, I like the over.
Recently Quintana has averaged only about eight strikeouts per nine innings, which is not an earth-shattering rate. Additionally, the Astros lineup is consistently the league’s toughest lineup to strikeout.
In 2020, the Astros’ lineup averaged only 7.33 strikeouts per game, the fewest in the league. In 2019, the Astros also lead the league with fewest team strikeouts with only 7.33 per game. Even though Houston is great at avoiding strikeouts, the betting markets overvalue their strength.
My model projects Quintana to have 4.9 strikeouts and the ActionLabs model projects him to have 4.8. Unless the Angels have different plans for Quintana this season, he should pitch enough today to go over his strikeout total.
Pick: Over 3.5 Strikeouts (-139); Bet to -150
Action Labs Score: 9
Kevin Davis Score: 6