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MLB Player Props for Tuesday: Can Jason Vargas Reel in Five Fish?

Credit:

Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Jason Vargas.

  • Tuesday offers a 12-game MLB slate, with all games taking place at 6:35 p.m. ET or later.
  • We're picking the over/under on strikeout props for Jordan Zimmermann and Jason Vargas.

Monday night was an ugly one, with Kyle Hendricks and Brad Peacock going under their strikeouts totals by 0.5.

Maybe if the Cubs hadn’t committed five freaking errors during Hendricks’ 4.2 innings on the mound, he would’ve been able to stay in the game longer to get that final strikeout. Peacock … sorry, but you have no excuses.

If you’re not ready for close losses, though, maybe strikeout props aren’t for you. Considering how many of these range between four and six strikeouts, we’re going to be losing and winning by the skin of our teeth all season.

In fact, seeing as how these bets will often be close calls, I found myself in a bit of a conundrum on Monday.

See this poll, which was in regards to Ivan Nova’s strikeout prop against the Indians:

Do you lay the extra juice to get the win if he strikes out four, or do you make the plus-money gamble and pray he gets five? It’s definitely a case-by-case situation, but Nova landed right in the middle and struck out four.

I ended up risking 0.8 units to win 0.5 on over 3.5 (I could only get -160 juice) and 0.34 to win 0.5 on over 4.5 (+148). Nice little 0.16 unit profit!

Now let’s get to Tuesday’s props.

MLB Player Props, Tuesday April 2

Here’s what we got going today:

  • Tigers at Yankees: 6:35 p.m. ET
  • Mets at Marlins: 7:10 p.m. ET

Our FantasyLabs MLB Player Props Tool leverages our projections against odds offered at various sportsbooks and grades each prop on a scale of 1 to 10. All odds as of 1:45 p.m. ET. View live odds here.

Tigers SP Jordan Zimmermann

The Pick: Over 4 strikeouts (+100)

Zimmermann hasn’t exactly been worth the contract he landed in Detroit, but hey, he’s off to a great start this season. He took a perfect game into the seventh inning against the Blue Jays in his first start and will look to keep it rolling against an already-ailing Yankees lineup.

We’re projecting 6.2 strikeouts for Zimmermann, which is a lofty 55% difference from his implied total of 4.0. I pretty much auto-bet anything with more than a 40% differential, so this one didn’t take much thought.

For you thrill-seekers out there, there is an over 3.5 (-173) available. I don’t think that’s advisable, but unlike the Nova example in the intro, four strikeouts would be the difference between a win and push — not a win and a loss. That’s not worth 73 extra cents in my mind.

Mets SP Jason Vargas

The Pick: Over 4.5 strikeouts (-110)

I have a feeling we’ll be seeing a bunch of anti-Marlins pitcher prop picks this year. Their lineup is awful and can pile up the strikeouts.

Tonight, they face a guy who’s pretty awful himself: Vargas.

(From “The Bizarro Jerry,” my favorite Seinfeld episode.)

The 36-year-old vet is tasked with holding down the No. 5 spot in the Mets’ rotation this year. Let’s just hope he improves on that 5.77 ERA from 2018…

While his ERA was exorbitant, his K/9 of 8.22 was actually a career-high if you exclude his 12-inning 2016 campaign. He’s not someone who’s capable of randomly punching out 10-plus batters, but he did strike out six-plus in five of his final six starts last season.

If he can pitch relatively deep into the game, Vargas should be able to sit down at least five — we’re projecting 6.4 strikeouts for the southpaw.

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