MLB Player Prop Bets & Picks: Two Strikeout Betting Angles, Including Aaron Nola (Sunday, May 9)

MLB Player Prop Bets & Picks: Two Strikeout Betting Angles, Including Aaron Nola (Sunday, May 9) article feature image
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Matthew Stockman/Getty Images. Pictured: Philadelphia Phillies starting pitcher Aaron Nola.

I am 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 two 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

Kenta Maeda — Under 6.5 Strikeouts (-108)

Twins vs. Tigers Twins -162
Time  1:10 p.m. ET
Best Book DraftKings

It has been a disappointing year for Twins ace Kenta Maeda. After posting a 2.70 ERA last season, Maeda currently has an ERA of 5.02 and has lasted through the sixth inning just once all season.

Maeda posted a 10.80 K/9 rate last season, but this year it has dipped to 8.79 and he has struck out more than six batters just once all season. His splitter was his main put away pitch last season, generating a 40.9 K% in 2020 but that has dropped to 21.6% this year.

While the Tigers are one of the worst offenses in the league, they have been playing pretty well recently. They have averaged 6.4 runs per game and rank second in the league in batting average over the last five games.

Maeda is averaging just over 4 2/3 innings per start this year and has not had the same strikeout rate we saw last season. He would likely need to last at least seven innings to hit this total, something he has not done all season.

Action Labs Grade: 9/10

Aaron Nola — Over 6.5 Strikeouts (-115)

Phillies vs. Braves Phillies -115
Time  7:08 p.m. ET
Best Book BetMGM

After a heartbreaking walkoff loss in 12 innings last night, the Phillies will turn to ace Aaron Nola to win the series against the Braves on Sunday Night Baseball. Nola has been terrific, pitching to a 3-1 record and 2.89 ERA.

Nola fanned 10 batters in his most recent start, and has struck out at least seven in four of his last five starts. The right hander had a 10.10 K/9 rate, and has had a strikeout rate over 10 for three straight seasons.

Nola has a great curveball that is his pain punch out pitch. He has a 38.9 K% with and has allowed to just .192 batting average against.

Joe Girardi has always given his pitchers a bit of a longer leash in games, and Nola has averaged 6 1/3 innings per start this season. In last night’s game, Philly was forced to use seven relief pitchers.

With a shortened bullpen and his ace on the mound, Girardi likely gives Nola the benefit of the doubt and leaves him in long enough to go over this total.

Action Labs Grade: N/A

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