MLB Player Prop Bets & Picks: How to Bet Bruce Zimmermann & Carlos Martínez’s Strikeout Totals (Thursday, May 27)
Patrick McDermott/Getty Images. Pictured: Carlos Martínez.
Over the last three days I am 5-1 on my Major League Baseball strikeout prop picks. While I still have a losing record overall, it appears I have turned a corner.
With a large slate of games, there are many props to choose from on the card. Unsurprisingly, most of the pitcher props have been efficiently set for Thursday’s slate. Despite this, there are two strikeout props that I like.
For this article, I will be evaluating my favorite MLB player props based on what my model likes and what the Action Labs Player Prop tool likes. The Action Labs Player Prop tool grades each bet on a scale from 1-10, with 10 being the best possible grade. I will be adding my own personal grades as well.
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.
2021 MLB Pitcher Prop Record: 34-31, -1.93 Units, -3% ROI (My action can be followed on the Action App at BoogieDownPicks).
MLB Player Props & Picks
Bruce Zimmermann (Baltimore) — Over 3.5 Strikeouts
|Orioles vs. White Sox||White Sox (-230)|
|Time||8:10 p.m. ET|
The Chicago White Sox lineup averages five runs per game, which is the sixth highest in the league. However, Chicago hitters also average 9.62 strikeouts per game, which is the sixth worst in the league.
Now, Chicago is facing off against Baltimore Orioles starting pitcher Bruce Zimmermann. The rookie has a low strikeout and usage rate. The question for Zimmermann is if he can get enough innings against a strikeout-prone White Sox lineup to go over his strikeout total.
Now, Zimmermann is mediocre, but is mediocre good enough? Currently, he might have a 5.59 ERA, but he also boasts a 4.68 xFIP. What makes Zimmermann’s strikeout total set at only 3.5 strikeouts involves two factors. Zimmermann is averaging only a little more than 4 2/3 innings per start. Additionally, his strikeout rate is only 6.98 strikeouts per nine innings.
In a typical 4 2/3 inning outing, Zimmermann should have 3.65 strikeouts, which is barely above his total. However, the White Sox lineup has 8.6% more strikeouts per game. When you adjust Zimmermann’s typical strikeout total for that lineup, he should have 3.96 strikeouts in a typical game against the White Sox. According to the Action Network’s model, Zimmermann should have 4.1 strikeouts in this contest.
Even with his lack of usage and his lack of strikeouts, Zimmermann should have more than 3.5 strikeouts. At -107 odds, the price is exceptionally low and I would bet it up to -125 in this matchup.
Pick: Bruce Zimmermann — Over 3.5 Strikeouts (-107 — play up to -125)
- Action Labs Score: 8
- Kevin Davis Score: 5
Carlos Martínez (St. Louis) — Over 3.5 Strikeouts
|Cardinals vs. Diamondbacks||Diamondbacks (-110)|
|Time||9:40 p.m. ET|
Another pitcher who has a low strikeout total is Carlos Martínez of the St. Louis Cardinals. The 29-year-old veteran is a consistently mediocre pitcher. However, he has one attribute that makes him attractive for strikeout total over bets. That would be his usage.
Martínez is averaging almost six innings per start. In a league where the typical starting pitcher goes for only five innings, guys like Martínez throwing for six innings are a rare commodity.
There are only two issues with Martínez going over his strikeout total of only 3.5 strikeouts — his strikeout rate and the opposing Arizona strikeout rate. Martínez is averaging only 4.56 strikeouts per nine innings, which is the lowest of his career.
The opposing Arizona lineup averages only 8.40 strikeouts per game, which is the eighth lowest in the league.
Only a typical night, Martínez would pitch for about six innings and have three strikeouts. However, if Martínez reverts back to his old strikeout rate of around 7.5 strikeouts per nine innings, he would have five strikeouts instead.
Even against Arizona, Martínez should revert to his old punch-out rate and that’s why I like the under at -128 and would bet it up to -140 odds.
Pick: Carlos Martínez — Over 3.5 Strikeouts (-128 — play up to -140)
- Action Labs Score: 10
- Kevin Davis Score: 4