MLB Player Prop Bets & Picks: Betting a Bounce Back for Clayton Kershaw, More (Saturday, May 8)
Logan Riely/Getty Images. Pictured: Clayton Kershaw #22 of the Los Angeles Dodgers.
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
José Ureña Under 4.5 Strikeouts (+100)
|Minnesota Twins vs. Detroit Tigers||Twins -184|
|Time||4:10 p.m. ET|
José Ureña racked up seven strikeouts in his last start, but managed just two in each of the previous two outings, despite lasting seven innings in each.
Ureña has pedestrian 7.07 K/9 rate this season, and even that is higher than his career average at 6.17 K/9. Last year he had a rate of just 5.79. Ureña wants to pitch to contact, living with his sinker and generating a 58.7 groundball percentage.
The Minnesota offense is top-10 in batting average, wOBA, OPS and wRC+. In their first matchup against Ureña, the Twins knocked him out of the game after three innings after scoring six runs on four hits and four walks.
Action Labs Grade: 10/10
Steven Matz over 4.5 Strikeouts (+105)
|Toronto Blue Jays vs. Houston Astros||Astros -145|
|Time||7:10 p.m. ET|
Steven Matz has lost two straight games after starting the season with four straight wins. In his six starts this season, he has totaled at least five strikeouts in four of his six starts.
Despite the Astros striking out less than any team in baseball, if Matz is able to last six innings in his start, he should be able to hit this over.
The left-handed pitcher has a 9.28 K/9 rate this season and has a 25 K% with his changeup, curveball and slider this season. Jason Castro is the only Astros player (besides Zack Greinke) who Matz has ever faced so I like him to have some success in his first time seeing them.
Action Labs Grade: 9/10
Clayton Kershaw Over 6.5 Strikeouts (+110)
|L.A. Dodgers vs. L.A. Angels||Dodgers -142|
|Time||9:07 p.m. ET|
I am backing Clayton Kershaw to have a bounce back game tonight against the Angels. In his last outing, Kershaw got shelled for four runs in the first inning, and got pulled after just three outs.
In his six other starts this season, Kershaw has lasted at least six innings in five of them and totaled more than 6.5 strikeouts in four. The last time he was pulled prior to the sixth inning he bounced back with eight strikeouts and just one earned run over seven innings.
Kershaw has a 9.30 K/9 rate this season and has had a K/9 rate over nine in eight of the last nine seasons. He has a 29.4 K% against the current Angels roster in his career, including five strikeouts of Mike Trout in 18 at bats (23.8%).
I like Kershaw to bounce back from his last start with a solid outing in Los Angeles and last long enough to hit this total.
Action Labs Grade: 7/10