Thursday MLB Player Props & Odds: How to Bet Padres’ Manny Machado

Thursday MLB Player Props & Odds: How to Bet Padres’ Manny Machado article feature image

Photo by Eric Espada/Getty Images. Pictured: Manny Machado (Padres)

Thursday is a big day-game slate in MLB, but I've found two player props in the night slate that provide value. We'll be backing a potential NL Cy Young candidate and a potential NL MVP candidate later this evening.

The Action Network's MLB player props team has been scorching hot over the past month. Since July 28, this column is 18-5 for 13.55 units of profit, meaning an $100 bettor would be up over $1,350.

So, hop on the train while we're running hot and trust our projections to provide us with +EV winners.

Our Action Labs Props Tool grades each prop on a scale from 1-10, and I’ll be sure to include the grade for each of my betting recommendations in my discussions below.

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Max Fried Over 4.5 Strikeouts (-124)

New York Mets at Atlanta Braves
First Pitch7:20 p.m. ET
Best LineBetRivers

Jacob deGrom will get all the attention entering this matchup, with his strikeout total set at a whopping 9.5 on DraftKings. But don't overlook Max Fried, who is putting together a career year and should receive Cy Young votes.

Fried's K-BB% is currently a career-high 18.4%. While his strikeout numbers haven't taken a massive jump, his walk rate continues to decline year over year, leading to a wildly low 2.45 FIP.

Fried's strikeout numbers don't pop off the page, but he averages 6 1/3 innings per start. He provides enough length and enough control to pile up strikeout opportunities, and he's mostly been capitalizing.

Fried has eclipsed 4.5 strikeouts in 16 of his 22 starts this season — a 73% hit rate that implies -267 odds to the over.

The Mets are one of the most disciplined lineups in baseball. They have a penchant for getting the bat on the ball, putting the ball in play or fouling off six or seven pitches during every at bat.

Nonetheless, Fried has had serious success against the Mets. He's punched out at least five Mets in six consecutive starts against New York dating back to last season. In total, Fried has piled up 40 strikeouts in 35 innings against his division rival (10.3 K/9).

Fried has plenty of plus-strikeout matchups, as well:

  • Pete Alonso vs. Fried: 32 PAs, 10 Ks, 31.3 K%, 18.4 Whiff%
  • Brandon Nimmo vs. Fried: 24 PAs, 6 Ks, 25 K%, 20.5 Whiff%
  • Jeff McNeil vs. Fried: 23 PAs, 5 Ks, 21.7 K%, 25.5 Whiff%
  • Francisco Lindor vs. Fried: 18 PAs, 4 Ks, 22.2 K%, 23.3 Whiff%
  • Starling Marte vs. Fried: 15 PAs, 3 Ks, 20 K%, 24.3 Whiff%
  • Darin Ruf vs. Fried: 12 PAs, 3 Ks, 25 K%, 31.8 Whiff%

Our Action Labs Player Props Tool projects Fried for a whopping 6.2 strikeouts in this rivalry matchup. That projection gives us an 18.5% edge over the line BetRivers is offering and makes this the tool's top prop play of the day.

I love this matchup, and I love Fried today.

Pick: Over 4.5 Ks (-124)

Action Labs Grade: 10/10

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Manny Machado Over 1.5 Total Bases (-130)

Washington Nationals at San Diego Padres
First Pitch9:40 p.m. ET
Best LineDraftKings

We're getting to the point where Manny Machado is becoming overvalued. He's now had eight straight multi-hit games, tying the Padres franchise record for multi-hit game streak.

Manny Machado joins Tony Gwynn (1988) and Gary Sheffield (1992) as the only @Padres to have 8+ straight multi-hit games.

— MLB Stats (@MLBStats) August 17, 2022

But we have to bet him to break the record, right? Or at least pick up another extra-base hit today. There are plenty of reasons to do so.

Enter Anibal Sanchez. It's hard to remember, but Sanchez won the ERA title with Detroit back in 2013. He's become a shell of himself since, with his ERA and xFIP rising consistently year over year. Those numbers sit a 7.20 and 5.36, respectively.

In the meantime, Machado trails just three hitters in baseball in fWAR, slashing .305/.377/.532. And he has some history with Sanchez.

In 21 career PAs, Machado is 9-for-19 off Sanchez with a double and five home runs, only striking out three times in that span. Machado's boasted a 95.2 mph avg. exit velocity and a 16.6-degree avg. launch angle off Sanchez, leading to an xSLG approaching .900.

If Machado can't cash this number against Sanchez, he'll still have opportunities against a stripped-down Nats bullpen. Machado has cashed his total bases prop in seven of his last 10 games against Washington, including the last five straight.

Machado may be overvalued, but he has a chance to make history against a pitching staff that he's abused in the past. I'll lay the juice with this prop.

Pick: Over 1.5 Total Bases (-130)

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