Saturday MLB Player Props & Picks: Target Shane Bieber and Jared Walsh (May 21)
Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images. Pictured: Jared Walsh #20 of the Los Angeles Angels.
- There's a full slate of MLB games today, which means there are plenty of betting opportunities -- especially when it comes to the props market.
- Our analyst has identified a pair of plus-money player props to target on Saturday.
- Doug Ziefel shares his best bets below.
With a heatwave sweeping the nation this weekend, we should expect an increase in offense around the league. Although, I’ve pinpointed two spots where the bats may be awfully quiet.
First, we head to Cleveland, where one of the best arms in the AL Central gets to face a team he has dominated in the past. Then, we round out the evening in Anaheim, where one batter, in particular, is dreading tonight’s game as he’s had more than his fair share of struggles against the opposing starter.
Did I mention they’re both plus money? That’s right, we’re going to start this weekend off with a bang, so let’s not waste any more time and dive right in.
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.
Shane Bieber to Record a Win — Yes (+120) / No (-160)
|Tigers vs. Guardians||Guardians -190|
|First Pitch||6:10 p.m. ET|
Shane Bieber is licking his chops in this matchup. He gets to face the Detroit Tigers this evening, and to say he’s done well against them in the past might be putting it lightly.
Since these two teams see a lot of each other, Bieber has built up quite a sample size against the current Tigers lineup. Entering this start, Bieber has accumulated 92 at-bats against Detroit, and they have hit just .196 off of him.
On top of that microscopic BAA, Bieber has a strikeout rate of 32.4 percent in those at-bats, and when the Tigers did make contact, it has been relatively soft as they only have an average exit velocity of 89.5 mph.
In support of Bieber, the Guardians get to feast on rookie Alex Faedo who has given up a ton of hard contact in his young career. He ranks in the bottom 25 percent of qualified pitchers in average exit velocity and hard-hit rate. In turn, that has made nearly all of his expected stats rank in the bottom third of the league as well.
Pick: Yes (+120)
Jared Walsh to Record Over/Under 0.5 Hits (-160 / +130)
|Athletics vs. Angels||Angels -140|
|First Pitch||9:07 p.m. ET|
Frankie Montas has been in a whirlwind of trade rumors for some time now, and they’ve recently begun again with injuries mounting on contending teams. Montas will have an opportunity to showcase himself against a good Angels lineup that he has dominated in the past.
However, for our purposes, I’m keying in on one guy who has really struggled against Montas. Jared Walsh just does not see the ball well from Montas, and it’s evident in his numbers against him.
For his career, Walsh is just 1-for-16 against Montas, and that one hit is a double. Otherwise, Walsh has stuck out eight times, and when he’s made contact, it’s been soft as he has an average exit velocity of 87.2.
Walsh has been on par with his quality of contact this season, but he also has a great deal of swing and miss in his game. Entering this game, Walsh’s strikeout rate is in the bottom 25 percent of the league, and his whiff and chase rate are also amongst the bottom half of qualified hitters.
While the Angels may be the favorites to come out on top here, it won’t be from anything Walsh does.
Pick: Under (+130)
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