MLB Player Props Today | Odds, Pick for Aaron Judge, More (May 18)
Lance McMillan/Toronto Star via Getty Images. Pictured: Aaron Judge rounds the bases.
- The Yankees vs. Blue Jays series finale highlights a small MLB slate on Thursday, May 18.
- Aaron Judge could be key to New York taking the series -- Alex Hinton has a player prop pick on the reigning AL MVP.
- Continue reading for player prop picks and analysis below.
The Tampa Bay Rays currently have the best record in baseball and they have looked the part for much of this series. On Tuesday, they cruised to a 8-5 victory over the New YorkMets. Last night, they opened up a 5-2 lead. However, the Mets were able to rally for a 8-7 victory on a Pete Alonso walk-off home run. Today, they will give the ball to rookie Taj Bradley as they go for the series win.
Another rookie starting today is Logan Allen. His Guardians will be trying to avoid a sweep in Chicago against the White Sox. However, he will have to deal with Luis Robert Jr., who has been one of the hottest hitters in baseball of late.
In Toronto, things have gotten testy as the Yankees have taken two of the first three games. Aaron Judge has been right in the middle of things but he has also hit three home runs in the series. He may need another to help the Yankees avoid getting shut out again.
MLB Player Props For Thursday, May 18
Taj Bradley Over 4.5 Strikeouts (+105)
|Rays vs. Mets|
|First Pitch||1:10 p.m. ET|
Through his first three big league starts,, Taj Bradley has not pitched longer than 5 1/3 innings and he is averaging 81 pitches per start. However, that has not stopped him from piling up the strikeouts. Bradley has cleared this line in all three starts thus far. He has done so comfortably with six in every start.
Bradley has a tough assignment today against the Mets, who rank 28th in strikeout percentage against right-handed pitchers. However, things have not been easy for Bradley thus far. He had eight strikeouts against a Red Sox lineup that ranks second in batting average and third in runs scored. He had nine strikeouts at Cincinnati and also six against the defending World Series champion Astros.
Bradley has shown excellent command in his young big league career. He has 23 strikeouts against just two walks. Statcast has him in the 98th percentile in strikeout percentage and 96th in walks percentage. He will also be an unfamilar arm to the Mets batters.
Bradley may only have five innings again. However, a strikeout per inning gets us over this line.
Pick: Taj Bradley Over 4.5 Strikeouts
Luis Robert Jr. Over 1.5 Total Bases (-105)
|Guardians vs. White Sox|
|First Pitch||2:10 p.m. ET|
For Luis Robert Jr., 2023 has already been an up-and-down year. He began the year hitting .340 but ended April with a .202 batting average after an 4-for-55 slump. Since then, he has caught fire once again. Over his past 15 games, he is hitting .377 with seven home runs, 15 runs batted in and a 1.363 OPS. That is despite going 0-for-4 last night.
Last night, Robert saw his five-game hitting streak come to an end, but he still has recorded at least one hit in 13 of his past 15 games. A lot of damage has come via the long ball. Before last night, Robert had homered in four consecutive games. If you want to take him for another one today, he is +350 on FanDuel.
Due to his home run binge, Robert has recorded two bases in five of his last six games and seven of his last 10 games. In that span, he also has five multi-hit games. Robert has not yet faced rookie Logan Allen, who has been solid. He has a 3.43 ERA and 24 strikeouts in 21 innings. However, he has a 1.48 WHIP and has allowed five hits in three of his first four starts.
Pick: Luis Robert Over 1.5 Total Bases
Aaron Judge Over 1.5 Total Bases (+105)
|Yankees vs. Blue Jays|
|First Pitch||7:07 p.m. ET|
While Robert has been hitting a bunch of home runs lately, Aaron Judge has not been far behind him. In his past five games, Judge has hit five home runs. That includes two multi-home run games and the rare two homer and three walks game. Judge now has 11 home runs on the year, which is tied-sixth for the major league lead and his .961 OPS is sixth as well.
Facing Jose Berrios, Judge is a good bet to go yard once again. He is 8-for-21 with a double, two home runs, five runs batted in and a 1.176 OPS. With Berrios, you never know which version you are going to get and I generally look to fade him. He has a 4.70 ERA this season and has allowed four home runs in his last three starts. He allowed five runs in two starts against the Yankees last season.
If Judge gets two bases tonight, most likely he will get four with a home run. He is +280 to hit a home run on FanDuel, which admittedly are not great in general. However, Judge has been as low as +165 over the past two years, particularly when in the middle of one of these stretches.
Whether he goes deep or not, I like him to get two bases tonight with his track record against Berrios.
Pick: Aaron Judge Over 1.5 Total Bases
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