MLB Player Props Wednesday | Odds, Picks for Brayan Bello, Nathan Eovaldi, More
Ben Ludeman/Texas Rangers/Getty Images. Pictured: Rangers pitcher Nathan Eovaldi.
- With a solid MLB slate on the docket for Wednesday, there are plenty of player props with value on the board.
- Tanner McGrath breaks down three strikeout props for Wednesday, including picks for Boston's Brayan Bello, Texas' Nathan Eovaldi and Cleveland's Peyton Battenfield.
- Check out all three player props for Wednesday's MLB games below.
Every day, I try to add an edge to my MLB betting card by selecting a few player props using our Action Labs projections.
Our Action Labs Player 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 picks in the discussion below.
Here are my picks for the MLB slate on Wednesday, May 17, including Brayan Bello, Nathan Eovaldi and Peyton Battenfield.
MLB Player Props For Wednesday, May 17
Brayan Bello Over 5.5 Strikeouts (+122)
|Mariners vs. Red Sox|
|First Pitch||7:10 p.m. ET|
I’m holding out hope for Brayan Bello, who has now put together three consecutive quality performances, including:
- 4/29 vs. CLE: 5 IP, 1 ER, 5 H, 6 K, 2 BB
- 5/4 vs. TOR: 5 IP, 2 ER, 6 H, 5 K, 1 BB
- 5/10 @ ATL: 6 IP, 2 ER, 6 H, 5 K, 1 BB
I don’t care who you are; allowing two runs over six innings at Truist Park is an accomplishment.
Bello’s change-slider-sinker mix is working, as he recorded at least one strikeout on all three pitches in his last outing.
It’s not coming through in the numbers yet, but Bello’s making strides toward becoming a quality rotation guy.
Either way, this bet is less about Bello than it is about the Mariners. Specifically, the free-swinging, strikeout-happy Mariners. Seattle is striking out at the third-highest rate against right-handed pitching this season.
The Mariners have allowed 12 of the past 14 opposing starting pitchers to cash their strikeout prop. That includes both Boston starting pitchers this series, as Tanner Houck struck out five while Nick Pivetta struck out six.
Both Red Sox starters cashed their strikeout props in lackluster performances, so I’d be willing to bet Bello can do the same or better.
Our Action Labs Player Props Tool projects Bello for 5.7 strikeouts today, so there’s good value on over 5.5 at plus-money odds.
Pick: Over 5.5 Ks (+122)
Action Labs Grade: 7/10
Nathan Eovaldi Over 5.5 Strikeouts (-135)
|Rangers vs. Braves|
|First Pitch||8:05 p.m. ET|
Nathan Eovaldi: Stud.
Eovaldi is having a career year, pairing a 2.70 ERA with a 2.84 ERA and an absurd 1.95 FIP. He has a 23.3% K-BB rate, ranking 10th among qualified pitchers.
Eovaldi’s overall batted-ball profile is solid, too. He’s avoiding barrels and keeping his average EV allowed under 89 mph.
It’s all coming together for Eovaldi, and he’s working on an incredible streak:
Nathan Eovaldi has thrown 28.2 straight scoreless innings, including a near complete game with a career-high 12 strikeouts tonight pic.twitter.com/duJal4mm0w
— Talkin’ Baseball (@TalkinBaseball_) May 12, 2023
In the past, Eovaldi has suffered from a home run problem. Maybe he’s due for some regression in that area — his 2.4% HR/FB rate is way too low — but his increased groundball rate (52.1%) makes me hopeful the issue is resolved.
Either way, Eovaldi still has that hard, high-90s fastball that he uses to strike out almost 10 batters per nine innings. As a result, Eovaldi has struck out at least six batters in six of his eight starts this year.
The Braves boast a top-10 lineup, but they can be punch-out prone, striking out at the second-highest rate against right-handed pitching last year and the 11th-highest rate this year.
Eovaldi struck out six Braves across 98 pitches in his only outing against them last year, recording a whopping 35% CSW rate.
Our Action Labs Player Props Tool projects him for 6.4 K against the Braves, while BallParkPal projects him at 6.5 K. So, I’m willing to bet he’s in for another big strikeout performance on Wednesday.
Pick: Over 5.5 Ks (-135)
Action Labs Grade: 7/10
Peyton Battenfield Under 4.5 Strikeouts (-140)
|Guardians vs. White Sox|
|First Pitch||8:10 p.m. ET|
With Peyton Battenfield, you get a four-pitch mix and good command. He projects out as a back-end rotational piece.
With Peyton Battenfield, you don’t get nasty stuff (88 Stuff+) or an electric fastball (91.2 mph, 79 Stuff+).
Battenfield dominated the lower minors, but his strikeout numbers jumped off a cliff once he reached the higher levels. He struck out only 17% of batters across 28 Triple-A starts last season, reaching the five-strikeout plateau only 11 times.
Battenfield has replicated his numbers in the Majors, with a 20.2% strikeout rate across six starts. He’s cashed over 4.5 strikeouts just twice during that span.
I’m also worried about Battenfield’s batted-ball profile:
That spells trouble.
The White Sox aren’t the scariest opponent, ranking 23rd in wRC+ against right-handed pitching this year. However, they’ve made strides in that number over the past two weeks (100 wRC+).
Also, the White Sox strike out at the 10th-lowest rate against right-handed pitching (22.2%). They’ve allowed just one of the last five opposing starting pitchers to cash their strikeout total.
The Action Labs Player Props Tool projects Battenfield for a low 3.8 strikeouts on Wednesday, while BallParkPal projects him for 4.0 flat. I’m willing to fade him and his low-end stuff in this start.
Pick: Under 4.5 Ks (-140)
Action Labs Grade: 8/10
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