MLB Playoff Props | PrizePicks Plays for October 13
David Berding/Getty Images. Pictured: Shane Bieber
We have a two-game slate on Thursday with a couple of Game 2's set to get underway in the Divisional Round.
Player props have become among the most popular bets in the industry, but while the amount of states with legalized gambling is growing, some may feel left out.
With PrizePicks, you get the opportunity to essentially parlay game prop over/unders with cash payouts depending on how many you get correct on that day’s slate.
Therefore, let’s take a look at some of the options on Thursday’s Major League Baseball slate and see where we can find some value.
A quick refresher if you aren’t familiar with PrizePicks: you can combine up to five different O/U player props to payout up to 10x your wager.
You can do a Flex Play or a Power Play. A Flex Play gives you lesser odds, but you can win money even if you don’t nail every pick. Meanwhile, a Power Play is similar to a parlay — it’s all or nothing.
Here’s how I would approach Thursday’s MLB slate.
What is PrizePicks? A daily fantasy operator — meaning they’re available in more states (30) than sports betting is! — PrizePicks offers a unique opportunity for action on player props in which you parlay two or more plays together.
Luis Castillo Under 5 Strikeouts
To kick off the slate, we have Game 2 between the Houston Astros and the Seattle Mariners. Taking the mound for Seattle is right-hander Luis Castillo.
This game should be a good opportunity to sell high on Castillo. In his last start, the right-hander threw 7 1/3 scoreless frames against the Toronto Blue Jays in the Wild Card round.
However, he still only amassed five strikeouts and likely won't go as deep against Houston. Castillo notched five or fewer strikeouts in three of his past four starts and we should expect that trend to continue against the Astros.
Since September 1, Houston ranks fourth in the league in K% when facing right-handed pitching. Looking at the Astros' projected starting lineup for Thursday and you'll notice five of the nine hitters boast a K% south of 19%.
Adam Frazier Over 0.5 Strikeouts
We are also fading a couple of Seattle hitters as they are slated to face left-hander Framber Valdez. Valdez was brilliant in his last start against the Phillies as he struck out 10 over five scoreless innings.
Through 30 starts this season, Valdez went 16-6 with a 2.89 ERA and a 1.17 WHIP. We should expect his excellent season to continue against Seattle, a team he has dominated throughout his career.
Across his nine starts against the Mariners, the left-hander is 5-0 with a 1.94 ERA and a 1.04 WHIP. The first Seattle hitter we are fading is Adam Frazier.
In his career against Valdez, Frazier possesses a 27.3 K%. He struck out once in Game 1 and is now running into a guy who struck out 10 Philadelphia batters in just five innings in his last time out.
When facing left-handed pitching this season, Frazier possesses a mere .210 BA, a .290 SLG and a .576 OPS.
Julio Rodriguez Hitter Fantasy Score Under 6.5
The other Seattle hitter we are fading is superstar Julio Rodriguez. While he was outstanding in Game 1, he faces a much tougher task going against Valdez.
In his career against the left-hander, Rodriguez is 0-for-3 with two strikeouts. Based on his metrics across those three at-bats, positive regression shouldn't be too much of an issue. Rodriguez produced a .047 xBA, a .049 xSLG and a .046 xwOBA in those at-bats.
His overall numbers also take a slight dip when facing left-handed pitching as Rodriguez has produced a .275 BA, a .475 SLG and a .831 OPS against southpaws. Those are still very strong splits, which is why we are getting such a high total.
However, in a battle of strength-versus-strength, I am siding with Valdez based on their previous encounters.
Shane Bieber Over 5 Strikeouts
In the nightcap, the New York Yankees host the Cleveland Guardians. Taking the mound for Cleveland is right-hander Shane Bieber, who should be an excellent candidate to back in the strikeout department.
Not only did Bieber record eight strikeouts in his first playoff outing against the Rays, but he has punched out at least five hitters in 12 of his past 14 starts. Across that stretch, the right-hander is 10-2 with a 1.97 ERA and a 0.88 WHIP.
We should expect this dominant stretch of pitching to continue against New York. While he has only faced the Yankees three times in his career, Bieber has recorded six or more strikeouts in two of those three starts.
Since September 1, New York ranks just 20th in the league in K% when facing right-handed pitching. Looking at the Yankees' projected lineup for Game 2, four of the nine hitters possess a K% north of 25%.
Nestor Cortes Over 4 Strikeouts
On the other side, left-hander Nestor Cortes is slated to take the mound for New York. While it is understandable that this total is set so low against a stingy Cleveland lineup, this is too much of an over-adjustment.
Cortes has recorded at least four strikeouts in nine of his past 11 starts. Over that stretch, the left-hander is 5-1 with a 2.15 ERA and a 0.80 WHIP.
This season, Cortes has recorded six or more strikeouts in each of his two starts against Cleveland. In these playoffs, all three of the starting pitchers to go against the Guardians have recorded at least five strikeouts.