Friday MLB Prop Picks: 3 Strikeout Props To Bet
Brace Hemmelgarn/Minnesota Twins/Getty Images. Pictured: Tyler Mahle
- (1) Three strikeout props. Two overs. One under.
- Analyst Kevin Davis breaks down a trio of valuable MLB prop bets for Friday night's slate.
- Find his picks for Julio Teheran, Sean Manaea and Tyler Mahle outlined below.
After finishing 1-1 in my player prop picks on Thursday, I am looking to rebound with three more on Friday. With a slate of nine games, there are many props to choose from.
For this article I will be evaluating my favorite MLB player props based on what my model likes and what the Action Labs Player Prop tool likes. The Action Labs Player Prop tool grades each bet on a scale from 1-10, with 10 being the best possible grade. Additionally, I will be adding my own personal grades as well.
Below, I have laid out three prop bets that I am playing, the case for each bet, and the best books to find odds on those player props.
MLB Player Props & Picks
2021 MLB Pitcher Prop Record: 10-7, +1.71 Units, +10.1% ROI (My action can be followed on the Action App at BoogieDownPicks)
Julio Teheran Over 3.5 Strikeouts (+120)
|Tigers vs. Indians||CLE -190|
|Time||7:10 p.m. ET|
For some reason, after Teheran’s disastrous 2020 season, he still has a job in Major League Baseball.
In 10 games and nine starts last season, Teheran pitched 31.1 innings and had a 10.05 ERA. Most importantly, for those of us who bet on strikeout props, he struck out only 5.7 batters per nine innings. If Teheran replicates that performance on Friday night, then he is not going over his strikeout total. However, I believe that he’ll bounce back this season, which is why I am taking the over.
In 2019 and 2018, Teheran struck out 8.3 batters per nine innings. For the 2021 season, FanGraphs projects Teheran to have a strikeout rate of 7.82 per nine innings. In Teheran’s lone start this season, he had only three strikeouts. But more importantly, he pitched for five innings. If Teheran pitches for five innings like I believe he will, he should have at least four strikeouts on Friday.
Pick: Julio Teheran Over 3.5 Strikeouts up to -105
Action Labs Score: 9
Kevin Davis Score: 7
Sean Manaea Over 3.5 Strikeouts (-130)
|Athletics vs. Astros||Astros -165|
|Time||8:10 p.m. ET|
On the surface, Manaea should not go over this strikeout total — the Astros are the hardest team to strikeout as evidenced by them having the fewest team strikeouts in 2019 and 2020. And so far this season, they have the third-fewest strikeouts per game as they only strikeout eight times per game. Additionally, Manaea is not a power pitcher.
However, despite both of those factors, Manaea should pitch enough innings tonight to have four or more strikeouts.
For his career, Manaea averages 7.35 strikeouts per nine innings. While that is a low strikeout rate, as a rule, Manaea should get four strikeouts if he pitches for five innings. In his lone start this season, Manaea pitched 4 2/3 innings despite allowing five earned runs, six hits, three walks and two home runs. That game was against Houston, and Manaea managed to have four strikeouts.
Win or lose, Manaea should have at least four strikeouts on Friday night.
Pick: Sean Manaea Over 3.5 Strikeouts -130 (up to -150)
Action Labs Score: 10
Kevin Davis Score: 8
Tyler Mahle Under 6.5 Strikeouts (-115)
|Reds vs. Diamondbacks||Reds -150|
|Time||9:40 p.m. ET|
Mahle is a power pitcher who is great at striking batters out, but can he go the distance? For his career, Mahle averages only five innings per start. In 2020, he averaged 11.3 strikeouts per nine innings, a career high.
As a rule, if Mahle pitches for 5 2/3 innings or more, he would have seven or more strikeouts. If he pitches for his typical five innings, then he would have only six strikeouts. That’s why I am betting that Mahle has fewer than 6.5 strikeouts on Friday.
For this season, PECOTA projects Mahle to have a strikeout rate of only 9.85. FanGraphs similarly projects Mahle to strikeout only 9.75 batters per nine innings. In his lone start this season, Mahle had nine strikeouts yet pitched for only five innings.
I believe that Mahle will revert to the mean and go under his strikeout total on Friday.
Pick: Tyler Mahle Under 6.5 Strikeouts (up to -130)
Action Labs Score: 8
Kevin Davis Score: 5