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MLB Player Props & Picks: Bet Strikeout Totals for Tyler Wells, Aaron Ashby (Wednesday, April 27)

MLB Player Props & Picks: Bet Strikeout Totals for Tyler Wells, Aaron Ashby (Wednesday, April 27) article feature image
Credit:

G Fiume/Getty Images. Pictured: Tyler Wells.

  • Wednesday's MLB slate is a packed one with all 30 teams in action.
  • With so many games on deck, there is plenty of value on player props, like strikeout totals for Dylan Cease and Tyler Wells.
  • Check out all three of Tanner McGrath's favorite props below.

Wednesday’s slate is jam-packed, with all 30 teams taking the field between 1:15 p.m. ET. and 9:45 p.m. ET.

There are plenty of pitchers to analyze out there, and I’ve identified three that provide value from a props standpoint. We’ll be fading two and backing one.

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.

Dylan Cease Under 7.5 Strikeouts (-122)

Royals @ White Sox
First Pitch 2:10 p.m. ET
Best Line BetRivers

This is my favorite prop play of the day, and maybe of the season so far. Sure, Cease is firing in the early season. He’s notched eight strikeouts through two of his first three starts.

But that was against Detroit and Tampa, two big-time swing-and-miss teams with strikeout-prone reputations. Once he faced a real offense — the Guardians — he managed just three strikeouts in 5 1/3 innings.

You’re not going to fool Kansas City. The Royals are consistently one of the more disciplined teams in MLB. They finished with the fourth-lowest strikeout rate against RHPs last season (21.6%) and have posted the second-lowest against that side so far this season (18.1%).

Besides, Cease isn’t Carlos Rodon. He cleared this number in just 12 of his 33 starts last season, which is good for a whopping 36.4% hit rate that would imply about -165 odds to the under.

It’s also nice we can throw in umpire Rob Drake, who has a 0.92x K Boost according to Swish Analytics. Cease will be working against a disciplined offense with a small zone.

Our Action Labs Projections have Cease at just 6.0 Ks Wednesday afternoon, while FanGraphs SaberSim projections have him at 6.75.

Everything is pointing under here, and I’d play it to about -140.

Pick: Under 7.5 Ks (-122)

Action Labs Grade: 10/10

Aaron Ashby Over 4.5 Strikeouts (+125)

Brewers @ Pirates
First Pitch 6:35 p.m. ET
Best Line DraftKings

I was high on Aaron Ashby in the preseason, thinking he could make big strides this year as a middle-relief or spot-starter.

So far, so good.

Ashby has pitched 11 1/3 innings over four appearances and one start so far, striking out 13 (10.32 K/9) and pitching to a 3.18 ERA. He’s been slightly unlucky (.355 BABIP), but he’s also struggled with his control (6.35 BB/9).

Watch out for his slider, which he’ll throw up to 40% of the time and recorded a 42% whiff rate on it last season. But you’ll see him tunnel it with a sinker that moves away from RHHs and a changeup that digs in on that side.

Aaron Ashby Filth. 😷 pic.twitter.com/AUC0QO2zwx

— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) October 13, 2021

His whiff rate across the three pitches is down, but I’m not worried. His spin rates have held steady enough with his slider and changeup, and the spin has even gone up on the sinker.

I’ll take my chances with Ashby against a Pirates offense that has posted just a 78 wRC+ against southpaws last season. That number has been high in 2022, but Pittsburgh’s .311 BABIP won’t be there forever.

Projections are super high on Ashby today, as well. Our Action Labs Projections have Ashby at 6.9 punchouts, while FanGraphs SaberSim projections see him at 6.05.

And we’re getting the line at plus-money on DraftKings. Hammer city.

Pick: Over 4.5 Ks (+125)

Action Labs Grade: 10/10

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Tyler Wells Under 3.5 Strikeouts (-115)

Orioles @ Yankees
First Pitch 7:05 p.m. ET
Best Line DraftKings

The Orioles are going opener here with Wells, who has pitched just 1 2/3, 2 1/3, and four innings in his respective three opening starts this season.

On top of that, it’s not like Wells has been particularly good in his three appearances. His xwOBA is through the roof (.440) alongside his ERA (6.75) and xFIP (5.24).

Wells has been worse than replacement level, picking up -0.1 WAR through eight puny innings.

Historically, Wells is a strikeout pitcher. He notched a 10.26 K/9 mark in 57 relief innings in 2021, using a fastball-slider-changeup mix that plays against both platoons.

I'm intrigued by Tyler Wells as an SP

2021 as RP:
🧐29% K% & 5.4% BB%
👀3 pitches w/ a double-digit SwStr%
-4-Seam: 11.4% SwStr%
-Slider: 17.5% SwStr%
-Changeup: 17.2% SwStr%

Uses 4-seam & slider vs. RHH
Uses ⏫ changeup vs. LHH w/ a .208 SLG, .176 wOBA, & 35.6% Whiff% pic.twitter.com/wyywYrbhAS

— Corbin (@corbin_young21) April 4, 2022

Projections have him upping his K/9 rate somewhere between 8.09 and 9.83. This rather large spread implies a high range of outcomes.

But for today, I’m not expecting the high end of the range.

The Yankees have a reputation for being strikeout prone, but they’ve been just league average this season (23.4%, 15th in MLB). Against righties, the Yanks strikeout numbers actually drop slightly (22.8%, 14th in MLB).

In the end, Wells will likely have to pitch four innings against an offense that’s posted a 114 wRC+ while being limited to an opener role. That doesn’t seem ideal.

Our Action Labs Projections have Wells at just 2.2 Ks today, making the under a top-rated play.

Pick: Under 3.5 Ks (-115)

Action Labs Grade: 10/10

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