MLB Props Picks & Predictions: Strikeouts in Bunches For Shane Bieber? (Monday, April 25)

MLB Props Picks & Predictions: Strikeouts in Bunches For Shane Bieber? (Monday, April 25) article feature image

Photo by Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Shane Bieber (Guardiens)

As pitchers' arms get stretched out more and more, we should see more gems from the top of each team's rotation.

For example, Milwaukee's Eric Lauer took the mound against Philadelphia Sunday and struck out 13 batters over six scoreless innings. Lauer is Milwaukee's fifth starter.

With that in mind, we're backing two arms who our projections are high on.

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.

Framber Valez over 4.5 Strikeouts (-140)

Astros vs. RangersAstros -140
First Pitch8:05 p.m. ET
Best LineDraftKings

Framber Valdez started his year strong, striking out six over six scoreless in his 2022 debut against the Angels. It was a beautiful outing.

His curveball is the death pitch, as it forced a 44% whiff rate last season behind a six-inch vertical drop over average.

Framber Valdez, Wicked 79mph Curveball. 🤢

— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) April 8, 2022

With his curveball working so well, Valdez cashed over 4.5 strikeouts in 19 of his 27 starts last season (63%, implied -173 odds) and in nine of his 15 road starts (60%, implied -150 odds).

And the last time he walked into Globe Life Park, he struck out seven Rangers over seven innings. So Valdez should be comfortable in another road start here.

Texas has been comfortable against southpaws, striking out at the eighth-lowest rate in MLB.

But our Action Labs Projections thinks the market has overcorrected, as we are projecting 6.2 Ks for Valdez tonight. FanGraphs SaberSim Projections also expects Valdez to go over 4.5 Ks tonight.

At anything better than about -150, I'll be buying Valdez on Monday night.

Pick: Over 4.5 Ks (-140)

Action Labs Grade: 10/10

Shane Bieber over 6.5 Strikeouts (-150)

Guardians vs. AngelsAngels -120
First Pitch9:38 p.m. ET
Best LineDraftKings

This line is high. But our Action Labs Projections have Shane Bieber at a whopping 8.5 strikeouts in Anaheim tonight, while FanGraphs SaberSim projections have him at 7.5.

Either way, we have to hold our nose and trust the numbers.

Bieber started slow this season, striking out just four against the Royals and five against the Reds. But he bounced back a bit, notching seven Ks over six one-run innings against the big, bad White Sox.

Bieber has had some up-and-down moments over the past few years, but don't forget his ceiling. When he's pitching well, he's a Cy Young candidate.

Shane Bieber, 90mph Fastball and 84mph Slider, Overlay. The anatomy of a ⚔️⚔️

— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) April 20, 2022

And why can't he be that guy tonight in California? The Angels are striking out at the sixth-highest rate in MLB so far this season, at 25.5%.

Plus, even though he's only recording about one strikeout per inning, Bieber's strikeout numbers should jump going forward. He ranks above the 80th percentile in both swinging strike rate (13.9%) and called strike plus whiff rate (30.4%).

Look for Bieber to see some positive regression tonight, fly past the DraftKings total, and hopefully soar closer to our projections.

Pick: Over 6.5 Strikeouts (-150)

Action Labs Grade: 9/10

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