Friday MLB Props, Picks, Predictions: Value on Nick Castellanos & Julio Urías

Friday MLB Props, Picks, Predictions: Value on Nick Castellanos & Julio Urías article feature image

Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images. Pictured: Julio Urias.

  • Friday's MLB slate is loaded, which means there are plenty of player props holding value across the board.
  • Tanner McGrath found free with value for Nick Castellanos, Kyle Wright and Julio Urías.
  • Check out all three of McGrath's breakdowns for each pick below.

It's been a rough week for our MLB player props team. But slumps happen, and we have to swing through them. However, we may adjust our approach at the plate.

That starts with today's three MLB player props.

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.

Nick Castellanos Over 1.5 Total Bases

Brewers @ PhilliesPhillies -125
First Pitch7:05 p.m. ET
Best LineDraftKings

Nick Castellanos is carrying over the success he found last season. His Baseball Savant page lights up like a Christmas tree, as he's currently posted a .324 xBA and a .653 xSLG through 13 games.

More specifically, he's cashed his bases total in five of his 13 games this year.  And I think he has a good chance to do it again today.

Freddy Peralta has been poor to start the season. Over two starts, he has an 11.57 ERA while pitching just seven total innings. He gave up six runs to the Cardinals and then three to the Cubs.

And in the past, Castellanos has roasted Peralta. Castellanos is 7-for-13 lifetime against the Milwaukee starter with five extra-base hits and only two strikeouts. His advanced stats aren't as impressive, but he's still posted a .375 xBA and a .632 xSLG on those batted balls.

I'll take a chance on him Friday. Peralta throws his four-seam over 50% of the time, and Castellanos has been smashing that pitch 13 games into the 2022 season.

Image Credit: Baseball Savant.

Pick: Over 1.5 Total Bases

Kyle Wright Under 5.5 Strikeouts (-155)

Marlins @ BravesBraves -145
First Pitch7:20 p.m. ET
Best LineDraftKings

Sigh. Back to the well.

Kyle Wright has been nothing short of a stud. Over 11 innings to start the year, Wright has pitched to a 1.64 ERA and a 2.09 xFIP with a 15:1 K/BB ratio — truly astounding stuff from the Braves' next breakout pitcher.

Kyle Wright breakout season potential 📈

— Bally Sports: Braves (@BravesOnBally) April 16, 2022

He's completely changed his approach on the mound, and it's working wonders in the early season push. As you can see below, he's abandoned his four-seam for a sinker, his slider for a curveball and upped his changeup usage.

3 graphs showing Kyle Wright has completely changed the type of pitcher he is.

— Stephen (@b_outliers) April 16, 2022

So, fading him has been a thorn in my side. But I still think his stock has risen too high. Projections don't have Wright recording 12.27 K/9 over the course of 120 innings and instead mark him closer to the 8.5 range.

Besides, this line feels trappy. Why would sportsbooks give the league's hottest new whiff machine plus money on a line he's cashed easily in both starts?

I think he's bound to go under at some point. Why not here? Our Action Labs projections mark Wright for just 4.4 punchouts on Friday night.

And Miami is not the strikeout-prone team it was last season. The Fish are league-average this year in strikeout rate against RHPs in 2022 (23.2%). Meanwhile, the Reds — Wright's last victim — rank first in that category (29.2%).

After Miami posted five runs yesterday on Jordan Hicks and the Cardinals bullpen, I'm ready to believe the Fish can stave off Wright's overvalued arm.

Pick: Under 5.5 Ks (-155)

Action Labs Grade: 8/10

Julio Urías Over 4.5 Strikeouts (+100)

Padres @ DodgersDodgers -170
First Pitch9:40 p.m. ET
Best LineDraftKings

This line feels suspiciously low for an innings eater like Julio Urías.

Last season, the Dodger southpaw tossed 185 2/3 innings over 32 starts, good for just over 5 2/3 innings per game.

As a result, he can rack up strikeout totals. In his career, Urías has tallied just over nine K/9. In 2021, he cashed over 4.5 strikeouts in 26 of those aforementioned 32 starts. That 81.25% hit rate would imply about -430 odds to the over.

There are a few reasons we could be getting a discounted price.

First, Urías is off to a slow start. But after he got clobbered for six hits and three runs over just two innings at Coors Field (duh), he rebounded by pitching five shutout innings at home against Cincinnati. As expected, he recorded five strikeouts in the latter.

Julio Urías estuvo dominante en cinco entradas, solo permitió un hit y ponchó a

— MLB México (@MLB_Mexico) April 17, 2022

Second, it'll be tough facing a hot Padres lineup that's playing at Petco. But while the Padres have been hitting well, they're still above average in strikeout rate (24%) and strikeout rate against lefties (24.2%).

Moreover, the Padres don't have any obvious advantages against Urías' fastball-curveball-changeup arsenal. The Padres were average against fastballs last season (3.7 wFB), above-average against curveballs (9.6 wCB), and below-average against changeups (-8.1 wCH) last season.

And while Urías is on the road, his strikeout rate actually bumps away from Dodger Stadium. In his career, he's posted 8.86 K/9 at home and 9.16 K/9 on the road.

Image Credit: FanGraphs.

Our Action Labs projections mark Urías for 5.2 strikeouts today, providing us with more than an 8% edge over the line posted at DraftKings.

Pick: Over 4.5 Ks (+100)

Action Labs Grade: 8/10

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