MLB Props Picks, Predictions: Garrett Whitlock & Ian Anderson Provide Value on Saturday (April 23)
Todd Kirkland/Getty Images. Pictured: Ian Anderson.
After a 2-1 day yesterday, The Action Network’s MLB player props team is back for more on an action-packed Saturday of baseball.
There are two more pitchers worth betting today, including backing a young Atlanta star and fading another young Boston star.
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.
Garrett Whitlock under 5.5 Strikeouts (-115)
|Red Sox vs. Rays||Red Sox +105|
|First Pitch||6:10 p.m. ET|
I love Garrett Whitlock. I think he will eventually graduate from the long relief role and become a legit MLB starter at the top of Boston’s rotation.
But this line is asking too much.
Yes, Whitlock is striking out over 10 batters per nine so far this season. And yes, he forces whiffs better than 85% of big-league pitchers. And yes again, the Rays are a strikeout-prone team.
But Whitlock hasn’t started a game since playing Double-A ball with the Yankees in 2017. Even if he does go five or six innings today, how will his fastball-slider-changeup mix hold up over the course of a full outing?
The Rays are a swing-and-miss team, but that doesn’t mean they’ll make Whitlock’s life easy. Tampa is currently fifth in wRC+ (121) and ninth in OPS (.718). Ji Man Choi is lighting the world on fire with his .524 OBP.
There are too many things that can go wrong here. The Rays could light Whitlock up, or the staff could decide to pull Whitlock early in favor of a bullpen-heavy approach.
In the end, FanGraphs’ SaberSim projections have Whitlock striking out just 4.5 batters today. I’ll oblige and take the under in this spot.
Pick: Under 5.5 Ks (-115)
Ian Anderson over 4.5 Strikeouts (-125)
|Marlins @ Braves||Braves -155|
|First Pitch||7:20 p.m. ET|
Ian Anderson had a tough start to the season, as the Reds crushed him for five runs over 2 2/3 innings while he recorded just one strikeout.
But then Anderson bounced back, going into PetCo and striking out seven Padres over 5 2/3 innings. His fastball-changeup mix was working that day, as he recorded all seven strikeouts on the offspeed pitch.
The thing is really difficult to get a read on.
Ian Anderson's changeup was responsible for each of his seven strikeouts against San Diego.
It's not difficult to see why. pic.twitter.com/MnO1DpfXJm
— Bally Sports: Braves (@BravesOnBally) April 17, 2022
He’ll now face a Marlins lineup that he’s dominated in the past (19 Ks over 12 2/3 innings) and posted a -6.5 wCH last season. It should be a long day at the ballpark for the Fish.
Our Action Labs projections have him recording 5.8 strikeouts today, while FanGraphs SaberSim projections mark him for 5.2. Either way, we’re getting solid value with Anderson in this spot.
Pick: Over 4.5 Ks (-125)
Action Labs Grade: 9/10