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MLB Player Props To Bet Opening Day: Tyler Mahle, Patrick Corbin, Wil Myers Present Positive Value (April 7)

MLB Player Props To Bet Opening Day: Tyler Mahle, Patrick Corbin, Wil Myers Present Positive Value (April 7) article feature image
Credit:

Brandon Sloter/Icon Sportswire. Pictured: Wil Myers

  • Opening Day means plenty of opportunities to find value in the MLB player props market.
  • Tyler Mahle, Patrick Corbin and Wil Myers have caught the eye of our MLB prop betting expert.
  • Continue reading for a full breakdown of those props and recommended plays.

We’ve done it, baseball fans.

Against all odds, this season will feature a full 162 games. That all starts today, with Opening Day coming just six days later than originally planned.

That also means I’m back with our daily MLB player props column. This column killed last season, finishing 69-53 for 13 units of profit and a 9.3% ROI.

By using the same process we did last year —  the Action Labs Player Props tool to identify value — we hope to repeat the positive results from 2021.

For Opening Day, I’ve identified two players who show value, including a former strikeout pitcher regressing and a former pitch-to-contact guy becoming a strikeout machine.

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.

Patrick Corbin Over 3.5 Strikeouts (-165)

Mets vs. Nationals Nationals +110
First Pitch 7:05 p.m. ET
Best Line DraftKings

Unlike Mahle, Patrick Corbin is not a strikeout pitcher.

He used to be, back in 2018 when he notched a strikeout rate north of 30%. But that number has dropped year-over-year, and last season he barely struck out seven batters per nine innings.

The slider is the main culprit. Once a deadly spinner that would force whiffs more than 53% of the time, that number dropped to 41% by the end of 2021. His strikeout rate fell with it.

Image credit: Baseball Savant

But it doesn’t mean that Corbin deserves a strikeout total under four. His chase rate remains elite (87th percentile) and he notched four or more Ks in 21 of his 31 starts last season (65%).

The Mets strike out above average in total (23.8%, 11th in MLB) but whiffed a whole lot against southpaws (24.2%, sixth in MLB). And Corbin has had plenty of success against this lineup.

Against Corbin:

  • Pete Alonso has struck out 11 times in 34 PAs (32.4%).
  • Brandon Nimmo has struck out nine times in 22 PAs (40.9%)
  • J.D. Davis has struck out eight times in 32 PAs (25%)
  • Starling Marte has struck out five times in 28 PAs (17.9%)

The Action Labs Player Props tool projects Corbin closer to 5.5 strikeouts on Opening Day rather than 3.5, giving us over a 15% edge on the current line and making this a top-rated play.

Pick: Over 3.5 Ks (-165 at DraftKings)

Action Labs Grade: 10/10

Tyler Mahle Over 4.5 Strikeouts (-145)

Reds vs. Braves Reds +165
First Pitch 8:08 p.m. ET
Best Line DraftKings

Tyler Mahle has become a strikeout pitcher.

After three-straight years of posting a K/9 under nine, that number skyrocketed to 11.33 in the 60-game 2020 sprint and 10.50 over the full 2021 season.

He added a couple of ticks of velocity on his fastball since 2019, with his average velocity rising from 92.4 to 94 mph. He also got it to rise a bit more, with it dropping 1.2 inches less compared to the average fastball.

Image credit: Baseball Savant

It’s done wonders for his swing-and-miss rate, as hitters whiffed 31% against Mahle’s four-seam in 2021 after doing so just 21% of the time the prior year. That number regressed slightly in 2022, down to 26%.

However, it didn’t seem to affect his strikeout rate on the pitch, which continues to climb year-over-year and shows no sign of stopping.

Image credit: Baseball Savant

The Braves have a narrative of being fastball killers, but they were barely above-average in wFB last season (20.2, 13th in MLB).

But the Braves were correctly judged as strikeout prone. The Braves finished ninth last season in strikeout rate at 24%. That number jumped to 25.2% at home and against RHPs, which was good for third in the league.

Our Player Props Tool projects Mahle for 5.8 Ks in Atlanta, providing us with close to a 10% edge over the current line.

Pick: Tyler Mahle Over 3.5 Strikeouts (-145 at DraftKings)

Action Labs Grade: 8/10

Wil Myers Over 1.5 Total Bases (+120)

Padres at Diamondbacks Padres -155
First Pitch 9:40 p.m. ET
Best Line DraftKings

I’m not sure what to expect from Madison Bumgarner this season. Projections have MadBum producing 1.1 WAR with an ERA approaching 5.00, so he’ll at least be an innings eater.

I’m not sure he’ll have any success against Wil Myers. In 56 PAs against MadBum, Myers has ripped 13 hits for a .232 BA, but nine of those went for extra bases including three home runs. That’s good for an SLG above .600.

Wil Myers homered off Madison Bumgarner in the 7th inning of the Padres-Diamondbacks game Friday.

Myers now has 6 career HR off of Bumgarner, the most HR by a single player against "MadBum" (next best among active players is Trevor Story with 5). pic.twitter.com/pxchVPQfpH

— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) August 14, 2021

Plus, with Myers having posted a 90 mph avg. exit velocity and a 15.7-degree avg. launch angle in those batted balls, Statcast projects he should’ve posted a .292 BA and a .624 SLG.

So, despite already hammering MadBum, we should see some positive regression from Myers in future matchups.

But it’s not just the batted balls, Bumgarner can’t get this guy out. Myers has walked a whopping 12 times during that stretch, taking advantage of the strike zone Bumgarner used to own so unilaterally.

If you see an over 1.5 hits+walks line for Myers at anything under about -130, I’d recommend putting the rent money on it.

But since DraftKings is only offering TBs for Myers, we’ll place a reasonably-sized 1u play on the plus-money line.

Pick: Wil Myers Over 1.5 Total Bases (+120 at DraftKings)

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