MLB Props, Dinger Tuesday Picks: Joey Votto, Andrew Vaughn Among Top Home Run Options
Mark Blinch/Getty Images. Pictured: Andrew Vaughn
Each Tuesday, FanDuel runs a popular promotion that allows each user to bet $25 on one player in every MLB game played that day to hit a home run. Regardless of whether or not the player you bet on homered, you receive $5 in free bets back for each home run hit in the game, with a max return of $25.
Given the average number of home runs in an MLB game in 2021 was 2.44, you will receive an average of $12.20 in free bets back for each $25 home run bet you make, without accounting for the loss in expected value on the vig of the home run yes prop. Even though home runs have been down in the 2022 season thus far, the promotion remains +EV, and there are signs that homers are trending up in the warmer months again.
If you want to learn more on how Dinger Tuesday works, here’s an explainer.
Here are my favorite selections for Tuesday’s slate:
Diamondbacks at Reds, 6:40 p.m. ET
Pick: Joey Votto +440
Great American Ball Park is one of the biggest hitters’ parks in all of baseball and the total of 10 is the highest on the board on Tuesday. Cincinnati is always a must-play ballpark and I think the books are pricing Joey Votto too long because of his poor start to the season.
Votto has seen a change in approach in the last couple weeks and the result has been more barrels. By rolling xwOBA, Votto is one of the hottest hitters in the league and sits at .459 in his last 50 plate appearances. His barrel rate has climbed back over 10% yet again.
After one of the worst stretches of his career, Votto has rebounded and proven that he still has plenty of pop in his bat. Although he will face a lefty early in this game, Tyler Gilbert isn’t a good pitcher at all and has allowed a 14% barrel rate this season.
Cubs vs. Orioles, 7:10 p.m. ET
Pick: Willson Contreras +460
Willson Contreras has an 11.4% barrel rate through 123 batted balls in 2022. That’s the second-best mark of his career and he’s really found some extra power with the highest average and maximum exit velocity of his career at age 30.
Contreras doesn’t get a great ballpark tonight because the wall was moved back at Camden Yards in left field, but he does get a favorable opposing pitcher with Kyle Bradish of Baltimore.
I do believe that Bradish will regress positively in terms of his HR/FB rate. It’s currently at 24.2%, which is well above league average. The rookie Bradish is probably going to always have some HR issues and Contreras should be priced as one of the most likely home run hitters in this game. At +460, he has just the sixth-best odds.
Dodgers vs. White Sox, 8:10 p.m. ET
Pick: Andrew Vaughn +700
Andrew Vaughn is putting a lot more balls in play in 2022 — fewer strikeouts, fewer walks and very similar hard-hit rates. That makes him an improved Dinger Tuesday play because he’s not going to burn at-bats with a patient approach at the plate.
Vaughn is on his way out of a slump right now and is way underpriced in a favorable matchup against a rookie right-hander who is well below average in barrel rate. There’s always going to plenty of options on the Dodgers’ side, but I’ve been quite impressed by the pitching of Michael Kopech of late.
Vaughn’s rolling xwOBA chart is in steep line straight upward right now and at +700, I’ll take a flier on him and hope he can use his excellent raw power and above average barrel rate to find a dinger. White has allowed an 8.9% barrel rate through 56 balls in play for the Dodgers.
Mariners vs. Astros, 8:10 p.m. ET
Pick: Kyle Tucker +460
It’s always good to compare across books when looking for HR props and try to see who FanDuel is incorrectly pricing. In this case, Kyle Tucker is the second-best home run hitter on the Astros and is lined at +370 to homer against Chris Flexen at DraftKings. Yet, FanDuel has him lined at +460.
Tucker’s barrel rate remains an excellent 11%, he gets a very favorable and familiar matchup with Flexen too. He’s allowed his highest barrel rate since 2018 and his 11% rate allowed this year is nearly five percent worse than the last two seasons.
The Astros just saw Flexen last week. His stuff is well below average, he relies on pitching to contact and lefties have hit him hard this season. Tucker and Yordan Alvarez are both great options here, but given the difference is price between them, I’m taking Tucker.
Nationals at Marlins, 7:10 p.m.
Pick: Jazz Chisholm Jr. +460
Joan Adon might be the worst pitcher starting on Tuesday. Adon has a 6.02 xERA, ranks in the 20th percentile in barrel rate and has really struggled to keep the ball in the yard this season. While I’d normally play Juan Soto at a number this good, he has a tough matchup with Marlins young stud pitcher Edward Cabrera.
Jazz Chisholm has improved his launch angle, increased his barrel rate and cut his strikeouts down considerably this year. All of that has led to more power and Chisholm is an aggressive swinger at the plate too. That means he’s less likely to get walked, despite Adon’s control issues, and more likely to tee off on the struggling Nationals starter.
Even though Jorge Soler and Jesus Sanchez are known as the two big power bats in the Marlins’ lineup, it’s actually Chisholm with the highest barrel rate at 14.2%. That’s five percent better than last year and even better than Soto for Washington.
Note: No lines are up yet for the Red Sox vs. Angels game because Los Angeles hasn’t announced a starting pitcher. But I will be playing someone in that game, depending on where the lines end up.