MLB Props & Picks: Back John Means & Corbin Burnes in Brewers vs. Orioles Clash (April 13)
Justin Casterline/Getty Images. Pictured: Milwaukee Brewers ace Corbin Burnes.
- Wednesday's MLB slate is packed with 13 games.
- Tanner McGrath has two props he loves, including a play on Corbin Burnes.
- Check out his analysis and picks below.
This column got crushed on Tuesday’s Major League Baseball card, losing all three of our bets by the hook.
However, the season is still early and it’s how you finish rather than how you start. Just ask the 2021 Atlanta Braves.
It’s getting close to the point where we can start analyzing 2022 stats to make wagers rather than 2021 numbers. Once that point comes, our prop betting analysis should become sharper.
On Wednesday, we’re projecting value on both pitchers in the Brewers vs. Orioles game. So, expect a lot of punchouts at Camden Yards.
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.
John Means — Over 4.5 Strikeouts (-122)
|Brewers vs. Orioles||Orioles (+158)|
|First Pitch||7:05 p.m. ET|
I’ve always had a soft spot for John Means. When he’s pitching well, he’s hard to get to and raises the Baltimore ceiling quite a bit.
He’s a fastball-changeup pitcher who mixes in a slider and curveball. In the end, none produce high whiff or strikeout rates, but he can put away guys on the curveball if needed, which he produced a 35% strikeout rate on in 2021.
Either way, he still managed to get across this number in 18 of 27 starts last season. That’s a 67% hit rate that should imply -200 odds to the over.
And Means is facing a Brewers offense that is likely still worth fading. Despite expectations for the bats to step up this year, the Brewers have produced just 2.8 runs per game through the first five. That includes getting shut out twice.
John Means, Filthy 3 Pitch K Sequence (all curveballs). 😷 pic.twitter.com/yqoNQlhkTe
— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) August 22, 2021
If the Brewers’ offense continues to track as they did last year, we should see plenty of strikeouts. The Brewers posted the eighth-highest strikeout rate in 2021 (24%) and that number jumped slightly against southpaws.
Pitchers are still getting stretched out with the short spring training, but Means looked pretty smooth in his first start. Against a dangerous Tampa Bay lineup, he pitched four innings of one-run ball and — most importantly — struck out five Rays in the short start.
Plus, Means has had some success against a few Brewers hitters. He’s struck out Willy Adames four times in 12 PAs, Mike Brosseau twice in 11 PAs, and Hunter Renfroe thrice in four PAs.
Our Action Labs Player Props tool projects Means for 5.8 strikeouts, while FanGraphs SaberSim projections mark him at 4.98 for the game.
Either way, there’s value on this line at -125 or better.
Pick: Over 4.5 Strikeouts (-122)
Action Labs Grade: 9/10
Corbin Burnes — Over 6.5 Strikeouts (-135)
|Brewers @ Orioles||Brewers -170|
|First Pitch||7:05 p.m. ET|
This is a risky proposition after seeing how Burnes pitched on Opening Day.
However, Milwaukee fans shouldn’t panic. Burnes posted about an xERA around 3.00 in the tough start and got slightly unlikely with the wind blowing straight out of Wrigley Field.
Burnes eventually settled in after a tough start. That said, I think he bounces back and builds momentum against this Baltimore lineup.
Baltimore struck out at the fifth-highest rate against RHPs last season (24.9%). And in the early season, no team has struck out more through five games, with the Orioles getting punched out 58 times for a 30.6% rate.
Burnes has a five-pitch mix, but look for him to throw that high-90s cutter about half the time. However, his curveball produced the highest whiff rate last season (50.3%) and the Orioles finished last in 2021 in wCB last season (-18.2).
It’s also worth mentioning that Burnes’ strikeout rate actually jumps on the road, from 34.7% to 36.2%. Well, all of his numbers are better away from Milwaukee, as he posted an ERA and xFIP under 2.00 on the road in 2021.
Plus, the value is too good to pass up. Our Action Labs Player Props tool projects Burnes for a whopping 8.5 Ks this evening, while FanGraphs SaberSim projections mark him for 6.8.
There’s enough here to back Burnes.
Pick: Over 6.5 Strikeouts (-135)
Action Labs Grade: 10/10