MLB Props Today | Odds, Picks for Cole Ragans, Merrill Kelly, More (Monday, September 4)

MLB Props Today | Odds, Picks for Cole Ragans, Merrill Kelly, More (Monday, September 4) article feature image

Christian Petersen/Getty Images. Pictured: Merrill Kelly

The holiday weekend is coming to an end, but MLB has you covered with an 11-game slate. The White Sox will be in Kansas City after they were just swept by the Tigers. They may be in for a long afternoon against Cole Ragans.

The Astros and Rangers have been the class of the AL West for most of the season. Now, they both find themselves looking up at the Mariners as they begin a pivotal series in Arlington. Jose Altuve and Corey Seager will look to pace the offenses for their teams.

The Diamondbacks are locked in a four-way tie for the last NL wild-card spot. Coming off a series loss to the Orioles, they will begin a series against the last-place Rockies at Chase Field. Merrill Kelly will look to help them take game one.

MLB Player Props For Monday, September 4

Monday, Sep 4
2:10 p.m. ET
Cole Ragans Over 6.5 Strikeouts (+128)

The Rangers are all-in on winning the World Series this season as they should be with one of the best rosters in baseball. However, they may one day come to regret trading Cole Ragans —  particularly in light of Aroldis Chapman's struggles.

Since coming to Kansas City, Ragans is 3-1 with a 1.73 ERA. While they have come against the Athletics, Pirates and now White Sox, it is particularly noticeable that the 42-96 Royals have been favored in each of his last three starts.

Ragans has a five-pitch mix, but he has relied heavily on a mid-90s fastball and changeup. It has been working for him as he has a 29.8% Whiff Rate and 29.5% Strikeout Rate. He has 56 strikeouts in 41 2/3 innings since joining the Royals. He has recorded 53 of those strikeouts in his last six starts.

In addition to the strikeouts, Ragan has shown impressive command with just 11 walks in seven starts. Walks should not be an issue today against a White Sox lineup that is last in BB rate, which will allow Ragans to work deeper into the game. The White Sox also have the seventh-highest Strikeout Rate against left-handed pitchers.

If you feel more comfortable with Ragans at six strikeouts, DraftKings has the price at -180 over 5.5 strikeouts. However, I do not find it necessary to lay that kind of juice considering what Ragans has done and this matchup. He has punched out eight batters in five of his last six starts, hitting both nine and 11 strikeouts twice.

Nine strikeouts for Ragans is +470 with a max of 10 strikeouts at +900 on FanDuel.

Pick: Cole Ragans Over 6.5 Strikeouts (+128)

Monday, Sep 4
4:05 p.m. ET
MLB Network
Jose Altuve & Corey Seager One-Hit Parlay (-125)

Jose Altuve left Friday's game against the Yankees with a bruised left leg after just one plate appearance. He returned to the lineup last night but went 0-for-4 to finish hitless for the series. However, Altuve's leg may be feeling even better once he steps in the batter's box against Andrew Heaney.

Altuve is 11-for-34 (.324) with three doubles, two solo homers and a .931 OPS against Heaney. He is hitting .346 with seven doubles, three home runs, 14 runs batted in and a .946 OPS over the last 30 days. Altuve also has been better on the road this season. In home games, he is hitting .267, but his average surges to .343 on the road.

Meanwhile, Seager finally has enough plate appearances to qualify for the AL batting title, and at .341, he holds a comfortable edge over Tampa's Yandy Diaz. He has not faced today's starter, J.P. France; however, he is hitting .352 against righties, .358 in home games and .375 in day games.

Altuve has recorded one hit in 26 of his last 33 games while Seager has one hit in 23 of his last 30 games. Altuve usually bats leadoff for the Astros while Seager usually bats second for the Rangers.

The Astros and Rangers have played a few high-scoring games this season, and with the total at nine runs, we could see another one. If so, Altuve and Seager may each get five plate appearances, and a hit apiece will do the trick here.

Pick: Jose Altuve & Corey Seager One-Hit Parlay (-125)

Monday, Sep 4
4:10 p.m. ET
Merrill Kelly To Record A Win (+110)

At the age of 34, Merrill Kelly continues to enjoy a career season. He is 10-6 with a 3.31 ERA that ranks eighth in MLB. Kelly does have a 4.96 ERA in day games this season, but he also has a 2.96 ERA at home this season. Today, he faces a Rockies offense that has struggled this season, particularly away from Coors Field.

The Rockies have a .231 team batting average (.268 at Coors) and average just 3.72 runs per game on the road. Kelly is 1-0 with a 2.25 ERA with 16 strikeouts in 12 innings in two starts against Colorado, and both at Coors Field. Kelly should continue to stymie the Rockies' offense on his home mound, but he should get run support as well.

Rockies starter Peter Lambert has allowed three runs or more in four of his last six starts and has a 4.95 ERA this season. The Diamondbacks are averaging 6.8 runs per game against Colorado this season and are 8-2 against the Rockies, who are 21-48 on the road this season. Arizona is both -260 to win the first five innings and the game.

Kelly has lasted six innings in both starts against Colorado this season and he has completed five innings in each of his last 23 starts. If Kelly goes six to seven innings today, I expect that the Diamondbacks will be in front when he departs. That would leave us just needing the Diamondbacks bullpen to close out the game to get Kelly and the team a victory in the series opener.

Pick: Merrill Kelly To Record A Win (+110 at DraftKings)

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