MLB Props Monday | Odds & Best Bet for Ken Waldichuk

MLB Props Monday | Odds & Best Bet for Ken Waldichuk article feature image

Via George Kubas/Getty Images. Pictured: Ken Waldichuk #64 of the Oakland Athletics exits the game during the second inning against the Cleveland Guardians at Progressive Field on June 20, 2023 in Cleveland, Ohio.

I try to add an edge to my MLB betting card each day by selecting a few player props using our Action Labs projections.

Our Action Labs Player 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 picks in the discussion below.

Here are my MLB player prop picks for the MLB slate on Monday, Aug. 7, which includes bets for Gavin Williams and Ken Waldichuk.

MLB Player Props For Monday, August 7

Gavin Williams Over 4.5 Strikeouts (-130)

Guardians vs. Blue JaysToronto -125
First Pitch7:10 p.m. ET
Best LineFanDuel

I like Gavin Williams because he's a big boy righty with a big boy right-handed fastball.

Gavin Williams 5 Strikeouts vs

— Guardians Pitching Highlights (@GuardsPitching) July 28, 2023

He uses it a ton, just over 58% of the time. The pitch can touch 97 and checks in with a 111 Stuff+ mark. He can force Whiffs with the pitch (12.5% Swinging-Strike rate), albeit inconsistently.

His secondaries aren't as good, but they play off the fastball. So, if the fastball is working, the secondaries are working.

For example, Williams' fastball velocity went up a tick in his last start (96.6 mph on average). While he struggled to locate the heater, he managed five Whiffs on curveballs playing off the high heat.

As a result, I feel comfortable riding with Williams and the added velocity today. He's cashed over 4.5 strikeouts in his past two starts, and he could be in line for a huge game if he can re-find the fastball location he had two starts ago in Kansas City (10 Whiffs, five called strikes on 55 thrown).

The Blue Jays are a tough offense, but they're slumping a tad. They've allowed 10 of the past 12 opposing starting pitchers to cash their strikeout totals as the Bo Bichette injury may affect Toronto's overall discipline stats.

Projection models are bullish on Williams today, with every computer spitting out 5+ strikeouts for him:

  • Action Labs Player Props Tool: 5.4 Ks
  • BallParkPal Pitcher Sims: 5.3 Ks
  • Jon Anderson's Daily MLB Projections: 5.2 Ks

I expect Williams to ride his heater to six strikeouts in a competitive start on Monday.

Action Labs Grade: 8/10

Pick: Gavin Williams Over 4.5 Ks (-130)

Ken Waldichuk Under 5.5 Strikeouts (-145)

Athletics vs. RangersTexas -220
First Pitch9:40 p.m. ET
Best LineFanDuel

I don't understand this number.

Ken Waldichuk has cashed over 5.5 strikeouts in two of 14 starts this season, with the last time coming in early May. He's since moved primarily to the bullpen.

The Rangers are striking out more (25.1% over the past month), but that doesn't make up for Waldichuk's 8.4% K-BB rate. Waldichuk's strikeout numbers have increased slightly from the bullpen, but that still doesn't explain the number.

Waldichuk's Stuff+ metrics are up slightly over the past month, but he still sits with a 90 Stuff+ mark across his arsenal over the past month. Again, this doesn't explain the increase in his strikeout prop.

The projection models don't understand the number:

  • Action Labs Player Props Tool: 4.0 Ks
  • BallParkPal Pitcher Sims: 4.5 Ks
  • Jon Anderson's Daily MLB Projections: 4.2 Ks

Make it make sense!

The last time Waldichuk faced the Rangers, he struck out five over 93 pitches, which is rather surprising. However, he also walked five and managed a lousy 24.7% CSW rate. I'm unsure if five Waldichuk strikeouts can be replicated.

I'm hammering this under as the line is way off.

Action Labs Grade: 10/10

Pick: Ken Waldichuk Under 5.5 Ks (-145)

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