MLB Props Today | Odds, Picks for Nick Castellanos, Ryan McMahon, Merrill Kelly (Sunday, July 30)
Harry How/Getty Images. Pictured: Diamondbacks pitcher Merrill Kelly.
Saturday was rough as we managed to pull off the reverse sweep. However, finishing strong on Sundays has been a theme this season, and I've found three players who can help us do that today.
So, let's dive into Sunday's top MLB player props.
MLB Player Props For Sunday, July 30
Nick Castellanos Over 1.5 Total Bases (-110)
|Phillies vs Pirates|
|First Pitch||1:35 p.m. ET|
The battle for bragging rights in the state of Pennsylvania has come down to a rubber match. However, the Phillies are favored to take today's matchup with some sizable edges.
One of those big edges is having Nick Castellanos face Rich Hill. Castellanos has had a resurgent season in Philly, hitting .274 with a .764 OPS. However, Castellanos has been cold since the All-Star break with a .117 average in 60 at-bats.
Though, facing Hill may put him back on track.
First off, Hill has been knocked around in his age-43 season. The veteran lefty holds a 4.82 ERA and ranks in the bottom 10% of all qualified pitchers in xBA and xSLG.
Lastly, Castellanos has seen the ball well against lefties this season. He's hitting .305 against them with a .846 OPS.
Castellanos is due to bust out of his second-half slump, and he's very likely to do so this afternoon.
Ryan McMahon Over 1.5 Total Bases (+110)
|Athletics vs Rockies|
|First Pitch||3:10 pm ET|
It's not often we get a plus-money price on a hitter at Coors Field, so we have to capitalize on this occasion — especially when the hitter is Ryan McMahon.
McMahon has had a breakout campaign this season, making loads of loud contact along the way. He ranks in the 83rd percentile in average exit velocity and 74th percentile in hard-hit rate.
Plus, as a lefty, he's naturally better against right-handed pitching, and that shows with his OPS being over 200 points higher against righties than lefties.
You take all of that and then factor in the friendly confines of Coors Field, and you have a smash spot for almost any hitter. But this matchup gets better because he'll get his first few at-bats against Luis Medina.
Medina is a talented young arm that the A's have given a shot this season. While the stuff is there, Medina's command hasn't. His walk rate is high, and he's made a number of mistakes over the plate.
Medina ranks in the 28th percentile in average exit velocity allowed and 35th percentile in hard-hit rate. If he makes a mistake over the plate to McMahon this afternoon, you can almost count on McMahon collecting extra bases.
Merrill Kelly Under 6.5 Strikeouts (-150)
|Mariners vs Diamondbacks|
|First Pitch||4:10 pm ET|
Merrill Kelly came off the IL last week and picked up right where he left off, tossing six innings of one-run ball against the St. Louis Cardinals.
Kelly has been a massive part of the D-back's success this season, as he and Zac Gallen have formed a formidable 1-2 punch at the top of the rotation.
However, Kelly will be set up to face a Seattle team that has caught fire since the All-Star break. The Mariners rank fifth in wRC+ in the second half and have been making much more hard contact to balance out the strikeouts.
On paper, this is a plus matchup for Kelly in the strikeout department, as Seattle has the second-highest team strikeout rate in the majors. But Kelly also has some expectations that are too high this afternoon.
Kelly has gone under this total in nine of his 17 starts this season. However, this year only feeds into a longer time frame that shows this total is too high for him, regardless of the matchup.
Kelly has had six or fewer strikeouts in 62% of his last 50 starts. That gives us implied odds of -163 that he'll go under again today.
With the odds in our favor and the Mariners potentially doing damage on the scoreboard, this is a stronger play than most projections will tell you.