MLB Props Today | Best Bets for Sandy Alcantara, Aaron Judge, Justin Turner (Wednesday, May 24)

MLB Props Today | Best Bets for Sandy Alcantara, Aaron Judge, Justin Turner (Wednesday, May 24) article feature image

Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images. Pictured Aaron Judge.

Every day, I try to add an edge to my MLB betting card 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 picks for the MLB slate on Wednesday, May 24.

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MLB Player Props For Wednesday, May 24

Sandy Alcantara over 5.5 strikeouts (+114)

Marlins @ Rockies
First Pitch8:40 p.m. ET
Best LineFanDuel

I dislike most of the strikeout props on the market today. And, honestly, I'm not the biggest fan of Sandy Alcantara today, either.

Once well celebrated, the Sandman has become a burden, at least for a Fish Fanatic like myself (follow me on Twitter for more Fish-related propaganda — @tannerstruth). He's allowing more line drives and fly balls, the absence of the shift has affected him more than anyone, and he looks tired after throwing 450 innings over the past two seasons.

As a result, Alcantara's numbers have crashed (5.05 ERA, 4.18 xERA). His usually incredible changeup is getting slapped around more than ever (.333 xSLG, 41.5% hard-hit).

Yet, I've noticed something interesting with Sandy: He's throwing harder earlier. Last season, Alcantara would sit in the mid-90s in the early frames and hunt ground balls before eventually cranking up the heat for the final frames.

I regularly see him hit 97, 98 or 99 in the early frames this season. Check out some highlights from his first inning at Wrigley a few weeks ago:

That's six pitches over 97 in the first frame, including two at 99 on the dot. Sandy has always had this heat, but I've never seen him harness it like this in the early goings.

Maybe he's over-adjusting to his struggles. Either way, the change in approach has affected his numbers.

For example, Alcantara's whiff rates are up across his arsenal, and his swinging-strike rate has jumped 2% from last season. He's also throwing more fastballs in two-strike counts.

And — the smoking gun — Sandy is on pace for a career-high strikeout rate the first time through the order at 30.9%. He's struck out 40% of batters faced in the first inning this season, good for 12 strikeouts through nine starts.

Alcantara is struggling, but he's also attacking more than ever. We need to account for that when handicapping him.

I think the projection models are catching up to this quicker than the market. Our Action Labs Player Props Tool projects Alcantara for 6.7 Ks in this one, while BallParkPal projects him for 6.6.

The projections represent the biggest edge on the strikeout prop board for Wednesday, given we're getting over 5.5 at plus-money.

For what it's worth, Sandy has eclipsed this number in four of his past six starts, racking up nine strikeouts twice. Additionally, the Rockies have allowed three of the past four right-handed starters to cash their strikeout prop, partially because they're a bottom-five offense against right-handed pitching.

Let's buy low on my guy Sandy here. The Face of the Fish can still harness the heat, even if the batted-ball profile is giving him fits.

Pick: Over 5.5 Ks (+114)

Action Labs Grade: 10/10

Aaron Judge over 1.5 total bases (-125)

Yankees vs. Orioles
First Pitch7:05 p.m. ET
Best LineBetMGM

Hey, it's hip to be square.

Aaron Judge has at least one base in nine of his past 10 games. He's managed four or more bases in four straight games. Since returning from injury on May 9, Judge is slashing .367/.484/.918 for a 1.402 OPS with eight home runs and three doubles.

The guy is seeing a beach ball in the batter's box.

He hasn't even been that fortunate. A .370 BABIP during his recent streak is high, but not obscenely high. Meanwhile, he pairs his .652 SLG with a .754 xSLG.

Judge enters a matchup with the much-improved Tyler Wells, but Wells is due for some regression. Wells' sub-3.00 ERA is matched with a 3.85 ERA and 4.33 xFIP — he will not post a .163 BABIP and 89.3% strand rate forever.

Meanwhile, Judge is picking up positive regression steam right now — he's the perfect guy to force some negative BABIP regression upon Wells.

In 17 lifetime PAs against Wells, Judge is 8-for-17 with a double and three homers. He's posted a 99.1-mph avg. EV and 23.8-degree avg. LA on those batted balls, adding up to a whopping 1.098 xSLG.

Also, Judge has never walked against Wells and has only one strikeout with a 12.5% whiff rate. We should see balls in play from Judge, and hard-hit balls at that.

It's all coming together. Don't overthink this one, folks.

Pick: Over 1.5 TBs (-125)

Justin Turner over 1.5 total bases (+105)

Red Sox @ Angels
First Pitch9:38 p.m. ET
Best LineBetMGM

This hasn't always been the case, but Justin Turner has been your classic platoon bat this season.

  • 2023 Turner vs. LHPs: .291 BA, .900 OPS, 146 wRC+, .218 ISO
  • 2023 Turner vs. RHPs: .256 BA, .705 OPS, 95 wRC+, .103 ISO

Turner already has six doubles and two home runs against the left side this season, all in only 64 PAs.

So, Turner will be thrown in the lineup against southpaw Tyler Anderson, and these two have a history.

In 42 lifetime PAs against Anderson, Turner is 18-for-36 with five doubles and three home runs. He's posted a 92.8-mph avg. EV and 14.9-degree avg. LA in those at-bats, good for a .627 xSLG.

Anderson is a big changeup guy, throwing it about a third of the time. Unfortunately for him, Turner is also a big changeup guy, considering he's had a positive run value against changeups in every season since 2015 — Turner has a .500 average and .667 SLG against the pitch this season.

All this to say, Anderson is the best possible matchup for Turner.

Turner's also heating up, slugging over .500 during May. Meanwhile, Anderson hasn't been able to replicate the improvements made with the Dodgers (how predictable), as his ERA and xERA are over 5.00 this year.

In fact, Anderson is having his worst season since 2019. His batted-ball profile is alright, but there's only so much you can do with a strikeout rate under 14% and a walk rate over 10%.

Anderson is literally a replacement-level player by fWAR (0.0). So, I'm going to sit back and wait for Turner to pounce on him, and hopefully that happens early.

Pick: Over 1.5 TBs (+105)

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