MLB Props Today | Odds, Picks for Shohei Ohtani, Merrill Kelly, More (Friday, June 9)
John Cordes/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Shohei Ohtani
The ArizonaDiamondbacks are coming off a series win against the Nationals. Tonight, they will continue their road trip in Detroit. Merrill Kelly may be able to take advantage of a struggling Tigers offense.
The Royals' offense is struggling as well, having scored two runs or fewer in five of their last six games. That means it may not be the best time for them to face Tyler Wells, who enters this start with a lot of momentum.
Heading out west, the Mariners will visit Anaheim in an AL West battle against the Angels. Luis Castillo and Shohei Ohtani could each pile up strikeouts. Read on to find out why I am backing Ohtani at home.
MLB Player Props For Friday, June 9
Merrill Kelly Over 6.5 Strikeouts (+116)
|Diamondbacks vs. Tigers|
|First Pitch||6:40 p.m. ET|
Yesterday, I was planning on backing Merrill Kelly, but the game was postponed due to poor air quality in Washington, D.C. The Nationals are 28th in strikeout percentage against right-handed pitchers, but Kelly punched out 10 against them on May 5. Since then, Kelly is 5-0 with a 2.59 ERA with 47 strikeouts in 38 and 1/3 innings. Today, he gets an even better matchup against the Tigers.
The Tigers rank sixth in strikeout percentage (24.5%) against right-handed pitchers. Five of the last seven starting pitchers they have faced have gone over their strikeout props. Six of them, including Zack Wheeler who was hooked on 8.5 yesterday, had at least eight strikeouts. Conversely, Kelly has had at least eight strikeouts in four of his last six starts. He had 10 strikeouts twice in that span and another start where he was hooked on six.
He has pitched at least five innings in each of his last 11 starts and into the sixth inning in nine of them. He is also averaging 95.6 pitches thrown over his last 10 games. Kelly should be able to go deep into this outing, particularly if he shuts down the Tigers offense. They are averaging 1.57 runs per game since placing Riley Greene on the IL.
Six strong outings from Kelly should help pick up seven strikeouts.
Tyler Wells 6 Strikeouts/Baltimore Orioles Win (+130)
|Royals vs. Orioles|
|First Pitch||7:05 p.m. ET|
Tyler Wells has struck out at least six batters in each of his last five starts and six of his last eight. He is averaging 7.8 strikeouts over his last five starts. That includes nine strikeouts in 5 1/3 innings against the Giants last Sunday. San Francisco is third in strikeout percentage against right-handed pitchers, but Wells gets another great matchup today.
Kansas City is fifth in MLB with a 24.9% strikeout percentage against right-handed pitchers. Despite that, Wells did not take advantage of this matchup in Kansas City, as he struck out only four. However, he and the Orioles still pulled out the win. That is one of the reasons I am targeting this player performance double. Additionally, the Orioles are -190 on the moneyline against a Royals team that has lost three straight and seven of their last 10 games.
Wells' strikeout number is either 5.5 or 6.5, depending on the book. Six of the last nine starting pitchers the Royals against the Orioles have gone over their strikeouts prop and five have had at least six. I like Wells to join that group tonight given the run he has been on since facing Kansas City.
His offense should be able score enough against Daniel Lynch, who has a career 5.27 ERA and 1.59 WHIP, to pull out the win.
Pick: Tyler Wells 6 Strikeouts/Baltimore Orioles Win
Shohei Ohtani Over 7.5 Strikeouts (-130)
|Mariners vs. Angels|
|First Pitch||9:38 p.m. ET|
Shohei Ohtani is coming off a rough outing against the Houston Astros in which he allowed five runs. He has 13 strikeouts in two starts against Houston, but he went under in both starts. Excluding the Astros, Ohtani has struck out 10 batters in seven of his other 10 starts. He also went over this line in four of his six home starts.
Tonight, he gets another AL West rival in the Seattle Mariners. The Mariners are second in the majors in strikeout percentage against right-handed pitchers. Five of the last seven starting pitchers they have faced have gone over their strikeout props and Joe Musgrove had eight on Tuesday.
Ohtani has 96 strikeouts in 71 innings this season and is averaging 1.35 strikeouts per inning. If he pitches six innings like in his first start against them, he will be in good position to strike out eight. While I prefer Ohtani in this game, Luis Castillo should have success against the Angels as well.
If this game ends up being the pitcher's duel that it may be, you can parlay Castillo and Ohtani for eight strikeouts each at +310 on FanDuel.