MLB Prop Bets Today | Odds, Prop Picks for Braxton Garrett, Spencer Strider, Matt Manning (Thursday, August 31)

MLB Prop Bets Today | Odds, Prop Picks for Braxton Garrett, Spencer Strider, Matt Manning (Thursday, August 31) article feature image

Via Matthew Grimes Jr. / Getty Images. Pictured: Spencer Strider #99 of the Atlanta Braves pitches in the third inning during the game against the San Francisco Giants at Truist Park on August 18, 2023 in Atlanta, Georgia.

If you are a run line bettor, you have probably been pleased with the Yankees this week. They have taken the first three games from the Tigers, all by two runs or more. They will go for the sweep this afternoon, and to do so they will have to best Matt Manning.

The Marlins have lost five of their last six games and are now three games behind the last NL Wild Card spot. Two of those losses came to the Nationals in Miami last weekend. Tonight, the Marlins begin a four-game series in the nation's capital, and left-hander Braxton Garrett will get the start.

The marquee game of the night and this weekend pits the Braves against Dodgers in Los Angeles. Spencer Strider will get the ball in the first game of this series just as he might in a potential NLCS between the NL powerhouses. The Dodgers may be able to work a couple of walks off him.

Let's find some prop betting value for tonight's slate. I've got my three favorite MLB player prop bets outlined below. Find the strikeout props I'm targeting Thursday.

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MLB Player Props For Thursday, August 31

Matt Manning Under 4.5 Strikeouts +116 (FanDuel)

Since allowing eight runs (six earned) against the Rays on Aug. 6, Matt Manning has allowed four runs (one earned) in his last three starts. Despite the solid outings, Manning has just six strikeouts in his last three starts. Including the start against the Rays, Manning has struck out fewer than five batters in each of his last four starts and seven of his last 10 starts.

Today Manning faces the Yankees, who can be risky to take an under against, particularly if Giancarlo Stanton is in the lineup. However, the Yankees are middle of the pack in Strikeout Percentage this month. Additionally, Manning has a 15.4% Strikeout Percentage this season and 16% for his career. He ranks in the sixth percentile or worse in Strikeout Percentage, Whiff Rate and Chase Rate.

Statcast does not think too highly of Manning in general. He has a 3.93 ERA this season but also a 5.51 xERA, so he is a regression candidate. He ranks in the third percentile in xSLG and 13th percentile in Average Exit Velocity. It's possible this under hits because the Yankees chase Manning from the game early.

However, he has pitched into the sixth inning (completed six innings three times) in each of his five starts this month and still went over just once. I will take plus-odds for an 80% hit rate.

Pick: Matt Manning Under 4.5 Ks +116

Braxton Garrett Under 4.5 Strikeouts -105 (DraftKings)

Braxton Garrett has proven more capable than Manning of racking up strikeouts, as he has 135 strikeouts in 134 innings this season. However, Garrett has gone under this line in three of his last five starts, including a start against the Nationals last Friday.

There are two reasons why I believe Garrett stays under this line again. The first one is that he is facing the Nationals again within a week. The more times a lineup gets at a look at a starter, typically the more success they end up having. The Nationals already had seven hits against Garrett in six innings last week.

The second reason is that the Nationals do not strike often, as they are 29th in Strikeout Percentage this season.

Garrett has been a better pitcher on the road, where he has a 2.86 ERA this year. However, his K/9 is essentially unchanged as he is averaging a strikeout per inning both home and away. Garrett has gone under this line in one of his two starts against Washington this season. He has just 18 strikeouts in 28 innings overall this month. He is trending downward in strikeouts of late, and I expect him to stay under this line once again.

Pick: Braxton Garrett Under 4.5 Ks -108

Spencer Strider Over 1.5 Walks -150 (DraftKings)

When Spencer Strider takes the mound, the first thing that comes to mind is strikeouts. He leads the National League with 236 strikeouts and has feasted on the Giants with 19 strikeouts in his last two outings while walking just two batters in those starts. However, Strider walked two batters in his previous three starts, so he has hit this number in 60% of his last five starts.

In three recent starts in which Strider went over this line, he averaged three walks per start. He also walked three batters in six innings in his lone start against the Dodgers. Strider also struck out 11 in that start, and his line is at 8.5 tonight (but juiced to the under). I'd rather not deal with Strider's strikeouts tonight because he is capable of going off in any outing, but the Dodgers are difficult to strike out.

The Dodgers are 21st in Strikeout Percentage, but they are second in Walk Percentage. Strider is in the 59th percentile in Walk Percentage, which is still above average. Many starters have their walk total set at 2.5 against the Dodgers because of how proficient they are at drawing walks.

We just need two from Strider tonight. They could come in six innings, or he could walk two batters in the first inning and give us an early cash.

Pick: Spencer Strider Over 1.5 Walks 

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