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MLB Props Today | Yordan Alvarez, Tanner Houck, Shintaro Fujinami Among Best Bets on Saturday, April 8

MLB Props Today | Yordan Alvarez, Tanner Houck, Shintaro Fujinami Among Best Bets on Saturday, April 8 article feature image

Maddie Malhotra/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images. Pictured: Red Sox pitcher Tanner Houck.

  • Saturday's MLB slate gives us a number of player props with value early in the day.
  • Doug Ziefel found three players he likes for props for on Saturday's MLB slate: Houston's Yordan Alvarez, Boston's Tanner Houck and Oakland's Shintaro Fujinami.
  • Check out Ziefel's breakdowns for all three player props for Saturday below.

We went 5-1 in our weekend player props last week, and this Saturday’s slate has multiple spots we can exploit. So, with a boatload of action just hours away, let’s not waste time and dive into our top three player props for today’s games.

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MLB Player Props For Saturday, April 8

Yordan Alvarez Over 1.5 Total Bases (+100)

Astros vs. Twins
First Pitch2:10 p.m. ET
Best LineDraftKings

While Joe Ryan is a pitcher I’m high on this season, his revamped arsenal may prove to be both good and bad for him in this outing.

In his first start against Kansas City, we saw a much small arsenal of pitches than last season. He appears to have abandoned his curveball and changeup for a splitter and sweeper.

Those off-speed pitches may be more effective in the long run, but we still saw the same heavy fastball usage. His fastball usage is concerning in this outing, as the uptick in velocity that we saw during spring training was not there. Now, he’s going to face one of the best fastball hitters in the league this afternoon.

Yordan Alvarez finished second in run value against a four-seam fastball last season. However, he led the majors with a 71.8% hard-hit rate and had an xBA of .371 off four-seamers as well.

Alvarez has already started to pick up where he left off last season, making plenty of hard contact. His xSLG is in the top 15% of the majors, and given his matchup today, we should see him pick some extra bases.

Pick: Over 1.5 Total Bases (+100)

Tanner Houck Over 4.5 Strikeouts (-135)

Red Sox vs. Tigers
First Pitch4:10 p.m. ET
Best Linebet365

The Detroit Tigers will be a team to pick on when it comes to strikeout props. Their struggles to produce runs stem from their overall inability to make contact.

They come into this matchup third in the majors in strikeout rate after racking up seven strikeouts against Chris Sale on Thursday. Now, they’ll have to face the right-handed version of him in Tanner Houck.

The counting stats may not show it, but Houck’s stuff was good against Baltimore. His slider was his primary pitch, and batters recorded an xBA of .142 against it with a 40% whiff rate. He also had great success with his cutter, which is now his primary weapon against lefties.

Houck is due for a much better outing this afternoon. We’ve seen his stuff produce enough strikeouts against a far better lineup than the one he’ll be up against today, so there could be a strong breeze in the park today courtesy of the Tigers’ whiffs.

Pick: Over 4.5 Strikeouts (-135)

Shintaro Fujinami Over 1.5 Walks (-145)

Athletics vs. Rays
First Pitch4:10 p.m. ET
Best LineDraftKings

It may appear that we don’t have much data to back up this play, as Fujinami has just one major league start under his belt. But a deeper look shows walks have been an issue throughout his professional career.

Over in Japan, the rivalry between Fujinami and Shohei Ohtani is long-standing. The two have been pitted against one another since their days in high school, and at that time, Fujinami was thought of as the better pitching prospect. However, their paths went in separate directions once they turned pro. As we know, Ohtani became one of the best two-way players on the planet, but Fujinami had command issues that derailed his rise to stardom.

His excellent stuff always intrigued major league clubs, but walks were a big reason he’s just now coming over this season. Fujinami was sent down each of his four seasons in Japan, as he never posted a season with BB/9 rate under 2.5.

While his arsenal is nasty, his command has not improved much in the States. He walked 17 batters in 18.2 innings this spring and walked three in 2.1 innings in his debut.

This afternoon, he’ll face a Tampa Bay lineup that is very disciplined. The Rays boast five hitters with well above-average walk rates, and they sit 14th in the league in walk rate as a team.

Pick: Over 1.5 Walks (-145)

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