MLB Player Props Today | Picks, Predictions for Austin Riley, Aaron Judge & More (August 1)
Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images. Pictured: Austin Riley (Braves)
It's trade deadline day in MLB, and the Marlins have already been active with the acquisition of David Robertson.
One player unlikely to be on the move is reigning NL Cy Young Award winner Sandy Alcantara. However, Alcantara may be in for a rough start against the Phillies.
Last night, the Rays took the first game of their three-game series against the Yankees, 5-1, in the Bronx. The Rays will go for game two with Zach Eflin on the mound against Carlos Rodon. One way to do that is to not let Aaron Judge beat them.
Last night, the Angels took advantage of a pitching change when Chase Silseth filled in for Griffin Canning and held the high-powered Braves offense to just one run. Left-hander Patrick Sandoval will get the start tonight, and he'll have to deal with the Braves' right-handed heavy lineup, including Austin Riley.
MLB Player Props For August 1
Sandy Alcantara Over 2.5 Earned Runs (-110)
|Phillies vs. Marlins|
|First Pitch||6:40 p.m. ET|
This season, Alcantara hasn't been nearly as dominant as he was last year. He's 4-9 with a 4.46 ERA, which is almost double his ERA from 2022.
However, he looked like the reigning Cy Young Award winner in his last start, as he tossed a complete game while scattering five hits, allowing one run and striking out seven.
Tonight, it may be difficult for Alcantara to continue that momentum against a Phillies team he's struggled against throughout his career. Alcantara is 6-8 with a 3.64 ERA against the Phillies, including 1-4 over the last two seasons.
Alcantara has allowed three earned runs in three of his last five starts against the Phillies, including one of two this season.
In the one start where Alcantara went over this line this season, he allowed nine earned runs on 10 hits in four innings.
Tonight, we need him to allow three, and it's a play I like for several reasons.
For starters, this is a Phillies lineup that's had a ton of success against Alcantara. Bryce Harper, Alec Bohm, Nick Castellanos, Trea Turner and Brandon Marsh are all hitting above .300 against Alcantara with at least 15 career at-bats. Kyle Schwarber and J.T. Realmuto are both above .280 with at least eight hits against him as well.
Alcantara is allowing a .254 batting average to opposing hitters.
Let's assume they each get a hit off Alcantara tonight or some combination of seven hits allowed; you would think a few of those runners would come around to score. That's not even including what the other hitters in the lineup will do against him.
You'll often see a team's first five total at 2.5 runs, which is similar to earned runs for starters. However, Alcantara often goes deep into games. He's pitched at least six innings in 14 of 21 starts, including 6 2/3 innings in his last outing against Philadelphia.
It wouldn't be a surprise if Alcantara registers a quality start but still pitches long enough to give up the runs we need for this line.
Pick: Sandy Alcantara Over 2.5 Earned Runs
Aaron Judge Over 0.5 Walks (-120)
|Rays vs. Yankees|
|First Pitch||7:05 p.m. ET|
Judge's toe injury cost him 42 games on the injured list, yet he still ranks in the top 25 in the AL in walks with 41 in 52 games played.
Since returning from the IL, Judge has played in three games and went over this line in two of them. However, he walked three times in each of those games.
Judge will face Eflin tonight, and the Rays' righty has been frugal with walks this season. Eflin's 3.7% Walk Rate is well below the league average, and he's walked just 17 batters in 116 1/3 innings. That's likely why this line is still at 0.5 and at these odds.
However, Judge drew two walks off Rays starter Tyler Glasnow last night. Glasnow had entered the start giving up just six walks in his last 31 1/3 innings.
Additionally, in the last two games that Judge has drawn walks, the Yankees have scored one run. When the Orioles didn't walk him, they scored eight and Judge also homered.
With Anthony Rizzo batting behind him, there's not much incentive to pitch to Judge. Since May 20, Rizzo is hitting below .200 with just one home run.
I expect the Rays to work around Judge when they can and force Rizzo and the rest of his teammates to beat them. With four likely plate appearances, Judge will need only one walk to go over this line. He'll likely face Eflin no more than three times, which will help if we still need him to draw a walk in his final plate appearance.
Pick: Aaron Judge Over 0.5 Walks
Austin Riley Over 1.5 Total Bases (+100)
|Angels vs. Braves|
|First Pitch||7:20 p.m. ET|
Last Friday, we were on Riley's total bases, and he cashed with two hits and a solo home run.
Riley is once again at home and this time facing a lefty, so I have to back him once again.
Riley is on a six-game hitting streak overall and a seven-game hitting streak at home. He's homered in five of his last seven home games as well.
Riley is hitting .310 with 13 home runs, 36 runs batted in and a .937 OPS at home compared to .726 on the road. Riley's OPS is also higher against left-handed pitchers at .886 to go along with seven home runs.
Angels starter Sandoval has allowed only seven home runs this season, but all of them have been to right-handed hitters. Riley has faced Sandoval just twice, but he's 2-for-2 against him with two singles.
Sandoval is a good matchup for Riley because his best pitch (changeup) has a run value of +5 this year. Riley is hitting .324 and slugging .618 against changeups this season.
Riley has hit this line in seven of his last 10 games and each of his last seven home games.
With a plus matchup in his home ballpark, I like his chances of running that streak to eight.