MLB Props Today | Odds, Picks for Bo Bichette, Adley Rutschman, Justin Steele (Thursday, August 24)
Michael Reaves/Getty Images. Pictured: Justin Steele
The Tampa Bay Rays have scored six runs in each of their last six games and are 5-1 in that span. Yandy Diaz has led the way at the top of the lineup. He will look to do so again as the Rays go for a sweep of the Rockies.
The Orioles evened up their series with the Blue Jays with a 7-0 victory last night. Adley Rutschman chipped in late with a two-run single in the eighth inning. Rutschman and the Orioles will go for the series victory tonight, but Bo Bichette may have other ideas.
The Cubs and Pirates are coming off series victories over the Tigers and Cardinals, respectively. The Cubs will have ace Justin Steele on the mound for the first game of this four-game series. Steele will look to help the Cubs gain ground in the NL wild-card and divisional races.
MLB Player Props For Thursday, August 24
Yandy Diaz enters play this afternoon with a .329 batting average that ranks fourth in MLB. He has taken his game up a notch in August, slashing .370/.414/.519 with two home runs and 11 runs batted in. Diaz is currently riding a six-game hitting streak and he has a hit in 15 of his last 17 games.
Diaz has recorded two total bases in each of his last six games. In fact, he has done so by recording two hits in each of those games. For better odds, you can take him to get two hits at +165. In addition to the last six games, Diaz has recorded two hits in nine of his past 11 games. I am going with the safer line here in case the streak ends and he gets one extra-base hit instead.
Diaz did hit a double last night and he may have another extra-base hit against Peter Lambert today. Right-handed hitters are slugging .532 against Lambert, and he has allowed them 18 extra-base hits, including nine home runs.
Diaz has not faced Lambert yet, but he is hitting .331 against right-handed pitching this season. He also has 23 doubles and 11 home runs against them.
An extra-base hit or another two-hit performance will give Diaz two bases today.
Pick: Yandy Diaz Over 1.5 Total Bases (-105 at DraftKings)
Since returning from the IL, Bo Bichette has recorded a hit in all four games. He has a 10-game hitting streak overall, and three of those games have been against the Orioles. Bichette is 3-for-11 against tonight's starter, Kyle Gibson.
While Bichette has been fairly successful against Gibson, Adley Rutschman has owned Jose Berrios. Rutschman is 8-for-13 with two doubles, a home run and two runs batted in against the veteran.
He is hitting .256 against right-handed pitchers, but he is hitting .319 at home. He also has a hit in five of his last six game and is hitting .400 in that span.
The good thing about taking Bichette for a hit is that he rarely walks. In fact, he has drawn just 20 walks in 490 plate appearances. Often batting second, Bichette usually has four or five at-bats to get a hit.
Rutschman walks a bit more than Bichette, but manager Brandon Hyde moved him into the leadoff spot because of his .368 on-base percentage. That means he will also will have four or five opportunities to get a hit.
Last night, the fifth plate appearance came in handy as Rutschman got his lone hit in his final at-bat. Hopefully, tonight is a bit less sweaty.
Justin Steele is second in MLB with a 2.80 ERA entering Thursday. He is also tied for seventh with 16 quality starts and 20th with a 1.17 WHIP. Steele has not allowed more than three earned runs since May 26 against the Reds. Since then, he has allowed three earned runs or fewer in eight of 12 starts.
Tonight, Steele will face the Pirates for the first time this season. He struggled against them in two starts last season, but he has taken another leap this year. Steele is in the 85th percentile or better among qualified pitchers in Average Exit Velocity, Walk Rate and Chase Rate.
Additionally, the Pirates are 26th in runs scored. Typically, Steele goes six innings, as he has in five of his last seven starts. Six innings and two earned runs or fewer is what we are looking at for Steele to cash this under for us.
Pick: Justin Steele Under 2.5 Earned Runs Allowed (-140 at bet365)