MLB Props Today | Odds, Picks for Yusei Kikuchi & Kodai Senga (Wednesday, August 2)
Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images. Pictured: Kodai Senga (Mets)
I try to add an edge to my MLB betting card each day by selecting a few player props using our Action Labs projections.
Our Action Labs Player Props Tool grades each prop on a scale from 1-10, and I’ll be sure to include the grade for each of my betting picks in the discussion below.
Here are my MLB player prop picks for the MLB slate on Wednesday, Aug. 2, including bets for Yusei Kikuchi and Kodai Senga.
MLB Player Props For Wednesday, August 2
Yusei Kikuchi under 6.5 strikeouts (-110)
|Blue Jays vs. Orioles|
|First Pitch||7:07 p.m. ET|
I’m back in on Yusei Kikuchi. I think he has great stuff, and he’s starting to find his stride as a major league pitcher.
That said, 6.5 strikeouts is a big number.
Not a single projection model has Kikuchi touching seven strikeouts:
- Action Labs Player Props Tool: 5.8 Ks
- BallParkPal Pitcher Sims: 5.5 Ks
- Jon Anderson Daily Projections: 5.3 Ks
- RotoWire Player Prop Projections: 5.4 Ks
While I’m hesitant to fade a red-hot Kikuchi, I can’t ignore the edge we’re getting on the under.
Sure, he’s off back-to-back starts with eight strikeouts. But one came against the strikeout-happy Mariners, and the other came against the always-worse-against-southpaws Dodgers.
We can target him for some slight regression today. He’s cashed over 6.5 Ks in only nine of his 21 starts this season.
The Orioles can force some of that regression — they have the fifth-highest wRC+ against left-handed pitching over the past 30 days.
Kikuchi did record seven strikeouts in his last outing against Baltimore, but I doubt he duplicates the 20% swinging-strike rate he recorded over those 4 ⅔ innings — he’s only hit the 20% mark in three starts this year.
In an early May start, the O’s tagged Kikuchi for three earned over 4 ⅔ innings while holding him to three strikeouts.
I’m betting we see a start somewhere in the middle of those two. I’m projecting five innings of two-run ball with five or six Ks. That’s what all the numbers are telling us.
Pick: Under 6.5 Ks (-110)
Action Labs Grade: 8/10
Kodai Senga over 6.5 strikeouts (+115)
|Mets @ Royals|
|First Pitch||8:10 p.m. ET|
The Mets are dead, but we can keep buying Kodai Senga’s surge.
Behind all the turmoil in Queens, Senga has quietly turned into the Ace That Was Promised. He’s got a mid-2.00s ERA since June and has started to rein in the free passes (7.8% walk rate over his past seven starts, compared to 14.3% in the 12 prior).
He’s got a 110 Stuff+ rating on the four-seam over the past month. He’s posted a 28.2% Swinging-Strike rate on the ghost fork since May 30. His cutter doesn’t miss as many bats, but he can generate strikes with it.
Senga is putting his whole arsenal together, and it’s been fun to watch.
And he’s a tad undervalued in the strikeout market.
I’m throwing out his last two starts, as one was cut short due to rain (at Boston), while the other came against one of the most disciplined lineups in baseball (Washington).
In the three starts prior, Senga recorded 29 strikeouts across 19 innings with only five walks. Those starts came against the Dodgers, Diamondbacks and Brewers, a half-decent stretch.
Again, throwing out the two most recent starts, Senga has cashed over 6.5 strikeouts in 10 of 17 starts this season and in 10 of 16 if you discard a 68-pitch performance against Toronto.
We can buy low on Senga here.
The Royals shouldn’t be a problem. They’re the worst right-handed hitting team in the majors, and they pair that with the eighth-highest strikeout rate against the side (23.9%). They chase over 30% of the time, which is a death sentence when facing a forkball like this one:
Kodai Senga’s ghost forkball is one of my favorite pitches. pic.twitter.com/DDHw5TsJbZ
— Evan (@EvanBoller) May 5, 2023
Most projections tag Senga for around 6.8 strikeouts on Wednesday, so getting over 6.5 at a plus-money number is a good buy.
Pick: Over 6.5 Ks (+115)
Action Labs Grade: 8/10