MLB Odds, Player Prop Picks: Strikeout Bets for Grayson Rodriguez, Quinn Priester
Via Scott Taetsch/Getty Images. Pictured: Grayson Rodriguez #30 of the Baltimore Orioles pitches against the Houston Astros in the second inning at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on August 8, 2023 in Baltimore, Maryland.
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.
MLB Player Props For Monday, August 14
Quinn Priester Under 3.5 Strikeouts
|Pirates vs Mets||Mets -135|
|First Pitch||7:10 p.m. ET|
I still think Quinn Priester is going to be a good pitcher, and consequently, there's some value on him and the Pirates as short road dogs against the Mets and Carlos Carrasco.
However, I still think we can fade Priester in the strikeout market.
Priester is not a strikeout-heavy pitcher — he's a sinkerballer who only struck out around 24% of batters in the upper minor leagues. He's actually lost velocity on his fastball as he's progressed through the Pirates organization.
Outside of the one-off start against Philadelphia (seven Ks), Priester only forced seven Whiffs against Cleveland, five against San Diego and eight against Milwaukee. Priester has some devastating breaking pitches, but he's often pitching to contact.
And the Mets love to make contact. It's the only thing the Mets do well. The Mets pair the seventh-highest Contact Rate with the sixth-lowest Strikeout Rate in MLB.
The Action Labs Player Props Tool projects Priester for 3.2 Ks on Monday evening. As a result, I believe the Under 3.5 is worth a wager at any plus-money number.
Pick: Under 3.5 Ks (+115) at DraftKings
Action Labs Grade: 9/10
Grayson Rodriguez Under 5.5 Strikeouts
|Orioles vs Padres||Padres -145|
|First Pitch||9:40 p.m. ET|
While Grayson Rodriguez looks a lot better since returning from Triple-A, I think he's being overvalued in the strikeout market.
His fastball looks 100 times better (sitting over 98 mph), and he's using more sliders than changeups, resulting in more whiffs.
Grayson Rodriguez, White Castle Special. 🤮🍔🍔🍔 pic.twitter.com/1OdANCR0ow
— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) August 8, 2023
But, get this, G-Rod hasn't struck out more than six batters in a single start since April. He's striking out only 7.5 batters per nine innings in the five starts since being called back up, which isn't anything spectacular.
Rodriguez will battle the Padres in this start, which isn't the best matchup.
The Padres have been hitting much better over the second half, even if it hasn't shown up in the standings, and part of that is better discipline. Over the past 30 days against right-handed pitching, the Padres are striking out at the seventh-lowest rate in MLB (20.3%).
Digging deeper, against right-handed four-seam fastballs, sliders and changeups (85% of Grayson's arsenal), the Padres pair the fourth-highest xwOBA (.334) with the sixth-lowest Whiff Rate (25.3%).
Rodriguez is figuring it out, but we can't pencil him in for consistent six-strikeout games yet.
Projections agree. Every model I trust has G-Rod staying around five strikeouts on Monday, including:
- Action Labs Player Props Tool: 5.2 Ks
- BallParkPal's Pitcher Simulations: 5.1 Ks
- RotoWire Player Prop Projections: 5.2 Ks
- @JonPGH Daily Projections: 5.2 Ks
It'll be hard for Rodriguez to exceed expectations with today's tough matchup, and I project some value on the Under 5.5 Ks (-115) available at BetMGM.
Pick: Under 5.5 Ks (-115) at BetMGM
Action Labs Grade: 8/10