MLB Props Today | Odds, Expert Pick for Clayton Kershaw in Cardinals vs Dodgers
Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images. Pictured: Clayton Kershaw #22 of the Los Angeles Dodgers.
- Doug Ziefel has three MLB player props for the Saturday games.
- His targets include a trio of pitchers, including a strikeout prop for Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw.
- Find his pick and why he's fading Kershaw in his MLB player prop breakdown below.
They say April showers bring May flowers, but Friday’s rainouts have produced a boatload of action on the diamond on Saturday. There is a bevy of men on the mound, but three are worth fading, including Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw.
So let’s find out who they are and how to bet against them in today’s top MLB player prop picks.
MLB Player Props For Saturday, April 29
Clayton Kershaw under 6.5 strikeouts -110
|Cardinals vs. Dodgers||Dodgers -148|
|First Pitch||9:10 pm ET|
Arguably the best left-handed pitcher of this generation will take the hill tonight in L.A.. However, Clayton Kershaw will be in for a battle tonight against the Cardinals’ order.
Looking at the legendary left-hander, Kershaw has become much more reliant on his offspeed stuff late in his career. While his slider and curveball are still some of the game’s best, he’s been unable to put hitters away like in years’ past.
Yes, we saw vintage Kershaw against the Mets, where he racked up nine strikeouts over seven shutout innings, but he also only recorded four against the Giants, who lead the majors in strikeout rate as a team.
St. Louis has five hitters in their lineup that have above-average exit velocities and hard-hit rates, and that does not include Nolan Arenado. Not only do the Cardinals hit the ball hard, but they don’t fan often as they are 24th in team strikeout rate.
As you may have already guessed, the under has been the more profitable side in the long run. Over his last 28 starts, Kershaw has gone under this total 57.1 percent of the time. That gives us implied odds of -133, which is a solid value on the current price.
Pick: Under 6.5 strikeouts
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Kyle Muller under 17.5 pitching outs -125
|Reds vs. Athletics||Reds -150|
|First Pitch||4:07 pm ET|
After a solid first start of the season, things have gone downhill fast for Athletics lefty Kyle Muller. Muller has been hit hard through his last four starts, as he comes in with a 7.23 ERA and a 2.03 WHIP.
While he may not have the toughest matchup on paper, this Reds team can’t be overlooked, as even they will send him to the showers early. Muller’s most significant issue is that he’s a fastball pitcher who can’t miss bats. He ranks in the second perce tile in xBA and in the eighth in strikeout rate.
The Reds are not the most formidable lineup, but they have a few bats who have made struck the ball well. Most notably, they are third in the majors in BABIP, so if Muller can’t make them miss, they should cause plenty of traffic for him.
Aside from the matchup, Muller has yet to complete the sixth inning in his young career. Given the way, he’s been trending and the lineup he’ll face today, it’s highly unlikely he will break the streak today.
Pick: Under 17.5 outs
Cristian Javier under 6.5 strikeouts +110
|Phillies vs. Astros||Astros -125|
|First Pitch||5:10 pm ET|
Cristian Javier was a trendy Cy Young pick coming into the season, as his swing-and-miss stuff showed great potential last season. However, the strikeouts have not been piling up for Javier through his first five starts.
The difference has been his fastball. It has been hit much more often so far this season, as opposing batters have an xBA of .266 off it through five starts, while that xBA was just .180 last year.
That may be due to the slight velocity dip we’ve seen from Javier. His average fastball velocity is a full mile per hour less than it was last season.
In addition to all this, Javier will be up against a Phillies team that has begun to see the ball better of late. Their strikeout rate is down three percent over the last week, and we saw them fan just three times last night against Framber Valdez.
Lastly, going under this total has been more common than it may seem for the Astros righty. Over his last 37 starts, Javier has gone under 57.9 percent of the time. That gives us implied odds of -137 that he’ll go under again today, which is excellent line value on this plus-money price.
Pick: under 6.5 strikeouts
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