MLB Props Today | Odds, Picks for Matthew Boyd, Merrill Kelly on Monday, April 17
Brandon Sloter/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Merill Kelly
Every day, I try to add an edge to my MLB card by adding a few 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 my discussions below.
Here are my picks for the MLB slate on Monday, April 17.
MLB Player Props For Monday, April 17
Matthew Boyd over 3.5 strikeouts (+100)
|Tigers vs. Guardians|
|First Pitch||6:40 p.m. ET|
Matthew Boyd has some solid stuff. He’s an above-average pitcher by chase rate, has solid spin rates on his fastball and a changeup that can force whiffs like crazy.
It’s been an up-and-down few years for Boyd, who has struggled to stay on the field after flexor tendon surgery. However, Boyd found a bullpen role with the Mariners last season, and he pitched relatively well.
Boyd posted a 1.35 ERA in his 10 relief appearances with Seattle, where his secondary stuff looked solid, and his fastball velocity was slightly up.
Behind that stuff, Boyd ranked in the 75th percentile of pitchers in swinging-strike rate (13%) and CSW rate (31.8%) last season, finishing with a 24.5% strikeout rate across the 13 1/3 innings.
Boyd’s first two starts were tough, but he’s got into trouble with walks. I have a hunch that Boyd won’t continue to walk 17% of batters.
Additionally, I could see his strikeout numbers jumping throughout the season. Projections are super high on Boyd, with both ZIPS and PECOTA projecting Boyd as a 9.8 K/9 pitcher for the rest of 2023.
So I’m looking to back a slightly undervalued Boyd here.
It’s tough to fade the Guardians, who make as much contact as any MLB team. However, the Guardians are having a tough time against southpaw starters in early 2023, as they’ve allowed four straight left-handed opposing pitchers to go over their strikeout prop.
In his first two starts, Boyd finished with three strikeouts against the disciplined Astros in Houston and then cracked the 3.5 number against the Red Sox in Detroit. I’m betting on Boyd improving his strikeout numbers on Monday.
The Action Labs Player Props Tool projects Boyd for 4.7 strikeouts on Monday, while BallParkPal’s pitcher simulations project him for 4.3 strikeouts. So, we’re getting solid value on over 3.5 strikeout (+100) number available at BetMGM.
Pick: Over 3.5 Ks (+100)
Action Labs Grade: 10/10
Merrill Kelly over 4.5 strikeouts (-105)
|Diamondbacks vs. Cardinals|
|First Pitch||7:45 p.m. ET|
In five starts against the Dodgers last year, Merill Kelly posted an 8.25 ERA. As they did to most pitchers, the Dodgers crushed Kelly.
Kelly was superb outside of those starts, posting a sub-2.50 ERA across 28 starts. His fastball velocity went back up, and he generated more whiffs than ever.
As a result, Kelly cashed over 4.5 strikeouts in 21 of 28 non-Dodgers starts last season.
This season looks eerily similar.
Kelly’s numbers are sub-par to start 2023, but he made two starts against the Dodgers, failing to eclipse 4.5 strikeouts in both attempts.
Kelly then faced the Brewers. His average fastball velocity approached 93 mph, his curveball looked catastrophic.
Merrill Kelly, Nasty 84mph Curveball. 😨 pic.twitter.com/PoohaFXtux
— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) April 12, 2023
He struck out seven Brewers across six innings and 98 pitches.
I expect Kelly to continue his upward strikeout trajectory. Once he was in top form, he struck out six Cardinals over six innings and 97 pitches in a late-August start last year, and I expect more of that.
The Action Labs Player Props Tool projects Kelly for 5.2 strikeouts, while BallParkPal’s pitcher simulations project him for 5.3. Either way, there’s solid value on over 4.5 Ks (-105) at BetMGM.
Pick: Over 4.5 Ks (-105)
Action Labs Grade: 8/10
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