MLB Player Props Today: Zac Gallen Prediction (Thursday, March 28)

MLB Player Props Today: Zac Gallen Prediction (Thursday, March 28) article feature image

(Photo by John E. Moore III/Getty Images) Pictured: Zac Gallen

The MLB season officially began last week with MLB Seoul Series. However, it doesn't really feel like Opening Day until the rest of the league is in action. There are many excellent games on the docket today, but my eyes gravitated toward Jose Altuve and the Yankees-Astros matchup.

Tarik Skubal and Zac Gallen are each Cy Young Award candidates looking to get off to strong starts this season. Skubal will begin his campaign in Chicago as his Tigers visit the White Sox. Meanwhile, Zac Gallen gets the ball at home against the Rockies.

Let's get into my MLB Player Props for Thursday, March 28.

MLB Player Props Today: Zac Gallen Prediction (Thursday, March 28)

Thursday, March 28
10:10 p.m. ET
Zac Gallen To Record A Win (+115)

Zac Gallen was just 10-18 entering the 2022 season. Since then, he is 29-13. Last year, he picked up 12 wins in 16 starts at Chase Field. If he could have only started at home, he probably would have won the NL Cy Young Award last season as he posted a 2.47 ERA with 120 strikeouts in 102 innings at home.

Fortunately for Gallen, he gets to open up 2024 at Chase Field against the Colorado Rockies. The Rockies not only are widely expected to finish in last place in a loaded NL West, but also routinely struggle away from Coors Field. Gallen only faced the Rockies once last season, but tossed six scoreless innings and struck out seven at home last May. Gallen is also 6-1 with a 2.45 ERA in 13 starts against the Rockies in his career.

Gallen didn't have the greatest Spring Training as he worked on fine-tuning a few of his pitches, but did throw 81 pitches in his final spring start. On DraftKings, his outs recorded line is 17.5, so the oddsmakers are expecting him to go six innings. Well, we only need five for him to get a win.

The Diamondbacks are -235 to -245 on the moneyline and the biggest favorite on the slate. Rockies starter Kyle Freeland went 1-2 in three starts against Arizona last season and allowed three and five runs in the two losses. If Gallen pitches five innings, I think he'll get his first win of the season.

Pick: Zac Gallen To Record A Win (+115)

Thursday, March 28
4:10 p.m. ET
Jose Altuve Over 1.5 Hits + Runs + Runs Batted In (-150)

In 65 career games against the Yankees, Jose Altuve is hitting .271 with 11 doubles, 12 home runs and 26 runs batted in. While those are solid numbers, they feel somewhat modest given the situations of some of those hits. The Yankees and Astros have developed a rivalry through their postseason battles and Altuve always seems to thrive when facing New York.

Two of Altuve's home runs against the Yankees came off left-hander Nestor Cortes. Altuve is a career .324 hitter against left-handed pitchers and hit .283 against them last season. Those homers are the only two hits Altuve has in 12 career plate appearances against Cortes, but he has also drawn four walks against him. Unlike total bases props, walks can be beneficial when playing hits + runs + runs batted in props.

If Altuve gets on via a walk, he will be in position to be driven in by Kyle Tucker, Alex Bregman or Yordan Alvarez, all very capable run producers. Then he would need either a hit or RBI to cash this line. If the hit is a home run, Altuve will cash this on just one swing.

He has hit this line in three of his past five games against the Yankees and I like him to extend that trend to four of six to begin the 2024 season.

Pick: Jose Altuve Over 1.5 Hits + Runs + Batted In (-150)

Thursday, March 28
4:10 p.m. ET
Tarik Skubal Over 6.5 Strikeouts (+102)

Tarik Skubal has averaged over a strikeout per inning in each of the past three years, but is coming off the most dominant season of his career. In 15 starts last season, he went 7-3 with a 2.80 ERA, a 2.30 xERA and a 32.9% strikeout percentage that produced 102 strikeouts in 80 2/3 innings. He closed the season with seven strikeouts in eight consecutive starts, including nine against the White Sox last September.

Skubal has had at least seven strikeouts in his past three starts against the White Sox, dating back to the 2022 season. Last season, the White Sox had the sixth-highest strikeout percentage against left-handed pitching. Additionally, Skubal has punched out Andrew Vaughn, Eloy Jimenez and Yoan Moncada each at least four times over 12 or more plate appearances. He has also gotten Luis Robert Jr., Nicky Lopez, Paul DeJong, Korey Lee and Martin Maldonado at least twice.

It's also important to note that Skubal threw 86 pitches in his last Spring Training start, a five-inning outing against the Phillies. Five innings may be enough for him to get seven strikeouts in this outing, though he appears ready for 85 pitches or more, which should allow him to work relatively deep against a White Sox team that's expected to struggle mightily this season. If he records 15-to-18 outs in this start, I expect seven of them to be strikeouts.

Pick: Tarik Skubal Over 6.5 Strikeouts (+102)

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