MLB Strikeout Player Props: Predictions & Picks for Zac Gallen & More

MLB Strikeout Player Props: Predictions & Picks for Zac Gallen & More article feature image

Megan Briggs/Getty Images. Pictured: Braxton Garrett

The MLB playoffs continue today with four Wild Card Round games.

Eight starting pitchers will take the mound today with varying degrees of success and postseason pedigree, so let's take a look at each pitcher's strikeout prop and where the value might lie in their number using our PRO projections.

MLB Strikeout Props Today

GameTime (ET)Pick
3:08 p.m.
4:38 p.m.
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Specific betting recommendations come from the sportsbook offering preferred odds as of writing. Always shop for the best price using our MLB Odds page, which automatically surfaces the best lines for every game.

Rangers vs. Rays

Tuesday, October 3
3:08 p.m. ET
Nathan Eovaldi vs. Zach Eflin

Nathan Eovaldi 4.5 Strikeouts

Which version of Nathan Eovaldi will we see today: The one who dominated for most of the first half of the season, or the version that was hampered by injury down the stretch?

It's worth noting that despite Eovaldi's second-half struggles, he looked better at the end of the season and hit five or more strikeouts in each of his last two starts (both against the Mariners).

Overall, Eovaldi hit this over in 17 of 25 starts this season, which is a great percentage. The risk here is if he's not 100%, as well as the fact that the Rangers might give him an early hook in an effort to clinch the series.

Verdict: Pass

Zach Eflin 5.5 Strikeouts

Zach Eflin isn't well-known for his strikeout prowess, but he turned it up to another level in Tampa this year, setting a career high with 186 strikeouts.

That included three games where he reached double-digits, and as a whole he wound up with six or more strikeouts in 16 of his 31 starts this season.

The concern with Eflin is that this is an elimination game for Tampa, and given the Rays' deep bullpen, it wouldn't be a shock to see manager Kevin Cash give Eflin the hook at the first sign of trouble.

Verdict: Pass

Blue Jays vs. Twins

Tuesday, October 3
4:38 p.m. ET
Jose Berrios vs. Sonny Gray

Jose Berrios 4.5 Strikeouts

Berrios rebounded from a miserable 2022 season and re-emerged as a reliable arm for the Blue Jays this year, and he'll be sorely needed today in an elimination spot against his former team.

Berrios recorded five or more strikeouts in 22 of his 32 starts this season, and our PRO projections like him to whiff a decent amount of Twins today.

While Berrios' number is 4.5 and around the -150 range at most sportsbooks, our projections are a big fan of his 5.5 number at FanDuel at plus-money, which is a 14.3% edge

Verdict: Bet the Over (Best line is 5.5 at +122 at FanDuel)

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Sonny Gray 4.5 Strikeouts

Gray doesn't strike out hitters in a similar fashion to what he did in his better days in Cincinnati, but he's still a solid choice at a good number more days than not, and his ability to limit walks and hard contact make him a good candidate to pitch deep enough in games to hit his number.

Overall, Gray struck out five or more batters 23 times in 32 starts, which is a great percentage. The over is juiced enough here, though, that our PRO projections give him only a slight edge of +5.7% while projecting him at 5.4 strikeouts today.

Verdict: Lean Over (Best line -115 at BetRivers)

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Diamondbacks vs. Brewers

Tuesday, October 3
7:08 p.m. ET
Zac Gallen vs. Freddy Peralta

Zac Gallen 4.5 Strikeouts

This line is surprisingly low for a pitcher of Gallen's caliber, as the Diamondbacks' ace was a legitimate Cy Young contender for a good portion of this season.

Gallen's 220 strikeouts were an impressive number, but the fact that he did it in 210 innings keeps his rate stats a bit lower than you might expect.

Gallen struck out five or more batters in 25 of 34 starts this season. He struck out 11 Brewers in a start back on April 10, but he only whiffed four Brewers over seven innings when he faced them in June.

Our PRO projections still give an edge to Gallen's over today, projecting him at 6.1 strikeouts today, good for a +13.9% edge.

Verdict: Bet the Over (Best odds -120 at BetMGM)

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Freddy Peralta 5.5 Strikeouts

The Brewers need Peralta in a big way today. Not only are they facing elimination, and not only is he taking the place of the injured Brandon Woodruff, but the Brewers also depleted their bullpen last night in a tightly contested game.

Peralta's velocity sunk a bit toward the end of the season, leading to some concern about fatigue as he set a career high in innings. Peralta has a huge strikeout upside, though, punching out 210 in 165 2/3 innings and five or more in 23 of 30 starts.

Still, given all the mitigating factors, there's no huge edge here, as our PRO projections have Peralta at six strikeouts and a modest +4.1% edge to the over.

Verdict: Lean Over (Best odds +105 at BetMGM)

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Marlins vs. Phillies

Tuesday, October 3
8:08 p.m. ET
Braxton Garrett vs. Aaron Nola

Braxton Garrett 4.5 Strikeouts

Former top-10 draft pick Garrett has posted just modest strikeout numbers in his career, with fewer than one per inning over just shy of 300 career innings (more than half of which came this season).

He's a very feast-or-famine pitcher, with a 13-strikeout outing on his ledger and 18 of 31 games where he reached five or more. Against an imposing Phillies lineup, he managed five punchouts in August but just three back in July.

Our PRO projections are bullish on him today, projecting him at 5.5 strikeouts and a solid edge of +14.2% to the over.

Verdict: Bet the Over (Best odds +105 at BetMGM)

Aaron Nola 5.5 Strikeouts

It was a very up-and-down season for the Phillies' co-ace, who battled mechanical issues, poor luck and a home run problem on his way to a step back from his incredible 2022 campaign.

Nola's strikeouts took a downturn — perhaps due to those mechanical problems — but he still reached 200 strikeouts for the third straight season and fifth straight if you exclude the COVID-shortened 2020 season.

Nola struck out six or more batters in 20 of his 32 starts this season, but the over is heavily juiced here so the edge on his over is a slight +2.8%. We project him at 6.6 strikeouts today.

Verdict: Lean Over (Best odds -148 at BetRivers)

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