MLB Strikeouts Leader Prop Picks | Best Bets for Jacob deGrom, Hunter Greene, More
Ben Ludeman/Texas Rangers/Getty Images. Pictured: Jacob deGrom
Here are my projected pitching strikeout leaders for the upcoming season, alongside their listed odds at BetMGM:
Last season I only placed one strikeout leader bet (Dylan Cease). I projected 11 pitchers for 200+ strikeouts in 2022, but only two were listed at +2000 or higher on the board.
The betting landscape for strikeout leaders has changed for 2023. I have 14 pitchers projected for 200+ strikeouts, but six are +2000 or higher on the odds board, and four of those pitchers are +3000 or higher.
I included a more profound list in the graphic this season because it’s interesting to show how Jacob deGrom and Sandy Alcantara can arrive at a similar projection. At the same time, deGrom should average nearly two additional strikeouts per projected start.
If deGrom exceeds playing time projections (24 starts), he could easily lead the league. And even though the price isn’t super enticing at +1200, I would rather play deGrom than Cole at half the number.
Conversely, I wouldn’t go near Carlos Rodon at this point, especially at his price. Rodon got injured since I bet him in the preseason, but his number is now grossly mispriced considering he will miss the first month of the season and seemingly has no path to leading any stat category. Awards consideration isn’t out of the question, however.
Among the projected strikeout leaders, I prefer Nola, a workhorse with a low injury risk (13.4%) who ranks second behind Cole in total strikeouts since the start of the 2019 season. If the other projected leaders miss time — and all except for Corbin Burnes present a higher injury risk — Nola could grind his way ahead of the pack. He has a higher floor than anyone else.
My favorite speculative strikeout plays are Javier, Luis Castillo and Hunter Greene, each offering drastically superior odds compared to their projected contemporaries, all of whom improved in the second half of the 2022 season.
Typically, I try to limit my selections to about five or six bets per category. If I had gone deeper into the strikeout market, I’d look at Kevin Gausman and Brandon Woodruff. However, both pitchers saw a decreased workload per start last season relative to previous years.
There is a +7000 on Gausman at FanDuel. You could do worse at those odds.
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Shohei Ohtani (who operates in a six-man rotation) will struggle to surpass 30 starts in an entirely healthy season, otherwise he would be easier to justify at his price point.
I love Gausman and Ohtani, but I would rather bet both in the Cy Young market than the strikeout leader market (and I already have). We’ll talk about both of them more in Part III of my MLB futures guide.
I don’t necessarily have a favorite bet in this category, but I am partial to Greene and Javier at their prices.
Most Strikeouts Bets
- Luis Castillo (+4000, 0.05u) at Caesars
- Jacob deGrom (+1200, 0.1u) at BetMGM
- Hunter Greene (+4000, 0.1u) at FanDuel
- Cristian Javier (+3500, 0.1u) at BetMGM
- Aaron Nola (+1500, 0.1u) at FanDuel
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