MLB Opening Day Prop Bets: Will Trevor Cahill Strike Out 5 Batters in his Return to Oakland?

MLB Opening Day Prop Bets: Will Trevor Cahill Strike Out 5 Batters in his Return to Oakland? article feature image
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Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Trevor Cahill.

  • Using our Player Props tool, we can spot differences and find value in the player prop betting market by comparing implied odds to our projections.
  • The props for Opening Day include the strikeout over/unders for Trevor Cahill of the Angels and Kyle Freeland of the Rockies.

If you’re a bettor and are taking the day off on Thursday, are you even a bettor? Maybe you don’t like any of the moneylines or totals. Maybe college basketball isn’t your thing, either. But don’t forget about player props!

If you’ve been following along with Chris Raybon, Matt LaMarca, Matthew Freedman, Sean Koerner and others over the winter, you may be familiar with our Player Props Tool.

As is the case with NBA, NFL and NHL, the MLB tool takes strikeout over/unders from around the betting market and compares them to our in-house projection.

The bigger the difference, the more value there is. These are offered at a handful of books so be sure to shop around for the best lines, which you should be doing with all of your bets in the first place.

Los Angeles Angels at Oakland Athletics

  • 4:07 p.m. ET
  • Angels -105 / Athletics -105
  • Over/Under: 9 (u-120)
  • Trevor Cahill: Over/under 4 strikeouts

Trevor Cahill is getting the opening day nod for the Angels, which is probably a pretty bad sign for Angels fans. He’ll be in a familiar place in his former home of Oakland, where he played from 2009 to 2011 and last year.

Though he’s never been a huge strikeout guy, he has averaged nearly one strikeout per inning since 2016 (8.77). With an over/under of just 4, oddsmakers have set the bar fairly low for his start against the Angels.

Though a push is a distinct possibility at this number, we’re projecting he will strike out 5.7 batters — 1.5 more than the implied odds of 4.2. The difference of 38% makes this the second strongest play of the day per our projections.

Pick: Trevor Cahill Over 4 (-114)

Colorado Rockies at Miami Marlins

  • 4:10 p.m. ET
  • Rockies -140 / Marlins +126
  • Over/Under: 7.5
  • Kyle Freeland: Over/under 5 strikeouts

If Cahill was the second strongest play of the day, you’re probably wondering what the strongest is.

Last year, Kyle Freeland broke out with a sub-3 ERA for the Rockies, which is a rare feat for someone who has to pitch half their season at Coors Field. However, at 7.7 strikeouts per nine innings, he wasn’t exactly a big strikeout guy.

Luckily, Marlins hitters are big strikeout guys. FantasyLabs has the Marlins’ lineup at .295 strikeouts per at/bat today against Freeland, which is the most of any team on the slate. In fact, that number is one tenth of a strikeout per AB higher than a handful of other teams playing today.

With that in mind, Freeland should be in line for more punch-outs than normal. We’re projecting 6.8 on the day, which is a full two strikeouts more than the 4.8 implied by the plus-money payout on the over. At 40%, this differential is one that you’re going to want to play.

Pick: Kyle Freeland over 5 strikeouts (+110)

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