MLB Player Props: How Will Reynaldo Lopez Follow Up his 14-Strikeout Gem?

MLB Player Props: How Will Reynaldo Lopez Follow Up his 14-Strikeout Gem? article feature image

Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Reynaldo Lopez.

  • Using the FantasyLabs Player Prop model, we've found value on the strikeout over/under Reynaldo Lopez.

When Noah Syndergaard had just four strikeouts through 5 innings of work yesterday, I was feeling pretty good about my under 6.5 pick. Then I noticed that his pitch count was quite low, and was concerned he might pitch into the 8th inning. Welp, wouldn’t you know it — he struck out 10 in a complete game shutout, in what some are calling “the greatest game in Mets history.

On Wednesday, I wrote on FantasyLabs that Corey Kluber was in a great breakout spot against the Marlins. He broke his arm. Yesterday, I bet against Thor and he had the best game in the history of mankind. If I take an under today, the pitcher may just strike out all 27 batters on 81 pitches. An over may lead to a Madden curse-like injury.

MLB Player Props — Friday, May 3rd

Our FantasyLabs MLB Player Props Tool leverages our projections against odds offered at various sportsbooks and grades each prop on a scale of 1 to 10. All odds as of 2 p.m. ET. View live odds for individual games here.

White Sox SP Reynaldo Lopez

Reynaldo Lopez has made two consecutive starts against the Detroit Tigers and now fancies himself Pedro Martinez.

Here’s how start number one went:

  • 6 innings, 2 ER, 7 hits, 0 walks, 8 strikeouts

Not bad, not bad. In fact, very good compared to his first four starts of the season. Prior to that start, he had gone 19.1 innings, allowed 19 runs, walked 14 men and struck out 17. It’s not good when your innings pitched and earned runs are almost the same number.

Start number two against the Tigers on Sunday was really legit:

  • 6 innings, 0 ER, 2 hits, 3 walks, 14 strikeouts

Let me break some news for you — the Red Sox are not the Tigers.

Despite Lopez’s recent strikeout surge, I’m betting against it continuing. The Tigers have the league’s highest strikeout rate at 27.1%, while the Red Sox have the fifth-lowest at 20.8%.

The Sox should also be able to exploit Lopez’s weaknesses (home runs and walks) more than the Tigers could. Detroit has the fewest home runs in the league and rank 19th in walk rate, while Boston ranks 23rd in homers and seventh in walk rate.

Lopez is riding high, but we’re still talking about a guy with an ERA over 6 who has made four of his six starts against the Tigers and Royals. One particularly troubling stat for Lopez is his 24.4% O-swing% (percentage of pitches out of the strike zone that batters swing at). It ranks 87th out of 88 qualified starters and that actually includes his big strikeout games.

The Sox have a number of hitters with good plate discipline that should be able to spit on his pitches out of the zone, draw walks and keep him from getting deep in the game. Don’t get swept up by his last two starts. We’re projecting 4.7 strikeouts for him.

The Pick: Under 5 (+110)

Cue the 21 strikeout game …