Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports. Kansas City Royals starting pitcher Jason Hammel (39) looks on from the dugout during the fourth inning against the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park.
Kansas City Royals at Houston Astros, 2:10 p.m. ET
Royals (Jason Hammel): +304
Astros (Gerrit Cole): -350
Bet to Watch
Today in Houston, the Astros are gigantic favorites over the Royals. In fact, they are currently the second largest favorite of the 2018 season.
With that said, it’s a little hard to find ways to bet against Kansas City and still find value. However, one need not look further than Jason Hammel’s strikeout over/under.
Hammel is not a strikeout guy. The 35-year-old is striking out less than six batters per nine innings this season, which is more than a strikeout less than his career average.
With the mighty Astros lineup waiting to pummel Hammel, and his near-5 ERA, he’s going to have a very tough time going over his strikeout prop of 4.5. This season, Hammel has had fewer than five strikeouts in 10 of his 15 starts.
Hammel’s very ugly K/9 already puts him at a disadvantage, but the Astros won’t be helping him out at all. Per FantasyLabs, the Astros’ starting nine has just a 17.8% strikeout rate against righties, which is the second-lowest of today’s slate.
Combine that with Hammel’s K/9 and his poor expectations vs. the Astros and FantasyLabs is projecting him to get just 3.2 Ks, which is a strikeout and a half lower than his implied total of 4.8.
If you like the Astros, don’t go and lay the huge price on the moneyline. Instead, bet against Hammel and go under 4.5.
The Pick: Jason Hammel under 4.5 strikeouts (-115)