Giants vs Blue Jays Prediction, Player Prop: Why to Fade Yusei Kikuchi (Tuesday, July 9)

Giants vs Blue Jays Prediction, Player Prop: Why to Fade Yusei Kikuchi (Tuesday, July 9) article feature image
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Mark Blinch/Getty Images. Pictured: Blue Jays pitcher Yusei Kikuchi.

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Giants vs Blue Jays Player Prop

Tuesday, July 9
9:45 p.m. ET
MLB.TV
Yusei Kikuchi Under 16.5 Outs

In his sixth MLB season, Yusei Kikcuhi has once again served as a solid, yet unspectacular cog in the Blue Jays' starting rotation.

Today, I’m targeting the under on the southpaw’s pitching outs prop.

Kikuchi has accrued a 4.12 ERA and 4.08 xERA this season, with a hard-hit rate (45.3%) and barrel rate (10.4%) in the ninth and 12th percentiles, respectively.

Overall, he’s under this outs line in half of his 18 starts. However, that includes six of his last eight outings and six of his eight road games.

Honing in on his road performances, Kikuchi’s walk rate spikes to 7.4%, up from 4.7% at home. This has forced him to throw more pitches per plate appearance, as he tosses 4.09 on the road compared to 3.82 in Toronto.

His hard-hit rate also surges to 39.3% away from home, resulting in a .305 batting average allowed.

Now, he's had just eight starts on the road, so we’re not exactly dealing with a massive sample size. But the Giants, his opponent today, have been one of the better hitting teams against lefties.

Against left-handed pitching this season, the Giants have registered a 116 wRC+, .751 OPS and a 9.4% walk rate. All three rank in the top nine of Major League Baseball.

And as a team, they take a patient approach at the plate, with the sixth-lowest chase rate and 10th-highest pitches per plate appearance (3.92). In my projected Giants lineup tonight, I have seven hitters who see an above-average number of pitches per plate appearance.

With a rested bullpen following an off day and Kikuchi's struggles the third time through the batting order (.825 OPS allowed), I see this as a great spot to back the under. I have Kikuchi registering only 15 outs tonight.

Pick: Yusei Kikuchi Under 16.5 Outs (-110 · Play to -125)

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