Saturday MLB Player Prop Bets & Picks: Fading Castillo, Turnbull (May 1)

Saturday MLB Player Prop Bets & Picks: Fading Castillo, Turnbull (May 1) article feature image
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Joe Robbins/MLB Photos via Getty Images. Pictured: Luis Castillo

After taking a good, long look at today’s pitching matchups and the Action Labs Player Prop tool, there are two strikeout total props I’m targeting today.

Our Action tool grades each prop on a scale from 1-10, and I’ll be sure to include the grade below my explanation.

Today, I’m looking to fade two starters in the afternoon.

MLB Player Props & Picks

Luis Castillo: Under 5.5 Strikeouts

Cubs vs. Reds Reds -150
Time  4:10 p.m. ET
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This isn’t just a fade of Castillo’s strikeout total, this is a fade of Castillo in general.

The 2018 All-Star has flat-out stunk this season. Through five starts, Castillo has posted a 6.29 ERA and a 1.60 WHIP while going further than five innings just once. His walk rate is down, but his barrel percentage, hard-hit percentage and exit velocity are all up this season. 

Most importantly, however, is that Castillo’s strikeout rate is way down. He’s striking out just 17.1% of batters and producing only 7.03 K/9 this season. Plus, he’s gone over 5.5 strikeouts just once in his five starts this season. And Castillo’s whiff rate on his two most-used pitches (four-seam and changeup) are way down compared to last season.

The Cubs are not a high-contact team and tend to strikeout a lot, but they’ve picked up the pace in recent weeks. Over the past 14 days, the Cubs are first in MLB in wOBA (.348) and are second in OBP (.347). So, I’m hoping they continue to hit well and knock a struggling Castillo out of the game early. 

We’re projecting Castillo’s strikeout total at 4.4, so there’s definitely some value in taking the under here. 

Action Labs Grade: 10/10

Spencer Turnbull —  Under 5.5 Strikeouts 

Tigers vs. Yankees Yankees -210
Time  1:05 p.m. ET
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Turnbull has been solid so far this season. However, he’s going up against a Yankees team that is finally finding their stride. 

After scoring 10 runs on the Tigers yesterday, the Yankees are fourth in MLB in wOBA and fifth in OBP over the past two weeks. Most importantly, however, the lineup’s strikeout rate is way down. 

The Yankees are striking out just 20% of the time during that stretch, the third-lowest mark in baseball. Also during the past two weeks, the Yankees are second in PAs but just 16th in strikeouts. 

Turnbull has posted a 9.0 K/9 through two starts this season, but I’m expecting that number to regress. Turnbull posted an 8.1 K/9 in 2020, and his whiff rate on his fastball (Turnbull’s most-used pitch) is just 16.7%. 

We’re projecting Turnbull’s strikeout total at 4.7, and I think there’s value taking the under against a red-hot Yankees lineup that’s sure to knock him out of the game earlier than he would like. 

Action Labs Grade: 9/10

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