Freedman’s Favorite Strikeout Prop (Apr. 30): Fade Clay Buchholz vs. Angels

Freedman’s Favorite Strikeout Prop (Apr. 30): Fade Clay Buchholz vs. Angels article feature image

Credit: Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Clay Buchholz

  • Matthew Freedman continues his series featuring at least one of his favorite bets for each day of 2019.
  • On Tuesday, he looks at his No. 1 pitcher strikeout prop for the 15-game MLB slate.

Each day, I publish 1-2 pieces on props I like. See my master list of 2019 prop bets for more information.

In this piece, I highlight my favorite pitcher prop for Tuesday, April 30, which offers a 15-game slate.

For more daily player props, follow me in The Action Network app.

2019 Year-to-Date Record

685-522-38, +97.82 Units

  • NFL: 21-13-0, +11.72 Units
  • NBA: 332-253-7, +38.88 Units
  • NHL: 66-80-7, -7.57 Units
  • MLB: 43-49-10, -10.56 Units
  • Golf: 8-8-2, +1.85 Units
  • NASCAR: 10-17-0, -5.97 Units
  • NCAAB: 125-70-12, +38.82 Units
  • NCAAF: 0-1-0, -1.00 Units
  • Exotic: 74-31-0, +28.25 Units

Freedman’s Favorite Pitcher Prop for Tuesday, April 30

Please note that in some cases I might go against what’s recommended in the FantasyLabs Props Tool and the strikeout projections we have in the FantasyLabs MLB Models.

Toronto Blue Jays Pitcher Clay Buchholz at Los Angeles Angels

  • Time: 10:07 p.m. ET
  • Over: 3.0 (-114)
  • Under: 3.0 (-114)

At the age of 34, Buchholz is a shell of his former self. The season is still young, but he has a career-low 4.6 strikeouts per nine innings through three starts, and I think that mark is the result of more than just a small sample.

Per the FantasyLabs Models, over the past 12 months, Buchholz has had a pitch velocity of 89.9 mph. That’s not great, but it’s representative of the kind of pitcher he is: He doesn’t bring the heat.

But over the past 15 days, he’s gone from lukewarm to ice cold with a pitch velocity of just 87.8 mph. That velocity differential of -2.1 mph is absolutely meaningful, and its impact can be seen in Buchholz’s strikeout numbers.

Last year, he had three-plus strikeouts in 14 of 16 starts (87.5%). This year, he’s had fewer than three Ks in two of three games (66.7%).

And none of this takes into account his matchup: The projected Angels lineup has a slate-low average of 0.18 strikeouts per at-bat, and as a team the Angels have an MLB-low 5.90 strikeouts per game.

For years, the Angels have been one of the league’s most plate-disciplined teams.

Buchholz isn’t much of a K pitcher to begin with, so it’s especially hard to imagine a team that doesn’t strike out suddenly struggling against him now that he’s losing his stuff.

For the year, Buchholz has just eight strikeouts in 15.2 innings, and he’s failed to throw more than 84 pitches in any start.

I just don’t see Buchholz throwing hard enough or pitching deep enough into the game to get more than three strikeouts. This could easily end in a push, because three is a low total — but Buchholz just doesn’t seem right, so I’m willing to bet against him.

I’d bet under 3.0 to -150.

The Pick: Under 3.0 (-114)

Matthew Freedman is the Editor-in-Chief of FantasyLabs. He has a dog and sometimes a British accent. In Cedar Rapids, Iowa, he’s known only as The Labyrinthian.

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