Freedman’s Favorite Strikeout Prop (May 2): Bet on Aaron Sanchez to Regress

Freedman’s Favorite Strikeout Prop (May 2): Bet on Aaron Sanchez to Regress article feature image
Credit:

Credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Aaron Sanchez

  • Matthew Freedman continues his series featuring at least one of his favorite bets for each day of 2019.
  • On Thursday, he looks at his No. 1 pitcher strikeout prop for the nine-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 Thursday, May 2, which offers an eight-game slate.

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

2019 Year-to-Date Record

691-528-40, +96.30 Units

  • NFL: 21-13-0, +11.72 Units
  • NBA: 338-259-7, +37.36 Units
  • NHL: 66-80-7, -7.57 Units
  • MLB: 43-49-12, -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

Favorite Pitcher Prop for Thursday, May 2

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 Aaron Sanchez at Los Angeles Angels

  • Time: 10:07 p.m. ET
  • Over: 4.0 (+120)
  • Under: 4.0 (-150)

Sanchez is hot right now. He has a 2.32 ERA and is 5-1 to the over on his strikeout props this year.

But I’m betting on regression.

This year Sanchez has a 5.10 xFIP, which is one of the 10 worst marks in the league among starting pitchers. His ERA is likely to come down soon, and if teams put up runs against him, he could have some shortened outings.

And it’s not as if Sanchez pitches all that deep into games anyway. This year, he’s yet to throw more than six innings in a start, and just once has he thrown more than 90 pitches.

And Sanchez also has a career-high 7.8 strikeouts per nine innings even though his fastball is slower this season than it was for the first five years of his career (94.8 vs. 95.3). Over the course of the season, his K/9 mark is likely to move toward his career average of 7.1.

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 5.87 strikeouts per game.

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

Since becoming a full-time starter in 2016, Sanchez has had four or fewer strikeouts in exactly half of his outings (29 of 58), and in his two starts against the Angels in that time he’s managed just three strikeouts combined.

There’s a decent chance that this will end in a push, but I have a hard time seeing Sanchez getting more than four Ks against a team that has allowed five-plus strikeouts to only nine of 31 opposing starters (29.0%).

Given the strikeout stinginess of the Angels, I’d be inclined to bet under 4.0 strikeouts all the way down to -200.

The Pick: Under 4.0 (-150)


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.