Thursday MLB Player Prop Bets, Picks: Brandon Woodruff, Charlie Morton Have Value (June 17)

Thursday MLB Player Prop Bets, Picks: Brandon Woodruff, Charlie Morton Have Value (June 17) article feature image

John Fisher/Getty Images. Pictured: Brewers righty Brandon Woodruff

There are many props to choose from on Thursday’s 10-game MLB slate.

The betting markets are more efficiently setting strikeout prop totals. Despite this, there are two strikeout props that I like, an under and an over.

For this article I will be evaluating my favorite MLB player props based on what my model likes and what the Action Labs Player Prop tool likes. The Action Labs Player Prop tool grades each bet on a scale from 1-10, with 10 being the best possible grade. I will be adding my own personal grades as well.

Below, I have laid out two prop bets that I am playing, the case for each bet and the best books to find odds on those player props.

2021 MLB Pitcher Prop Record: 47-44, -2.57 Units, -2.8% ROI

MLB Player Props & Picks

Charlie Morton (ATL) — 5.5 Strikeouts (-155/+115)

Cardinals at BravesBraves (-190)
Time 7:20 p.m. ET
Best LineBetMGM

After winning the NL East last year, the Atlanta Braves have been a disappointment this season at 30-35. Their pitching has been downright bad, and an elite offense hasn't been enough to carry them.

One of the few bright spots in Atlanta’s starting rotation has been 37-year-old veteran Charlie Morton. Morton has a 5-3 record with a 4.50 ERA, and a 3.47 xFIP. He has a good strikeout rate of 10.23 strikeouts per nine innings. With Morton averaging only around five innings per start, the question is if Morton can stay in the game long enough to go over his strikeout total.

The median MLB lineup averages 8.74 strikeouts per game this season. The opposing St. Louis Cardinals lineup averages only 8.5 strikeouts per game, which is the eighth-lowest in the league. With the Cardinals being 2.7% less strikeout prone than the typical MLB lineup, Morton will have to pitch better than usual to go over his strikeout total.

In a typical start this season, Morton pitches for about five innings and has 5.68 strikeouts. When you adjust that for St. Louis’ lineup, Morton should have 5.54 strikeouts. However, when you look at Morton’s recent body of work, it is doubtful that he will pitch enough innings to go over his strikeout total.

In Morton’s last start he pitched for only four innings against the Miami Marlins. In his previous two starts, Morton pitched for only five innings in each start. If Morton’s usage continues to be limited, it is worth betting on him to have under 5.5 strikeouts at +115 on BetMGM.

Pick: Charlie Morton Under 5.5 Strikeouts +115 (BetMGM), would play up to +105

  • Action Labs Score: 7
  • Kevin Davis Score: 4

Brandon Woodruff (MIL) — 6.5 Strikeouts (+116/-148)

Brewers at RockiesBrewers -158
Time 8:40 p.m. ET
Best LineFanDuel

The typical Milwaukee Brewers starting pitcher pitches for only about five innings but has a high strikeout rate. Brandon Woodruff deviates slightly from the norm for Milwaukee. Not only does Woodruff have a high strikeout rate, but he is an innings eater who pitches for many innings.

Woodruff is averaging more than 6 1/3 innings per start. With a high usage rate and a high strikeout rate, can Woodruff have seven or more strikeouts against the Colorado Rockies on Thursday night.

Colorado may have an awful team this season, but their lineup averages only 8.51 strikeouts per game which is the eighth-best strikeout rate in the league. However, there is not much deviation from the mean for Kansas City as their hitters have only 2.7% fewer strikeouts than the median MLB team. As a bettor, it is not as simple as fading every pitcher strikeout total against the Rockies.

In a typical start this season, Woodruff pitches for 6 1/3 innings and has 7.4 strikeouts. Even when my model adjusts his strikeout total for Colorado’s lineup, I project him to have 6.9 strikeouts. The Action Network’s model, which is independent of mine, projects Woodruff to have 6.5 strikeouts.

Regardless, with the over at +116, it is a good bet to back the reliable Woodruff against an inept Rockies lineup. Colorado may be good at avoiding strikeouts, but it should not give Woodruff enough trouble that would cause Milwaukee to pull him from the game prematurely.

Pick: Brandon Woodruff Over 6.5 Strikeouts +116 (FanDuel), would bet up to -105

  • Action Labs Score: 6
  • Kevin Davis Score: 7
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