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Thursday MLB Player Props & Picks: Our 2 Favorite Bets, Featuring Eugenio Suarez, Framber Valdez

Thursday MLB Player Props & Picks: Our 2 Favorite Bets, Featuring Eugenio Suarez, Framber Valdez article feature image
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Adam Glanzman/Getty Images. Pictured: Houston Astros starting pitcher Framber Valdez.

  • We have another solid pair of MLB player props for you on Thursday’s slate.
  • Analyst Tanner McGrath has targeted Eugenio Suarez and Framber Valdez for his top picks.
  • Check out below where he’s landed with bets bets and value plays.

Thursday is generally a travel day for most Major League Baseball teams. However, there are still eight games and 16 teams suiting up and that gives us plenty of opportunities — and value — to take advantage.

In the prop market, I’m backing a Houston Astros starting pitcher and a Seattle Mariners slugger. So, read on to see why I’ve targeted these players.

Our Action Labs Props Tool grades each prop on a scale from 1-10, and I’ll be sure to include the grade for each of my betting recommendations in my discussions below.

Eugenio Suarez — Over 0.5 Total Bases (-155)

Mariners @ Red Sox
First Pitch 7:10 p.m. ET
Best Line DraftKings

You might not believe this, but Eugenio Suarez is the Mariners leader in home runs this season.

Suarez has hit a whopping seven dingers, which doesn’t even include his seven doubles. He’s been inconsistent as a whole, which is why he’s posted just a .752 OPS this season.

However, I’m willing to bank on Suarez in this matchup.

In 11 lifetime plate appearances against Rich Hill, Suarez is 4 for 9 with two home runs, a 90-mph average exit velocity and a 13.5-degree average launch angle. Add up Suarez’s batted-ball statistics and he has posted a whopping .589 xwOBA and a 1.013 xSLG against Hill lifetime.

Moreover, Suarez has picked up a hit in four of his last five games.

Therefore, it’s reasonable to expect Suarez to knock one hit against Hill during the first half of the game. Plus, Hill throws exactly two pitches more than 80% of the time — a four-seam fastball and curveball. While Suarez’s numbers are down on the curveball, he’s been a plus-hitter against the combination over the last four seasons.

*Graphic courtesy of Baseball Savant

Yet, even if Suarez doesn’t get it done against Hill, he’ll have his chance to redeem himself. The Boston bullpen ranks 22nd in reliever xFIP (3.98) this season and has been one of the most inconsistent groups in baseball.

All Suarez needs is one hit in a favorable matchup. Although Suarez has been struggling, he’s still managed that in 20 of his 35 games this season.

I’ll bank on Suarez snagging at least a single in this matchup.

Pick: Over 0.5 Total Bases (-155)

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Framber Valdez — Over 5.5 Strikeouts (-120)

Rangers @ Astros
First Pitch 8:10 p.m. ET
Best Line DraftKings

So, Framber Valdez has had a slightly tough start, at least from a strikeout perspective. His K/9 is down from 9.68 in 2020 to 7.20 this season.

However, I have confidence in him getting over this number.

Valdez has cashed this number in his last two starts, striking out seven against Detroit and six against the Nationals. Considering Washington has posted the fourth-lowest strikeout rate this season, that’s not a dull accomplishment.

Over seven starts, Valdez has pitched a full 40 innings. He’s throwing an average of 5 2/3 innings per start, and he’s thrown at least 95 pitches in his last four starts consecutive. So, while Valdez’s stuff hasn’t been overwhelming, I believe he’ll have the length to clear this number.

Plus, the Rangers aren’t a powerhouse against southpaws. Against LHPs this season, Texas has posted an 87 wRC+ (26th in MLB) and a 22.6% strikeout rate (13th in MLB).

Valdez will also feed the Rangers a steady dose of sinkers and they have been nothing but average against the pitch. Texas has posted a -0.6 wSF mark, which ranks exactly league average through five weeks.

Our Action Labs Player Props tool projects Valdez for 6.2 punchouts, giving us nearly a 5% edge over the current line DraftKings is offering us.

Pick: Over 5.5 Strikeouts (-120)

Action Labs Grade: 7/10

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