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MLB Player Props Odds & Picks: Thursday’s 2 Bets for Joey Votto & Joe Musgrove

MLB Player Props Odds & Picks: Thursday’s 2 Bets for Joey Votto & Joe Musgrove article feature image
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Matt Thomas/San Diego Padres/Getty Images. Pictured: Joe Musgrove

  • There aren't a lot of MLB games tonight, but that doesn't mean there aren't props to be found.
  • Our analyst has recommendations for Reds slugger Joey Votto and Padres ace Joe Musgrove.
  • Continue reading for the full breakdown and betting picks from tonight's MLB slate.

It’s a bit of a dry MLB slate on Thursday, but there’s a Cincinnati slugger and a San Diego Cy Young candidate I’m looking to back in the player props market today.

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.

Joey Votto over 1.5 Total Bases (-115)

Reds @ Cubs
First Pitch 8:10 p.m. ET
Best Line DraftKings

The end of Joey Votto was here. He slumped his way through April, and MLB pundits across the land deemed age had caught up to the Canadian. The Reds floundering to their worse start in decades didn’t help the storylines.

Five months to go. Enjoy the show. https://t.co/Qi2SRFUBga

— Joey Votto (@JoeyVotto) May 3, 2022

But Votto is inevitable. Since he returned from injury on May 20, he’s slashing .271/.373/.525 and smacked 20 extra-base hits in 34 games. A .898 OPS doesn’t blow you away, but it’s a marked improvement from a disastrous start.

I expect his resurgence to continue. Votto’s exit velocities are still rising, and his .378 SLG is paired with a .438 xSLG. There’s more positive regression coming.

There’s no better time for that regression to come than today. Kyle Hendricks starts for the Cubs today, and Votto is 15-for-38 lifetime against The Professor with five home runs, three doubles and a triple.

Votto’s managed a 93.4 mph avg. exit velocity in those ABs with a ridiculous 24.7-degree avg. launch angle. That’s led to a solid .382 xBA, a .831 xSLG, and a .541 xwOBA.

Hendricks has always struggled a bit against lefties, but it’s more noticeable than ever this season. Hendricks has allowed a .281 wOBA with a .372 SLG against RHHs in 2022 but a .397 wOBA and a .571 SLG against LHHs.

Votto smacked two doubles Wednesday. I’ll back him to pile up a few more bases in this contest.

Pick: Over 1.5 TBs (-115)

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Joe Musgrove over 5.5 Strikeouts (-155)

Padres @ Dodgers
First Pitch 10:10 p.m. ET
Best Line DraftKings

If it weren’t for Sandy Alcantara, Joe Musgrove would be the far-and-away favorite for NL Cy Young this season. Musgrove has put on a clinic in SoCal this season, pitching to a 2.12 ERA over 85 innings with an 8-1 record. The Padres are an impressive 11-2 in Musgrove starts this season.

Musgrove has been pounding the strike zone more than ever this season. His strikeouts are actually slightly down, but he’s on pace to post a career-low in walks (1.91 BB/9) and a career-high in called-strike rate (20.9%).

Pair that with his ability to post quality starts, and he’s piled up the strikeout totals. Musgrove has cashed over 5.5 strikeouts in nine of his 12 starts this season, including in five of seven road starts.

The Dodgers don’t scare me right now. They’ve posted just the 11th-highest wRC+ against righties over the past month (111) and their strikeout rate is up during that stretch (22.7%).

And the last time Musgrove walked into Dodger Stadium (9/10/2021), he struck out seven Dodgers over six innings and 104 pitches with a 34% CSW rate.

I’m expecting him to pitch another masterclass late Thursday night, and our Action Labs Player Props tool projects him to strike out 6.4 in this primetime NL West matchup.

Pick: Over 5.5 Ks (-155)

Action Labs Grade: 7/10

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