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Thursday MLB Betting Props Odds, Picks: Our 2 Bets for Jordan Lyles, Chris Flexen in Orioles vs. Mariners Contest

Thursday MLB Betting Props Odds, Picks: Our 2 Bets for Jordan Lyles, Chris Flexen in Orioles vs. Mariners Contest article feature image
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Mitchell Layton/Getty Images. Pictured: Jordan Lyles

  • Jordan Lyles and Chris Flexen will square off in tonight's Orioles vs. Mariners matchup.
  • While not the most appealing pitching matchup on paper, both appear to have value in the player props market.
  • Our analyst breaks down below why he's targeting those two strikeout totals.

I’ve identified two props on Thursday’s slate that provide value. Fortunately, they’re coming from the same game.

I’m expecting a lot of strikeouts today between the Mariners and Orioles.

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.

Jordan Lyles over 3.5 Strikeouts (-145)

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

Jordan Lyles has turned it on this season.

His numbers aren’t fantastic, but Lyles has markedly improved year over year. His ERA, FIP, xERA and xFIP have all dropped nearly a point since joining Baltimore. Plus, he’s already recorded 1.0 fWAR since posting a 0-fWAR season last year.

Most important to us, Lyles’ strikeout numbers have jumped. He’s eclipsed 8.00 K/9 this season after posting just 7.30 last season. He could regress slightly, but I don’t expect him to.

Image credit: Baseball Savant

As a result, Lyles has cashed over 3.5 strikeouts in seven of his 10 starts this season. That 70% hit rate implies -233 odds to the over.

The Mariners are league-average across the board in plate discipline and strikeout stats. But in two starts against the M’s last season, Lyles struck out eight and six.

This line is off. Our Action Labs Player Props tool projects Lyles for 4.8 Ks today, while FanGraphs’ SaberSim projections mark him for a whopping 5.2.

Pick: Over 3.5 Ks (-145)

Action Labs Grade: 8/10

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Chris Flexen over 3.5 Strikeouts (-105)

Mariners @ Orioles
First Pitch 7:05 p.m. ET
Best Line DraftKings

After breaking out in 2021, Chris Flexen has taken a major step back in 2022. All his numbers have jumped a run, and he’s literally been worse than replacement-level this season (-0.1 fWAR).

He’s starting to get his strikeout numbers up, however. He’s cashed over 3.5 strikeouts in five of his last seven starts, and in five of his last six when he throws at least 70 pitches.

The key has to be his curveball. Flexen still ranks above the 75th percentile in curve spin rate this season, yet his whiff rate on the pitch is down over 10% year over year (22.9% in 2021; 10% in 2022). He’s already posted a +3 run value on the pitch.

It’s been a short-enough sample size (52 curveballs) that I could see some regression on the pitch. He’ll need it, too, considering Baltimore is fourth this season in Weighted Curveball Runs Created.

But this 3.5 number is still too low for an Orioles squad that ranks 11th in strikeout rate (23.7%) and sixth in whiff rate (27.1%). The Orioles also chase at the fourth-highest rate (31.3%) and make in-zone contact at the third-lowest rate (79.8%).

If Flexen just breaks 70 pitches without blowing up, he has the ability to break this number. Our Action Labs Player Props tool projects Flexen for 4.0 Ks today, while FanGraphs’ SaberSim projections have him at 4.8.

And we get to bet it at plus-money.

Pick: Over 3.5 Ks (+105)

Action Labs Grade: 8/10

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