Jennifer Buchanan-USA TODAY Sports. Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Chris Archer (22).
Detroit Tigers at Tampa Bay Rays, 7:10 p.m. ET
- Tigers (Francisco Liriano): +189
- Rays (Chris Archer): -211
- Over/Under: 7.5
Tonight, Archer makes his first start in more than a month when the Rays host Francisco Liriano and the Tigers.
Archer had been shelved with an abdominal strain, which he contracted by doing the “Seven Minute Abs” program several times in a day.
He’ll be eased into things tonight with an easy matchup on paper vs. the Tigers. He’s currently over a -200 favorite at most books, but I don’t really care about the moneyline. I’m looking at a little strikeout prop action.
Generally, my prop bets are based off FantasyLabs’ prop tool, but for this one, all I care about is that tweet.
Obviously, Archer is known for his strikeout ability. In fact, from 2015-17, he averaged nearly 11 strikeouts per nine. However, that number has dropped quite a bit this season and that was before the fictional workout injury I mentioned beforehand. Right now, he’s sitting a hair below a strikeout an inning, which is still good for most people, but underwhelming for him.
With this pitch count limit, he’s going to struggle to go over his strikeout prop. Right now, it’s 6.5 (under -165) and this will be a rare time in which I lay a big price on a prop. I believe it is actually the second-highest juice I’ve taken on any prop this year.
In his past seven starts, Archer has reached seven strikeouts just once. Now, with only ~75 pitches at his disposal, he’ll struggle to accumulate them vs. a Tigers team that doesn’t strikeout that often. They’re certainly not good at hitting — in fact they’re terrible — but their 21.3% strikeout rate is 20th in the MLB.
Let’s pray for balls in play and hope Archer’s out of the game by the fifth.
The pick: Chris Archer Under 6.5 strikeouts (-165)