MLB Odds, Player Props: Bet the Over for Alex Cobb & Keegan Thompson (Tuesday, May 17)

MLB Odds, Player Props: Bet the Over for Alex Cobb & Keegan Thompson (Tuesday, May 17) article feature image

Ezra Shaw/Getty Images. Pictured: Alex Cobb.

  • With so many MLB games in action Tuesday, there are plenty of bets to choose from.
  • We see value on two player props, including picks for Keegan Thompson of the Chicago Cubs and Alex Cobb of the San Francisco Giants.
  • Read on for Tanner McGrath's full breakdowns for both picks.

There are a whopping 18 MLB games in action today, and there's plenty of player prop value on the board.

To get you started with your card, let me suggest my two favorite strikeout props of the day, including a young Chicago reliever and an aging San Francisco starter.

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.

Keegan Thompson Over 3.5 Strikeouts (-125)

Pirates @ Cubs
First Pitch7:40 p.m. ET
Best LineDraftKings

Keegan Thompson has been used almost exclusively as a reliever since being called up to the big leagues. He's made just one start at this level in his young career, and it wasn't a very pretty one.

However, he's made multiple multi-inning relief appearances and has been effective in that role. There are a few that stand out:

  • 4/9 vs. MIL: 2.2 IP, 0 ER, 0 H, 1 BB, 4 K
  • 4/18 vs. TB: 3.2 IP, 0 ER, 1 H, 1 BB, 5 K
  • 4/22 vs. PIT: 4.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 H, 1 BB, 4 K
  • 5/7 vs. LAD: 2.2 IP, 1 ER, 1 H, 3 BB, 4 K

In total, Thompson has amassed 27 innings this year with a 7.33 K/9. But I expect that number to come up slightly considering he finished with over 9.00 K/9 in his 53 1/3 innings in 2021.

You may have noticed that Thompson was rather effective against Pittsburgh in his last start. Well, the Pirates have posted the fourth-highest strikeout rate against RHPs this season (25.1%) alongside the eighth-lowest wRC+ (88). We can safely fade Pittsburgh almost any day.

As a result, the projection market is high on Thompson. Our Action Labs Player Props Tool project Thompson for a whopping 5.4 Ks Tuesday, while FanGraphs SaberSim projections mark him at 4.55.

There's plenty to like about this play.

Pick: Over 3.5 Ks (-125)

Action Labs Grade: 10/10

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Alex Cobb Over 4.5 Strikeouts (-129)

Giants @ Rockies
First Pitch8:40 p.m. ET
Best LineBetRivers

I'm a really big Alex Cobb fan. I think he's a consistently underrated starter being coached by the best pitching staff in baseball.

While his ERA is a tad high at 3.98, he's due for plenty of positive regression. His xERA is south of 1.50, and his FIP and xFIP both sit under 2.30. All of those numbers are being fueled by a whopping 12.39 K/9 mark.

He's gone over this mark in three of his five starts this season, only falling short against the Mets and Nationals because he was pulled before reaching 60 pitches. In his other three starts, he managed:

  • 10 strikeouts over 83 pitches vs. SD (37% CSW)
  • 8 strikeouts over 74 pitches vs. STL (42% CSW)
  • 6 strikeouts over 85 pitches vs. COL (33% CSW)

With these monster starts, Cobb ranks above the 85th percentile in swinging-strike rate (14%), CSW rate (32.2%) and strikeouts per inning (1.39). Cobb is getting guys to miss as well as anyone in the league.

Therefore, I think this line is slightly low. I'm also willing to bet him against a Colorado offense that hasn't been spectacular, ranking league-average in strikeout rate (21.6%) and below league-average in wRC+ (88).

Our Action Labs Player Props Tool projects Cobb for 5.1 Ks today. That gives us just enough value to back him here.

Pick: Over 4.5 Ks (-129)

Action Labs Grade: 6/10

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