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MLB Players Props Odds & Picks: Tuesday’s 2 Bets for Jeffrey Springs, Yusei Kikuchi

MLB Players Props Odds & Picks: Tuesday’s 2 Bets for Jeffrey Springs, Yusei Kikuchi article feature image
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Cole Burston/Getty Images. Pictured: Yusei Kikuchi

  • There's a pitcher to buy and a pitcher to fade in the MLB props market tonight.
  • Jeffrey Springs of the Rays takes on the Red Sox, while Toronto's Yusei Kikuchi does battle with the Athletics.
  • Continue reading to find out how our analyst is betting this pair of pitchers on tonight's MLB slate.

I hope everyone enjoyed their Independence Day weekend.

As people return to work and/or the office this Tuesday, I’ve identified two MLB player props on Tuesday’s slate to add units to your bankroll and alleviate the pain of returning from a long weekend.

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.

Jeffrey Springs over 4.5 Strikeouts (-155)

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

Our Action Labs Player Props tool projects Jeffrey Springs for a whopping 7.2 strikeouts today, giving us a 23.4% edge over the line being offered by DraftKings and making it our highest-rated prop play of the day.

And for good reason! Springs was moved into the rotation full-time about 10 starts into the season and has cranked up his strikeout numbers since. He’s now cashed this number in seven straight starts, recording a whopping 45 strikeouts in 38 1/3 innings since.

Springs is one of those young, solid, southpaw pitchers who the Rays churn out in their labs. Underneath the Rays tutelage, he’s pounding the strike zone more than ever, ranks in the 96th percentile in chase rate and in the 85th percentile in swinging-strike rate.

He has just three pitches which he now uses about the same amount, but all three are plus pitches now. Here are the stat splits on his three main pitches:

  • Four-seam fastball: 391 pitches (41.6%), -2 Run Value, .224 BAA, 25% Whiff, 29.7% K%
  • Changeup: 325 pitches (34.6%), -7 Run Value, .225 BAA, 38.7% Whiff, 30.2% K%
  • Slider: 224 pitches (23.8%), -6 Run Value, .176 BAA, 22.9% Whiff, 20.4% K%

That’s a tough arsenal for any team to deal with. Even the Boston Red Sox, who pair the fourth-highest wRC+ with the 10th-lowest strikeout rate against southpaws this season.

But given Springs’ arsenal and the projections today, this line is too good to pass up.

Pick: Over 4.5 Ks (-155)

Action Labs Grade: 10/10

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Yusei Kikuchi under 5.5 Strikeouts (-140)

Blue Jays @ Athletics
First Pitch 9:40 p.m. ET
Best Line DraftKings

Throughout the MLB season, there are pitchers I specifically wait every five days to either fade or back.

Yusei Kikuchi has been my favorite pitcher to fade this season.

I actually rather liked Kikuchi in Seattle, but the negative regression that was projected for him has been overwhelming. He pairs a 4.74 ERA with a 6.32 xERA, ranking in the first percentile of pitchers in avg. exit velocity allowed, hard-hit rate allowed, and barrel rate allowed.

Kikuchi’s strikeouts are actually up on a per-inning basis, but he ranks in just the 13th percentile of pitchers in whiff rate and in the 28th percentile in CSW rate.

And given his inability to post quality starts, he often fails to convert enough strikeouts to meet his player prop lines. Kikuchi has cashed over 5.5 Ks in just six of 15 starts this season (40%) and in only one of his seven road starts (14%).

It’s hard to back the Oakland offense, which is pitiful in every sense of the term. But the A’s strike out at just a league-average rate against lefties and their strikeout rate has dipped close to 2% over the last month.

Our Action Labs Player Props tool projects Kikuchi for just 5.1 Ks on Tuesday night, while FanGraphs SaberSim projections mark him at 4.9.

I love this play either way.

Pick: Under 5.5 Ks (-140)

Action Labs Grade: 7/10

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