MLB Player Prop Bets & Picks: Wednesday Strikeout Totals With Max Fried & Brandon Woodruff (May 12)
Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images. Pictured: Brandon Woodruff
- Brandon Woodruff is consistent with his strikeout production from start to start.
- What does that mean for his total in Wednesday's start against the Cardinals?
- Kevin Davis breaks it down among his favorite prop bets for the evening.
With a full slate of games, there are many props to choose from. Today, there are two strikeout props that I like, both unders.
For this article I will be evaluating my favorite MLB player props based on what my model likes and what the Action Labs Player Prop tool likes. The Action Labs Player Prop tool grades each bet on a scale from 1-10, with 10 being the best possible grade. I will be adding my own personal grades as well.
Below, I have laid out two prop bets that I am playing, the case for each bet, and the best books to find odds on those player props.
2021 MLB Pitcher Prop Record: 25-24, -2.98 Units, -6.1% ROI (My action can be followed on the Action App at BoogieDownPicks).
MLB Player Props & Picks
Max Fried Under 6.5 Strikeouts (-140)
|Blue Jays vs. Braves||Braves -115|
|Time||7:20 p.m. ET|
Max Fried has not been his self this season. Last year, Fried had a 2.25 ERA and a modest strikeout rate of 8.04 strikeouts per nine innings. This year, Fried has an ERA of 8.44, but an xFIP of 3.82, suggesting he’s been very unlucky in the early going. Despite the poor results, Fried has improved to 11.25 strikeouts per nine innings. The question for Wednesday night is if he can last long enough against the Blue Jays to hit the over on his strikeout total.
Fried averaged around five innings per start last year. With Fried’s current strikeout rate of 11.25, he would need to go 5 2/3 innings to hit this over. However, with last year’s strikeout rate, he would need to go almost eight innings to reach the over, and last year’s strikeout total is more in line with what we should expect.
Fried hasn’t lasted more than five innings in any start this season, and he only went that long in two of them. While the Blue Jays are strikeout prone, they score 4.85 runs per game, which is the seventh-highest in the league. The Blue Jays could plausibly pile runs onto Fried and cause the Braves to pull him from the game early.
Fried is unlikely to go deep in this one regardless, and that plus the strikeout rate means the target here should be the under on 6.5 strikeouts.
Pick: Max Fried Under 6.5 Strikeouts (-140). Would play up to -165 (BetMGM)
- Action Labs Score: N/A
- Kevin Davis Score: 9
Brandon Woodruff Under 8 Strikeouts (-115)
|Cardinals vs. Brewers||Brewers -175|
|Time||7:40 p.m. ET|
On Tuesday, I took the under on strikeout total for Brewers starting pitcher Freddy Peralta and it hit. Today I am fading the strikeout total for a different Brewers starter, Brandon Woodruff.
The Brewers have several power pitches who pitch well but don’t generally go deep into games. Woodruff is an exception, as he averages almost six innings per start — a solid total in today’s MLB. With more opportunities for strikeouts than usual for a Milwaukee pitcher, it should be no surprise that Woodruff’s strikeout total is set at 7.5 at most sportsbooks, and at eight strikeouts at Wynn.
Woodruff is averaging 11.02 strikeouts per nine innings. Over the last three seasons, Woodruff has consistently had a strikeout rate between 10.58 and 11.12 strikeouts per nine innings, so his strikeout rate is predictable. Assuming Woodruff goes his usual six innings, he should have 7.35 strikeouts in a typical start.
That means for Woodruff to go over, he needs to either strike out hitters at a rate above his averages, or go deeper in the game than his averages. The Cardinals’ lineup averages 8.86 strikeouts per nine, which is the league median. I do not believe that Woodruff is likely to pitch better than usual and that is why I like the under at preferably eight strikeouts, but even at 7.5 strikeouts as well.
Pick: Brandon Woodruff Under 8 Strikeouts (-115). Would play up to -135 (Wynn)
- Action Labs Score: 9 (Based on Under 7.5 +113)
- Kevin Davis Score: 6