Wednesday’s MLB Player Prop Bets & Picks: Fade Frankie Montas, Tyler Mahle on Strikeouts Angle (April 21)
Hannah Foslien/Getty Images. Pictured: Cincinnati Reds starting pitcher Tyler Mahle.
With a full slate of games on Wednesday’s Major League Baseball card, there are a ton of props for your wagering interest. I have uncovered two I really like, both of which involve pitches and their respective strikeout totals.
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: 15-9, +4.02 Units, +16.8% ROI (My action can be followed on the Action App at BoogieDownPicks).
MLB Player Props & Picks
Frankie Montas (OAK) — Under 6.5 Strikeouts (-141)
|Twins vs. Athletics||Athletics -112|
|Time||3:37 p.m. ET|
The Minnesota Twins have gotten off to a poor start despite winning the American League Central Division the past two seasons. Yet, regardless of the rough beginning, they have done one thing exceptionally well and that has been showing amazing plate discipline.
Currently, the Twins lineup averages only 8.30 strikeouts per game, which is the seventh best in the league. Based on my model, this is not an outlier, as they should average 8.81 strikeouts per game. For that reason, I am betting that Oakland pitcher Frankie Montas finishes with under 6.5 strikeouts.
Montas is an interesting guy for the Athletics. In each of his last four seasons, Montas has had a higher ERA than his xFIP, implying his ERA should be lower based on his performance. There are some games this season where I’m looking to bet on the Athletics when Montas pitches, but today is not one of those situations.
Earlier this season, I was betting on Montas’ strikeout overs when they were set at only 3.5 or 4.5 strikeouts. This latest total is an overreaction to his last start when he recorded seven strikeouts against the Detroit Tigers, whose lineup leads the league in strikeouts per game.
Against a Minnesota lineup that is hard to strikeout, I have a hard time seeing how Montas throws seven or more strikeouts.
Pick: Frankie Montas Under 6.5 Strikeouts (-141). Would play up to -160.
- Action Labs Score: 8
- Kevin Davis Score: 9
Tyler Mahle (CIN) — Under 7.5 Strikeouts (-152)
|Diamondbacks vs. Reds||Reds -175|
|Time||6:40 p.m. ET|
Betting on Tyler Mahle pitching props is like playing with fire. Mahle is a flame thrower (no pun intended), as he throws for many strikeouts.
However, Mahle has yet to pitch for more than five innings this season. If you bet the over on Mahle’s strikeouts, you are assuming he goes for about six innings. If you take the the under on Mahle’s strikeouts, you are betting that he continues to pitch for around five innings per start. Personally, I believe Mahle will pitch for around five innings, which is why I like the under on this play.
Action Labs projects Mahle to have only 5.5 strikeouts, while my model is less bullish on the under and projects him to have 5.9 strikeouts. Besides Mahle’s lack of usage, there are other reasons to take bet the under on the total.
Currently, Mahle is averaging 14.14 strikeouts per nine innings this season. While impressive, that strikeout rate is unsustainable and evidenced by his career strikeout rate of only 9.32 strikeouts per nine innings.
Another reason why Mahle should go under his total is because Arizona only averages 8.4 strikeouts per game, which is eighth best in the league.
Based on the Diamondbacks’ plate discipline, Mahle lack of usage and abnormally high strikeout rate, I am betting that he goes under the number.
Pick: Tyler Mahle Under 7.5 Strikeouts (-152). Would play up to -160
- Action Labs Score: 10
- Kevin Davis Score: 7