While Jonathan Schoop couldn’t get it done Saturday, our team went 2-0 on strikeout totals on the Major League Baseball card.
As such, I’ve used the Action Labs Player Props tool to identify two strikeout totals that provide value on Sunday’s intriguing MLB card.
The tool graded every play on a scale from 1-10, and I’ll be sure to include the grade below my explanation.
MLB Player Props & Picks
Yusei Kikuchi — Over 5.5 Strikeouts (+120)
|Mariners vs. Diamondbacks||Mariners ML (-180)|
|Time||4:10 p.m. ET|
Kikuchi is the best. He’s a stud left-handed pitcher who has accumulated 26 starts, with an xFIP below 4.00 and made the Mariners rotation compelling.
Unfortunately, he had the worst start of the season last time out. On Sept. 6, Kikuchi managed just 1 2/3 innings, while allowing six runs to the Astros.
However, I’m banking on him to bounce back in this start. The Diamondbacks are the worst road team in baseball, but also the third-worst road offense. Arizona ranks 28th in away OPS (.660) and wRC+ (78) this season, while striking out almost 25% of the time.
Meanwhile, Kikuchi has cashed over 5.5 strikeouts in 15 of his 26 outings. That’s a 58% hit rate for a prop that’s still being offered at plus money.
Both our Action Labs Player Props tool and FanGraphs SaberSim projections have Kikuchi notching 6.2 strikeouts in this spot . So, play the value and bet the over 5.5 number DraftKings is offering leading up to the game.
Action Labs Grade: 10/10
Taylor Hearn — Over 3.5 Strikeouts (-140)
|Rangers vs. Athletics||Rangers ML (+170)|
|Time||4:07 p.m. ET|
Considering how disciplined Oakland’s offense has been, it’s tough to defend Hearn’s over in this spot. Yet, it’s clear there’s value on the over 3.5 number.
Hearn has spent his three-year MLB career in a middle-relief role, but given the Rangers incompetence, Hearn has been shuffled into the rotation. Where he’s performed just fine.
In his last four starts, he’s posted a 3.80 ERA and a 4.35 xFIP, both rather average numbers. However, I’m most impressed by how deep into games he pitches. He tossed at least five innings in all four of those starts, and has pitched 13 2/3 total innings over his last two starts.
That’s why he’s going to hit this number today. 3.5 strikeouts is too low for a guy who can pitch deep into games while averaging almost nine strikeouts per nine innings.
Our Action Labs Player Props tool has Hearn at a whopping 5.4 strikeouts, while FanGraphs SaberSim projections has him at 4.7. Either way, there’s plenty of room to bet this number.
Action Labs Grade: 10/10