Player props can be useful in a variety of ways -- from taking advantage of them straight up (to the tune of cold hard cash) to measuring a player's potential to produce in daily fantasy baseball on FanDuel. Here, we're going to focus on the former.
Here are some MLB player prop bets to make tonight.
Please note that betting lines and our game projections may change throughout the day after this article is published. Also, the weather may be an issue in some locations.
Max Kepler To Hit a Home Run (+440)
Finding the balance between the odds and the probability of a home run is the key for any slate, and tonight we have a few good options. The Twins are in a good spot because they are taking on Alex Faedo, a pitcher who is struggling with home runs this season.
To this point in the year, Faedo has a .392 SLG, 4.45 xFIP, 1.57 HR/9, 42.2% fly-ball rate, and 45.3% hard-contact rate versus left-handed hitters. It has been an easy go against Faedo this season, and it doesn't look like that will be stopping tonight.
We'll look to Max Kepler, who has a 111 wRC+, .328 wOBA, .232 ISO, 43.9% fly-ball rate, and 38.0% hard-contact rate versus right-handed pitchers. This is a fantastic match in terms of the 40-40 rule, which always puts the hitters in a spot to produce.
As usual, I'll look to add Kepler To Record an RBI (+120), too.
Cal Raleigh To Record an RBI (+105)
Another team in a spot to plate some runs tonight is the Seattle Mariners.
They are rocking a 5.14 implied run total against the Kansas City Royals, who will have Jordan Lyles on the mound. To put things plainly, we always look at player props when Lyles is on the mound. It's that easy, so let's not overcomplicate things.
On the season, Lyles allows a .355 wOBA, .512 SLG, 5.38 FIP, 1.97 HR/9, 16.1% strikeout rate, 45.9% fly-ball rate, and 37.4% hard-contact rate versus left-handed hitters. The list goes on and on for Lyles, and none of it is good news.
This leads us directly to Cal Raleigh, who has a 115 wRC+, .330 wOBA, .233 ISO, 48.1% fly-ball rate, and 35.0% hard-contact rate versus right-handed pitchers. Raleigh hits in the middle of the Mariners' lineup and if they are going to be scoring runs, he should be firmly involved with that tonight.
Michael Wacha Under 3.5 Strikeouts (+120)
A strikeout prop of 3.5 is very low, and I'm rolling with the under tonight.
Michael Wacha is set to take the mound for the San Diego Padres tonight in what will be his first start since July 1st. He has been on the injured list with a shoulder issue and has made two rehab starts in the minor leagues with pitch totals of 46 and 67 pitches.
It's clear Wacha isn't in a spot to go for 90-plus pitches, which limits his ability to rack up the strikeouts. We also have to factor in that Wacha only has a 21.3% strikeout rate this season, which is just below the league average of 22.7%. Wacha isn't a big strikeout pitcher to begin with and will now be on some type of limited pitch count in his first start back.
The matchup against the Baltimore Orioles isn't amazing, either, as they come in with a 22.6% strikeout rate versus right-handed pitchers, which is 17th in the league. Even if Wacha was fully healthy, this doesn't set up to be a favorable matchup for him against the Orioles' powerful offense.