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.
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.
Freddie Freeman To Hit a Home Run (+480)
The Los Angeles Dodgers have an elite matchup tonight for their home run props.
Given their matchup versus Nick Martinez, it seems like a matter of how many home runs will the Dodgers hit -- not if.
What it comes down to is pretty simple, Martinez isn't a good pitcher. Over the course of his career, he has a 5.59 xFIP, allowing 1.38 HR/9, a 10.6% walk rate, and a 42.9% fly-ball rate versus left-handed hitters. Those are some rough numbers for a pitcher, but that's exactly the type we want to attack with a home run prop.
We turn to Freddie Freeman, who had a 148 wRC+, a .398 wOBA, a .217 ISO, a 39.0% hard-contact rate, and a 21.4% HR/FB ratio versus right-handed pitchers last season. He's one of the elite hitters in the league -- and has been for many years. His prop sits at +480, and in this matchup, I'm excited about his potential.
Pete Alonso To Hit a Home Run (+275)
He is one of the best power hitters in the game and showed that last season versus right-handed pitchers with a 131 wRC+, a .227 ISO, a 39.4% fly-ball rate, and a 39.7% hard-contact rate. Those numbers put him in play basically every night -- but especially this one versus Gallen.
Last season, Gallen allowed 2.11 HR/9 to right-handed hitters, along with a 45.3% fly-ball rate, and a 44.3% hard-contact rate. That's about as bad as you can find for a pitcher from last season, and it puts Alonso near the top of the list tonight for potential home run candidates.
Freddy Peralta Under 6.5 Strikeouts (-118)
Freddy Peralta's strikeout prop is sitting at 6.5 tonight, and I'm looking to the under.
Peralta has pitched a total of 7.0 innings this season over two starts and has 10 strikeouts. This is the potential that he has shown throughout his career, boasting a 32.0% strikeout rate since he entered the MLB in 2018.
It's no doubt high and he flashes big strikeout potential a lot of the time. What's also true is that he has a 10.4% career walk rate, which can get him into some trouble. This isn't breaking news, but letting hitters on base for free is bad, and it causes a hurler's pitch count to increase to a point they're pulled from the game.
Peralta's opponent, the Philadelphia Phillies, don't strike out a ton. This season, they have a 21.0% strikeout rate versus right-handed pitchers, which is the ninth-lowest in the league. For a larger sample, their active roster from last season had a 22.5% strikeout rate versus righties, which was the 14th-lowest in MLB.
It simply doesn't line up to be a strong matchup for him, and early-season pitch counts are always narrower.