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.
Bryce Harper To Hit a Home Run (+285)
In the best hitter's park on the slate, we turn to one of the best home run hitters in the league -- Bryce Harper.
That hitter's park would be Coors Field, where the Philadelphia Phillies come in with a slate-high 6.04 implied total. It won't be a surprise to see the Phillies reach or exceed that total and get there by hitting a few home runs. They are up against Chad Kuhl, who allowed a 5.21 xFIP, 38.2% fly-ball rate, 35.9% hard-contact rate, and 1/96 HR/9 to left-handed hitters last season. This puts him in a tough spot given the power potential in the Phillies' lineup, so we look directly to Harper.
Last season, Harper had a 193 wRC+, .378 ISO, 48.5% hard-contact rate, 38.9% fly-ball rate, and 31.0% HR/FB ratio versus right-handed pitchers. He's among the elite hitters in this split and should be a top option on the slate for home run props. Also, consider his teammate, Kyle Schwarber (+285), who also has great power upside in this split.
Sean Manaea Over 6.5 Strikeouts (+120)
Sean Manaea is off to a good start this season, and his strikeout prop is worth considering tonight.
Manaea has 13 strikeouts in 13 innings pitched so far this season, which is good for a 28.9% strikeout rate. Obviously, this is a very small sample, and the strikeout rate is a bit higher than his 25.7% strikeout rate from last season. Hopefully, this is an encouraging sign of things to come this season, and he can keep it up with his matchup versus the Cincinnati Reds.
The Reds' current active roster held a 22.9% strikeout rate versus left-handed pitchers, which was the 13th-highest. So far this season, they have a 28.7% strikeout rate, which is the seventh-highest.
With the plus money sitting on the over 6.5 strikeouts, I'm leaning with Manaea -- who could be trending up with his strikeout rate -- against a team that appears to be trending down with their strikeout rate versus left-handed pitchers.
Kyle Tucker 2+ Total Bases (+100)
Lorenzen hasn't pitched a ton of innings in any one season since he's been in the MLB, so we'll look to his career numbers. Versus left-handed hitters in his career, he has allowed a 4.57 xFIP, 1.10 HR/9, 18.9% strikeout rate, and 11.5% walk rate. None of those are numbers you should be worried about, and, in fact, we should be actively looking to attack him.
Tucker is off to a bit of a slow start this season but had elite numbers last year versus right-handed pitchers. He carried a 149 wRC+, .385 wOBA, .246 ISO, 43.8% fly-ball rate, and 37.2% hard-contact rate against righties. At even money, Tucker for 2+ total bases is a spot he should be able to hit in a favorable matchup.