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.
Josh Donaldson To Hit a Home Run (+370)
The New York Yankees have a strong 4.99 implied run total today and plenty of home run potential in this matchup.
They are going up against Bruce Zimmermann, who is off to a decent start this season. But it's a small 15.0-inning sample size, and his numbers are drastically different compared to what he showed last season. Essentially, I don't think he's as good as he's currently showing, and he's due for some regression.
Last season, Zimmerman allowed a 4.71 xFIP, .350 wOBA, 1.92 HR/9, 37.8% fly-ball rate, and 38.2% hard-contact rate. Every single one of those numbers is better this season by a substantial margin, and that regression could start today -- especially with the wind blowing out at Yankee Stadium.
Josh Donaldson has tremendous power versus left-handed pitchers and showed that last season with a .314 ISO, 152 wRC+, 39.0% fly-ball rate, 43.0% hard-contact rate, and 33.3% HR/FB ratio. This is the ideal matchup for Donaldson to knock one over the wall.
Justin Verlander Over 6.5 Strikeouts (+110)
Justin Verlander is always a solid spot to look for some strikeout props. Verlander's prop is at 6.5 today against the Texas Rangers, and I'm leaning on the over for one of the best pitchers in the league.
Verlander has returned and started off the year strong with a 29.0% strikeout rate through three starts this season, showing he is still capable of reaching an elite level after basically missing the last two seasons. He's posted seven strikeouts or more in two of his three starts this season, and with a matchup against the Rangers, he can do that again.
The Rangers aren't striking out a lot to start the year, with only a 19.41% rate versus right-handed pitchers. However, if we look at their active roster from last season, they had a 22.7% strikeout rate in this split, pointing in the direction that they are slightly overperforming right now.
The under on Verlander's prop is sitting at -140, and I'm not laying that juice on an under for one of the best pitchers in the league.
Tim Anderson To Record a Run (+105)
The Chicago White Sox have a 3.65 implied run total, which is modest, but this is still a spot to look for some player props. The lineup for the White Sox isn't at full strength with Luis Robert and Eloy Jimenez out, but it's still got some power at the top of the lineup.
Tim Anderson hits leadoff for Chicago and is one of the more consistent hitters in the league. Last year, he had a .342 wOBA, 118 wRC+, and 21.8% strikeout rate versus right-handed pitchers. He doesn't waste too many chances at the plate, he gets on-base, and he can also steal some bases. All of this puts him in a good spot to make his way back around to home plate.
Brad Keller is on the mound for the Kansas City Royals today, and he ended last season with a .359 wOBA versus lefties, a .357 wOBA versus righties, and a 10.4% walk rate overall. Keller isn't a strong pitcher, and letting hitters on for free should allow the White Sox to pile up some runs, putting Anderson in a good spot to cash in on this prop.