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.
Byron Buxton To Hit a Home Run (+385)
Byron Buxton is a great hitter and in a strong matchup to cash in on his home run prop tonight.
The Minnesota Twins have a 3.89 implied run total tonight and are on the road to take on the Baltimore Orioles, who will have Bruce Zimmermann on the mound. Last season, Zimmerman allowed a 4.71 xFIP, 1.92 HR/9, a 37.8% fly-ball rate, and a 38.2% hard-contact rate versus right-handed hitters. Those are nearly perfect numbers for what I look at when finding pitchers who are very home-run prone.
Buxton had elite numbers last season versus left-handed pitchers, finishing with a 169 wRC+, a .300 ISO, a 41.2% fly-ball rate, a 44.3% hard-contact rate, and a 29.8% HR/FB ratio. This is nearly a perfect match for a home run prop tonight -- even with the dead balls this season.
Paul Blackburn Over 3.5 Strikeouts (-112)
Next up, we shine a light on Paul Blackburn's strikeout prop that is only 3.5 tonight.
With a 25.5% strikeout rate versus right-handed pitchers, the Tampa Bay Rays are the third-worst team in the league this season. Blackburn's strikeout prop is so low at 3.5 tonight that he could get this done in just a few quick innings. This season, he is posting a 24.7% strikeout rate, which is a noticeable increase from last season (14.9%). He has shown that off in the early portion of the year, posting four-plus strikeouts in three of his four starts.
This is an encouraging sign for a pitcher that wasn't known for his strikeouts. His props aren't really adjusted for this new increase in his strikeout rate, so I also have interest in his alternate strikeout line of 5-plus punchouts (+230).
Juan Soto To Record an RBI (+105)
This is one of my favorite props of the day, and it's as straightforward as you can imagine.
The Washington Nationals are at Coors Field to take on the Colorado Rockies, where we see a plus money prop with Juan Soto -- one of the best hitters in the league. To record an RBI is sitting at +105, and I'm all over it tonight with the Nationals sporting a 4.90 implied run total (second-highest on the slate).
It's the best hitter's park in the league, one of the best hitters in the league, and comes at plus money. What more do we want?
Soto finished last season with a 192 wRC+, a .447 wOBA, a .245 ISO, and a 25.0% HR/FB ratio versus right-handed pitchers. No surprise that all of those numbers are great; he's a great hitter after all.