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.
Francisco Lindor To Hit a Home Run (+400)
The New York Mets' star shortstop, Francisco Lindor, has a great matchup to hit his first home run of the season tonight. The Mets have a good matchup against Josiah Gray, and we could be in for some home runs tonight.
Gray made his MLB debut last year and pitched a total of 70.2 innings, so it's not the biggest sample size, but it's all we have to work with. Last year versus left-handed hitters, Gray had a 5.60 xFIP, 52.7% fly-ball rate, and 39.1% hard-contact rate, which led to him allowing 2.53 HR/9. Not a great first year for the pitcher, and with a veteran hitter such as Lindor on the other side, we want to jump on this matchup.
Lindor had four home runs in Spring Training this year, which is hopefully an encouraging sign that he is locked in at the start of the season.
Last year, he ended with a .190 ISO, 106 wRC+, 42.0% fly-ball rate, and 32.8% hard-contact rate versus right-handed pitchers. The hard-contact rate isn't ideal, but considering it was below his career average, I'm encouraged he will have a bit more pop this season.
Manny Machado To Hit a Home Run
Manny Machado To Hit a Home Run & Padres Win (+550)
They will be up against Merrill Kelly, who's about as average of a pitcher as you can possibly imagine. He doesn't do anything particularly amazing, and he doesn't do anything horribly bad.
Last season, he had a low 21.6% strikeout rate versus righties and allowed 1.58 HR/9 with a 35.7% fly-ball rate and 36.1% hard-contact rate. Kelly can't strike out hitters at a high clip and is susceptible to home runs via right-handed hitters.
This leads us to Manny Machado, who had a .221 ISO, 123 wRC+, 38.1% fly-ball rate, and 43.0% hard-contact rate versus right-handed pitchers last season. It's a match made in heaven for Machado and his home run prop tonight.
FOX Bet is offering a boost for Machado to homer and the Padres to win at +550, boosted from +450.