The player prop is fast becoming one of the go-to bets for all sports bettors. In terms of MLB betting that often means we can look at how many strikeouts a pitcher might get or how many hits or total bases a hitter would get.
It’s a simple and fun way to bet on a game and have one outcome to root for. But, like all betting, it’s not without its risk. In this article, we’ll take you through some of our favorite player prop bets for the day in MLB action.
MLB Player Prop Bets: May 17th
Logan Gilbert Over (4.5 Strikeouts)
Gilbert averages 9.95 strikeouts per nine innings, so I’m a little surprised this strikeout prop is coming in as low as it is. I know that Toronto is a strong offense, but they’re actually outside of the top-20 in runs scored per game, so they may not chase Gilbert before he’s able to throw five or six innings. Especially considering he’s sporting a 2.13 ERA with a 3.33 xFIP.
If we can assume Gilbert is able to throw five innings tonight, he’s going to face a Blue Jays offense that’s striking out the 16th-most in baseball with the 23rd ranked swinging-strike rate. Given the swing-and-miss that exists in their lineup, I think there’s a good chance Gilbert can get at least one strikeout per inning (which would be just below his current rate), and since I think he can go five or six tonight, this seems like a good prop to take.
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Shane McClanahan Over (7.5 Strikeouts)
Choosing a guy with a 38.2% strikeout rate and 31.6% K-BB% doesn’t exactly seem like a bold strategy. However, the total is set at a point where we’re actually getting decent odds on this. McClanahan has topped this total in four of his seven starts this year, and two of the times he missed, he finished with seven strikeouts. Given his opponent, I think we can get him over the mark.
The Tigers are 18th in baseball in strikeout rate on the season and are fourth-worst in the big leagues in O-Swing%, which measures the rate at which players swing at pitches outside of the strike zone. If you’re going to chase outside of the strike zone against McClanahan, you are not going to have success. I think the lefty is turning into an ace and will continue that trajectory tonight.
Alex Cobb Over (4.5 Strikeouts)
Colorado is 7th in baseball in strikeout rate, so this bet is less about attacking them and more about Cobb himself. Cobb has a 31.5% strikeout rate, which is 12.39 K/9. That’s pretty damn good. He also struck out six Rockies in 5.1 innings last week, so asking him to strike out five shouldn’t be too tough.
I think some of this may be influenced by the game being played in Coors, but that shouldn’t impact Cobb too much. Cobb primarily relies on his splitter, which, because of the velocity it’s thrown with, isn’t as impacted by the altitude in Colorado as slower breaking pitches are. As a result, I think the line has been over-adjusted and gives us a buying opportunity.
Jean Segura Over (0.5 Total Bases)
Let’s turn to some offensive props. Right now, Jean Segura is absolutely crushing the ball. Over the last two weeks, he’s hitting .450/.511/.775 with four home runs, 12 runs, and nine RBI. He’s been hitting 5th or 6th in the lineup for a Phillies team that has been swinging the bats incredibly well.
He’ll also be facing Mike Clevinger, who has been hit or miss in his two starts back from injury. Clevinger has given up 10 hits and five earned runs in his nine innings, and since this prop is set so low, all we need is one single to hit the prop. Considering the Padres also have a bottom-third bullpen so far this season, I like our chances.
Aaron Judge over 1.5 total bases
Let’s end with a repeat offensive prop. Last week we hit on this same exact prop, so we’re going to it again for two reasons. For starters, Judge is off to a tremendous start, hitting .296 with an absurd 12 home runs, 28 runs, and 27 RBI. Honestly, it’s just an unreal beginning to a season. Given how many extra-base hits he gets, he really only needs one at-bat to get this prop. I like that more than taking a gamble on a slap-hitter.
The other factor I like is that Spenser Watkins is a pitcher I want to target. Watkins doesn’t miss bats with just a 4.50 K/9 rate, but he also boasts a 5.19 ERA, which is supported by a 5.24 xFIP and 5.38 SIERA. Watkins has also allowed an 11% barrel rate and 43% hard hit rate, so it wouldn’t surprise me if Judge got a few big hits.