MLB player prop bets: Thursday, April 27
Shane McClanahan, over 6.5 strikeouts (-145)
These aren’t great odds, but sometimes you just need to take advantage of a number. The Chicago White Sox offense has been in an abysmal funk recently, with three runs scored over their four games combined. They also have the eighth-highest strikeout rate in baseball against left-handed pitchers at 24.5%. McClanahan has among the nastiest stuff in the Majors, with a K rate of 32.5% that sits in the top 10 percent of the league, and I’m willing to bit he flirts with double-digit punchouts tonight.
JP Sears, over 4.5 strikeouts (+110)
Let’s balance out a safer strikeout prop with an admittedly somewhat riskier one. The Los Angeles Angels have hit left-handers pretty well this year, but so do the Texas Rangers, and Sears just punched out 11 in his start against them last week. The lefty’s slider has a whiff rate of 50 percent, which frankly sounds like a typo, and given the long leash a rebuilding Oakland Athletics team is giving to its starters I’m betting he goes deep enough to clear this number.
Ryan Mountcastle, over 0.5 home runs (+450)
Detroit Tigers starter Joey Wentz has shut down left-handed batters this year, but he’s had absolutely no answer for righties, allowing an eye popping .491 slugging percentage — including three homers in 60 plate appearances. Odds are pretty good that someone in a Baltimore Orioles uniform will take Wentz yard on Thursday, and Mountcastle has a good chance to be that someone.
Sure, the first baseman has posted a disappointing .710 OPS so far this season, but a look under the hood shows that Mountcastle has actually been crushing the ball:
That’s a lot of red, and it tells us that Mountcastle is due for some positive regression — he currently has a whopping 143-point gap between his expected slugging percentage and his actual slugging percentage. A lot of that comes down to his home park, as Camden Yards recently moved back its left-field fence and became death for right-handed sluggers. But this game will be in Detroit, and as long as Mountcastle keeps hitting the ball hard in the air, we’re betting that he’ll leave the yard before long.
DJ LeMahieu, over 1.5 total bases (+130)
LeMahieu isn’t known for his power, but he does have six doubles and two homers on the year. And more importantly, he gets a dream matchup on Thursday against the Rangers: LeMahieu has hit Texas starter Andrew Heaney to the tune of a 1.250 OPS over 12 plate appearances, including a home run. The New York Yankees infielder has been swinging a hot bat so far this season and should pick up at least a couple hits.