It’s a slightly lighter slate than usual for an MLB Sunday, with three West Coast series having already concluded yesterday in anticipation of Hurricane Hilary making landfall in California. Still, with 12 games on tap, there’ll be plenty of action — and plenty of choices for those looking for profitable player props. We’re here to help you sift through it all with three of our favorite plays of the day, with odds courtesy of DraftKings Sportsbook.
MLB player prop bets: Sunday, August 20
Max Scherzer, over 1.5 walks (-125)
Scherzer has been just about everything the Rangers could’ve hoped for when they acquired him at this month’s trade deadline, with a 3-0 record and 1.80 ERA across his first three starts in the Lone Star State. Still, for as good as he’s been pitching of late, he’s been clearing this walk total with regularity: This week’s start against the Angels was the first time the future Hall of Famer handed out fewer than two free passes in a start since June 24.
It’s worth noting that the Angels are literally the freest-swinging team in baseball, with a league-low 4.7% walk rate since August 1. But Scherzer’s opponent on Sunday, the Milwaukee Brewers, are far more patient, with a 9.5% walk rate that ranks ninth in the Majors over that same timespan. Milwaukee also hardly strikes out (bottom-five K rate against righties in August) and should grind out plenty of tough ABs today.
Hunter Brown, over 6.5 strikeouts (-115)
Brown gets the Seattle Mariners on Sunday afternoon, a team that’s been hot offensively of late — but is also uber-aggressive, with a 25.2% strikeout rate against right-handed pitching since the start of August. The Houston Astros righty has cleared this strikeout total nine times in his last 15 starts dating back to May 24, including eight Ks in just three innings of work the last time he faced Seattle just before the All-Star break. Brown has multiple plus breaking balls that match up very well with a free-swinging and righty-heavy Mariners lineup, and I think he’ll hit this mark again on Sunday.
Kyle Schwarber and Nick Castellanos, over 1.5 total bases (+250)
The Phillies have piled up 19 runs over the first two games of their series against the Nationals in D.C. this weekend, and that trend should continue today as Washington sends righty Trevor Williams to the hill. Williams has been awful of late, with a 7.17 ERA and 1.75 WHIP in his last eight starts since the start of July. He also has been lit up by both Schwarber (.800 SLG, six homers in 40 career at-bats) and Castellanos (.710 SLG, six extra-base hits in 31 career at-bats) in pretty extensive sample sizes. Schwarber has five homers and four multi-hit games over his last 11, while Castellanos has a .937 OPS this month. With this much juice, bank on both of them to have big nights on Sunday.