Rise and shine, MLB bettors. Wednesday’s slate of baseball action gets off to an earlier start than usual, with eight matinees ranging from 12:35 p.m. ET to 4:10 p.m. ET. That means much less time to sort through potential player props than usual, and with a full 15-game menu to choose from, you may have a hard time narrowing things down. Luckily, we’re here to help with three of our favorite plays of the day (all odds courtesy DraftKings Sportsbook).
MLB player prop bets: Wednesday, August 23
Clayton Kershaw, over 4.5 strikeouts (-110)
On first glance, Kershaw getting this low a strikeout total makes sense: The lefty has only thrown 67 and 71 pitches in his two starts since returning from the IL, he fell short of five Ks in both of those outings, and now he’ll be going up against a Cleveland Guardians lineup that’s struck out fewer times than any other team in baseball this year.
And yet, I’m still backing the over here. For starters, Cleveland’s K rate has surged since they sold at the trade deadline: The Guardians had the lowest strikeout rate in the Majors against left-handed pitching through the end of July, but they rank just 14th in the category since the start of August. With Josh Naylor hurt and Josh Bell and Amed Rosario gone, this is a drastically different lineup, and one that’s far more susceptible to southpaws. Kershaw should be built back up to at least 80 pitches or so, and that should be plenty long a leash to hit this number against a struggling team that has precious little experience facing him.
Sandy Alcantara, over 18.5 outs recorded (+100)
Alcantara has looked much more like his Cy Young self of late, with a 2.92 ERA over nine starts since July 1. He also remains one of MLB’s preeminent workhorses, pitching into the seventh inning — the bar he needs to clear to cash this over — 11 times in 20 outings since the start of May. The righty’s opponent on Wednesday afternoon, the San Diego Padres, have had a miserable time against right-handed pitching all year, but especially recently, with a team OPS over the last two weeks that ranks just 23rd in the league. Alcantara has been dynamite against righty batters this season, with a .237/.277/.356 slash line allowed, giving him a great chance to handle Fernando Tatis Jr., Manny Machado, Xander Bogaerts and Co. and work deep into this game.
Jose Altuve and Alex Bregman, to record a hit (+100)
Red Sox lefty Chris Sale has been a bit shaky since his return to the Boston rotation earlier this month, giving up three runs (two earned) on two hits and three walks with three strikeouts in just 4.1 innings of work against the Washington Nationals last time out. He’ll have his work cut out for him on Wednesday against a Houston Astros team that’s second in baseball in team OPS against lefties so far in August, and I’m banking on Altuve and Bregman in particular to have a big game tonight.
For starters, they both enter this game hot of late, with Altuve slashing a blistering .380/.449/.519 this month and Bregman posting a 1.076 OPS with five multi-hit games over his last 10. They also have plenty of experience facing Sale, and most of it has been positive: Altuve is hitting .294 with a .939 career OPS in 37 career plate appearances against the former Cy Young winner, with Bregman at .313/.476/.688 in 21 PAs. There isn’t much juice on either one of their hit props individually, but pairing them together is still more than worth the risk at even odds.