Thursday brings a somewhat lighter day of baseball around the Majors, with just nine games on tap as some teams travel ahead of their weekend series. Still, there’s plenty of prop bet value to be found if you know where to look — and we’re here to help with three of our favorite plays of today’s slate. (All odds courtesy of DraftKings Sportsbook.)
MLB player prop bets: Thursday, September 21
Jose Berrios, over 6.5 strikeouts (+105)
If there’s one cardinal rule in this space, it’s this: Always smash the strikeout over when the New York Yankees are facing a right-handed pitcher. We backed Kevin Gausman in this same spot on Wednesday, and the Blue Jays ace came through with a whopping 10 Ks — running New York’s K rate against righties to a whopping 26.8% since September 1, second-highest in the Majors. (They also own a .639 OPS against righties over that span, second-lowest in the Majors.)
Now it’s Berrios’ turn, and he’s been dialed in so far this month with a 1.80 ERA across his first three starts — all of which featured at least seven strikeouts. The first time he faced these Yankees this season, he fanned eight over 6.2 innings, and there’s no reason to think he can’t replicate that effort on Thursday. At plus odds, I’m more than willing to take the chance.
Max Fried, under 1.5 earned runs (+125)
Fried has allowed one or fewer runs in two of his last three starts, looking every bit the part of an ace as Atlanta turns its attention to the postseason. The lefty also has a dream matchup tonight, as the Washington Nationals have been dreadful against southpaws of late. The Nats are slashing a scarcely-believable .190/.238/.261 off of left-handed pitching so far this month, good for a 36 wRC+ that’s far and away the worst mark in the league over that span. That obviously doesn’t bode well against a pitcher of Fried’s caliber, and it’s hard to see them pushing multiple runs across — especially considering that the Braves may exercise some caution regarding how far they push Fried in this start. Fried was pulled after five innings last time out with a hot spot on his pitching hand, and with Atlanta fully focused on getting its pitching in order for October, expect them to pull Fried at the first sign of any discomfort; the condition hasn’t affected the quality of his stuff, but it’s yet another point in favor of this under cashing.
Paul Goldschmidt and Jordan Walker, to record a hit (-120)
Brewers starter Wade Miley has struggled a bit so far this month, with a 4.60 ERA across three starts — and that trend doesn’t figure to change against a Cardinals lineup that has historically hit the lefty pretty well. Goldschmidt, in particular, is slashing an eye-popping .471/.550/.882 against him, with eight hits, two homers and three walks in 20 plate appearances. Walker, meanwhile, is hitting .302/.357/.524 so far in September, with a hit in 14 of the 17 games he’s played in this month. Both enjoy the platoon advantage tonight, and they’re excellent bets to reach base at least once in this spot.