Feels sort of insane that there’s only two weeks left in the MLB regular season, yet that’s where we are. Future bets we all made months ago are starting to cash (I hope everyone tailed me on the Diamondbacks and Twins) and the playoff picture is becoming more and more clear with each passing day (I also hope you’re not a Blue Jays fan).
But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. There’s a 15-game slate tonight that needs to be bet. Let’s dive in.
I honestly might be doing this out of stubbornness more than anything else. I pinned much of my season-long fantasy baseball hopes to Javier and the RHP has responded by absolutely cratering in 2023. A year after posting a 2.43 xERA and a 33.2% strikeout rate — not to mention pitching beautifully in the World Series — Javier has seen that expected ERA jump to 4.68 and his strikeout rate fall to just 21.9%.
Still, despite all that, Javier is averaging exactly one strikeout per inning thrown since the All-Star break and the Royals aren’t quite the 1927 Yankees. In fact, at 24.5%, Kansas City owns the league’s eighth-highest strikeout rate since the beginning of September. The Royals possess a top ten mark in swinging strike rate within that same span (11.7%). Javier’s struck out five opponents in 15 of his 27 starts this season. It hasn’t always been pretty, but in the context of this specific prop, he usually gets the job done.
With the Red Sox basically on the outside looking in when it comes to the playoffs, the team has quietly shifted its focus to the future in September. Ceddanne Rafaela and Wilyer Abreu have appeared in almost every game in the month, and while the duo of prospects has been quite successful overall, the strikeout rates have been high. In particular, Rafaela has gone down on strikes in a whopping 37.1% of his 35 plate appearances since September 1. Add in some more veteran swing and miss hitters in the form of Adam Duvall, Trevor Story and Triston Casas, and suddenly you have a lineup that leads baseball in strikeout rate across the past two weeks (27.3%).
Now, Berrios isn’t what you would classically define as a strikeout artist, but the RHP is an innings eater. In fact, with a good outing this evening, Berrios has a chance to move into the top ten in innings pitched so far in 2023. What does that mean for this prop? It’s certainly more than coincidence that Berrios has pitched into the sixth in 11 of his last 13 outings, a stretch where he’s hit this over nine times. Heck, in September alone, Berrios is in possession of a 28.6% strikeout rate. If he’s able to go six strong tonight, I have a hard time seeing him not racking up at least six strikeouts.
The Crown Is Yours: Sign up for DraftKings and experience the ultimate host for games and betting experiences!
All odds provided by DraftKings Sportsbook and all odds subject to change.
I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is theglt13) and I may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.