Thursday MLB Strikeout Prop Bets: Krothers picks Vincent Velasquez, Drew Smyly, Steven Matz
Marlins @ Phillies, 7:05 pm ET, Pirates @ Braves, 7:20 pm ET, Red Sox @ Blue Jays, 7:37 pm ET.
Yesterday I said, “Another day, another no hitter” and I can say it again. Corey Kluber was magnificent, and I couldn’t be happier for him – coming back from injuries to pitch like that was great to watch.
NBC Sports Philadelphia had a good piece today (that you can read here) but the TL;DR is “hits down, strikeouts up, velocity up.” As a response, MLB is testing moving the mound back by a foot in the International League, pointing out that pitchers today are throwing harder and are taller – giving them an unfair advantage over the hitters. Personally, I think it’s a combination of things but that movement – possibly due to illegal substances, possibly the new ball – is largely responsible for the disadvantage hitters are facing today.
And so, I say again – FIX THE BALL.
Now back to K Picks:
Marlins @ Phillies, 7:05 pm ET
The Phillies have Vincent Velasquez on the mound tonight and it looks like he’s getting hot at the right time. His last time out was his best – throwing 5.2 innings against the Blue Jays and striking out 7. He’s been slowly climbing each time out – his K rate over his last 5 starts looks like this: 4, 5, 6, 6, 7. Does he continue tonight? The Marlins aren’t as good hitters as Toronto, and this start is at home – so I’ll predict 7/8 K’s. Looking at the books, the over/under is set at 6.5 – so I’ll take the over from the folks at BetRivers.
Pirates @ Braves, 7:20 pm ET
The Braves’ Drew Smyly used to be a very consistent 1K/inning type of pitcher until this year. Setting aside his first start of the year, which was an anomaly, he’s struck out 3, 4, 3, 4, and 4 over his last 5 starts. So why is the over/under line set at 5.5? No idea – so let’s take advantage of that and take the under 5.5 at +112 from DraftKings.
Red Sox @ Blue Jays, 7:37 pm ET
Steven Matz takes the mound for the Blue Jays tonight and he’s been very difficult to predict. Does that scare me off? No way! It means there is confusion to take advantage of! In keeping with today’s theme – here are the Ks from his last 5 games: 7, 2, 6, 4, 9. Holy unpredictability! Clearly it has confused the algos, who have set the book lines at over/under 4.5 in some places, and 5.5 in others. If you’re looking for symmetry in your math, you’d think he should have another down start, but I know MLB doesn’t work that way – it has more to do with the opponents and Boston strikes out more than most. To play it a little safe I’ll take the over 4.5 from the Barstool Sportsbook at -167.
Come back again — same bat-channel — Batman out!