Zack Wheeler has been a stud this season for the Phillies.
Zack Wheeler has been a stud this season for the

Friday MLB Strikeout Props: Krothers picks Zack Wheeler, Dallas Keuchel, Shohei Ohtani

Nationals @ Phillies, 7:05 pm ET, Tigers @ White Sox, 8:10 pm ET, Mariners @ Angels, 9:38 pm ET.

After weeks of me and others yelling about it, Sports Illustrated has gotten into the #baseballgate story with a piece titled ‘This Should Be Biggest Scandal in Sports’ – and it is. There is no new news in the piece, but it contains many quotes from many players, coaches, and execs who validate the premise – most pitchers in MLB are doctoring balls, MLB isn’t doing a thing about it, and it’s responsible for the decline in hitting this year. I’m happy to note they also included information about the new lighter ball that also causes the ball to spin faster and makes it harder to hit.

We know dis…

Now that this has hit the mainstream sports media pubs, MLB has to respond… right?

On to the K watch…

Nationals @ Phillies, 7:05 pm ET

The Phillies’ Zack Wheeler has been on fire lately. In his last 3 starts he struck out 10 in 7 innings, then 12 in 7.1 innings, and last time out he struck out 14 in 7 innings. I know every pitcher’s strikeouts are up – but he’s looking like a superstar. So why does FanDuel have the over/under K line set at 6.5? It’s likely because the last time he faced the Nats he only struck out 7 over 6 – but that was in Washington. Back at home I’m happy to take the over 6.5 at -110 from FanDuel.

Tigers @ White Sox, 8:10 pm ET

Dallas Keuchel is only 33 years old, but he has many innings under his belt and can’t throw as hard as he did back when he was with the Astros. As a result, his strikeout rate has suffered. How far down? In his last 5 starts he’s only broken 4 strikeouts once. That said, he’s a lefty, and lefty’s get 9 lives in baseball – so I expect him to be pitching for a while more. BetMGM has the over/under set at 4.5 and I’ll take the under at -125.

Mariners @ Angels, 9:38 pm ET

It’s Shohei Ohtani time and every time he pitches for the Angels I try to pick his strikeouts. He was averaging ~7 K a game before his 10 strikeout game against Houston, but has dropped down to 5K/game his last two outings. Is the double-duty getting to him? Maybe he’s putting more into his hitting than pitching? It’s hard to be upset at a guy who’s 5th in MLB in HR, 8th in RBI… you get the picture. That said, given his recent decline in pitching stats I don’t think he’s hitting the over 6.5 line I’m seeing at Barstool Sportsbook – I’ll take the under at +112.

Come back again Sunday — same bat-channel — Batman out!

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