3 MLB Prop Bets to Target on Tuesday 5/4/21
Player props can be useful in a variety of ways -- from taking advantage of them straight up (to the tune of cold hard cash) to measuring a player's potential to produce in daily fantasy baseball on FanDuel. Here, we're going to focus on the former.
Please note that betting lines and our game projections may change throughout the day after this article is published. Also, the weather may be an issue in some locations.
(Editor's note: Jacob deGrom has been scratched with side tightness. Be sure to remove him from your lineups.)
Jacob deGrom Under 10.5 Strikeouts (-120)
deGrom never gets much run support, and he did have a rough second inning his last time out versus the Boston Red Sox. The thought process is that the Cardinals will try to work his pitch count, much as they have in the past.
The gamble with the New York Mets' ace is he had an NL-leading 13.8 K/9 rate last year. This year, it is a whopping 15.3.
He takes on the Cardinals on the road, and even though their strikeout rate is just 23.5% (league average is 24.5%), deGrom will likely get close again, so this could be quite a sweat.
That said, our projections are bearish on deGrom with just 8.07 strikeouts in around 6 2/3 innings of work. Again, the -120 is not that bad of a number for this prop, but watch if it bows out to -125 or greater -- then pass.
Aaron Judge to Hit a Home Run (+230)
The New York Yankees entertain the Houston Astros at home this evening from Yankee Stadium, and Aaron Judge is absolutely smashing the ball in the early going with one home run every 12.71 at-bats. That is seven home runs on 89 at-bats. His plate discipline is a bit better, as he has only struck out once every four plate appearances. It's small progress, but progress nonetheless.
Furthermore, Judge is on pace for around 100 walks, which seems to indicate again that he is being a little more selective. He is seeing better pitches to hit so far, as Giancarlo Stanton has stayed healthy. His exit velocity has jumped to 97.3 mph and the hard-hit rate has eclipsed 60% again. It is as if 2020 was a decade ago.
Tonight's projection for Judge is only 0.27 homers, but Zack Greinke is not getting any younger at age 37. He has lost a few miles per hour on his fastball, and his off-speed pitches did not quite have the usual bite they did before.
Aaron Nola Over 8.5 Strikeouts (+110)
He may be off to a bit of a slow start (by his standards), as his K/9 rate is under 10 in the early going, but the pitcher can still punch out some Brewers batters. This Milwaukee offense swings and misses a good deal and leads the National League with a 27.5% strikeout rate this season.
Nola has averaged just over six innings per start but does feel more comfortable at home. His last home start was against St. Louis on April 18th, where he tossed a complete-game, two-hit shutout while fanning 10.
Nola should be able to get to 90-plus pitches tonight without too much of a problem. If he goes seven to eight innings, the over should be attainable.