3 MLB Prop Bets to Target on Thursday 6/17/21

Is there any value in Dylan Cease's strikeout prop tonight? Which plus money props should we target?

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 measure a player's potential to produce in daily fantasy baseball on FanDuel. Here, we're going to focus on the former.

Utilizing our projections as a guide and looking at the odds provided at FanDuel Sportsbook, here are some spots where you can find value today in the prop-betting market.

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.

Marcus Stroman Over 6.5 Strikeouts (+142)

Marcus Stroman's prop is a risky play on Thursday night against the Chicago Cubs, but the New York Mets have been on a bit of a roll lately and even won despite the Jacob deGrom injury on Wednesday.

The funny thing is that Chicago is striking out more and more lately. Their strikeout rate is up to 25.9%, and they have been a bit home-run dependent lately. The dinger rate is up to 3.7% while the league average is 3%. Chicago is hitting just .177 over the last week and striking out an average of 10.33 times per 9 innings. On the road, they are just hitting .222 and even their road strikeouts elevate by almost 0.5 strikeouts per contest.

Meanwhile, Stroman has 21 strikeouts over his last 19 innings and has gone 6 or more innings in each of his last three starts.

Our model projects Stroman for 5.51 strikeouts, but that is over just 5.75 innings. Chicago is showing more of a propensity to whiff. Take a shot on the over!

Dominic Smith to Hit a Home Run (+420)

It may not be a great idea to ride the wave, but Dominic Smith is starting to heat up at the right time for the Mets. He faces Kyle Hendricks, who has given up a league-leading 19 home runs on the young season. It may even be time to sneak in Pete Alonso at +260 under this prop.

Tonight is about making simple decisions. This is an easy one. Smith is one of the hottest power hitters for New York right now, and he and Alonso have formed a bond of sorts. Smith has four of his six home runs this month and his hard-hit rate has climbed 20% over the first two months. Smith is also on a three-game run hitting .444 with two home runs this week alone.

Smith could easily pull one over the fence tonight at Citi Field. This is at least worth a high and tight gamble.

Dylan Cease Over 5.5 Strikeouts (+120)

This is a number to only get juice on if it stays with these kinds of odds. Dylan Cease, even on the road against the Houston Astros, is still a pretty good matchup.

The Chicago White Sox starter averages a bit over five innings a start along with 11.5 strikeouts per 9. Basically, for every four innings, he makes five batters strike out. Cease just finds ways to impress. His hard-hit rate dipped all the way to 34.5% and his exit velocity is also a career-low 87.5 mph. It is scary to think the starter is not even 26 yet. He may get even better.

After a poor outing in Cleveland to begin the month, Cease bounced right back with two solid starts against the Detroit Tigers, allowing just 2 earned runs in 12 innings pitched with 17 strikeouts.

Cease could fan six or more batters on Thursday. The +120 seems a bit much, but this is a gift. Take the over on Cease.