3 MLB Prop Bets to Target on Wednesday 7/21/21
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.
Yordan Alvarez To Hit a Home Run (+220)
This could be the most confident I've been about a player hitting a home run.
Sometimes the stars align to give us a very clear target for a home run prop and that is Yordan Alvarez tonight. He comes in with big-time power numbers that make him a home run threat on any night but that should be accentuated tonight versus Eli Morgan. This season, Morgan is allowing 2.70 HR/9, a 4.58 xFIP, a 58.1% fly-ball rate, and a 41.9% hard-contact rate versus left-handed hitters.
Alvarez comes in with a big .268 ISO versus right-handed pitchers, along with a 40.6% fly-ball rate, a 35.9% hard-contact rate, and a 25.0% HR/FB ratio this season. He is the traditional left-handed power hitter who has significant home run upside when he faces a below-average righty. That is what we have tonight and he is primed for a home run.
Akil Baddoo To Hit a Home Run (+500)
Jordan Lyles is due for some negative regression on the mound and that means home runs.
Let me lay things out very simply -- Lyles is over-achieving versus left-handed hitters this season and the home runs should start flying. Right now, Lyles is allowing a horrible 47.6% fly-ball rate versus lefty hitters, but, he has a 6.7% HR/FB ratio. A pitcher simply cannot give up that many fly balls and have that few of them turn into home runs. The league-average HR/FB ratio versus lefties this season is 13.2%. Jacob deGrom is at 11.1%. There is no way that Jordan Lyles is going to maintain a 6.7% HR/FB ratio.
Akil Baddoo comes in with a solid .251 ISO, 151 wRC+, 40.5% fly-ball rate, and a 35.7% hard-contact rate, showing he has clear power upside in this split. I'm trusting Baddoo and his power instead of an over-achieving Lyles.
Michael Pineda Under 4.5 Strikeouts (-118)
The under on Michael Pineda's strikeout prop is looking like easy money tonight.
First off, Pineda comes in with a very modest 21.5% strikeout rate this season, the lowest mark of his career since 2014. He has also posted four strikeouts or fewer in four straight starts, combined with not going past 5.1 innings pitched. Pineda will be up against the Chicago White Sox, who hold a 23.1% strikeout rate versus right-handed pitchers this season, which is the 10th-lowest in the league. The White Sox are showing that they are rather disciplined at the plate, which means it's going to be that much tougher for Pineda to rack up the punchouts.
On top of that, the White Sox come into this game with a healthy 5.13 implied run total, which is the second-highest on the slate. Long story short, the White Sox offense is going to post plenty of runs against Pineda and he will be pulled early, thus hitting the under on his strikeout prop.