Welcome to MLB Player Props! Today, I’m focusing on three players because these are all excellent matchups. This prop isn’t ordinarily available in sports books, so I’ll be playing this on PrizePicks.
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Nick Castellanos Over 1.5 TB & 0.5 Runs and RBI
Castellanos has an excellent matchup against Madison Bumgarner, who has been anything but impressive lately. MadBum has given up at least seven hits and four runs in his last five starts.
Sure he has bad outings vs. the Cardinals and Braves, which may be excusable, but this run also includes lesser offenses like the Pirates, Giants, and Rockies (not in Coors). Could he be in for a bounce-back start? Maybe, but Castellanos should be able to find success in this matchup regardless.
Bumgarner can’t function without his four-seam fastball and cutter being a prominent part of his outings, and those two pitches have been getting killed. They are both surrendering averages above .300, hard hit percentages over 40%, and a combined run-value of 21. If there’s anything Castellanos can do, it’s hit fastballs.
Knowing that pitchers often attack him with offspeed. The problem here is that Bumgarner’s changeup and curve aren’t sharp. They don’t induce high chase rates, and he has had trouble making them competitive pitches lately, so he must go to his fastball-cutter combo even more. If he can’t execute any offspeed pitches, that spells trouble for Bumgarner against Castellanos and the rest of this Phillies lineup.
Jonathan India Over 6.5 fantasy
I don’t like giving out the bump, but I’m okay with India today. I played it at 5.5 and would still play it at this number. I think this Reds offense can be respectable today against Mikolas and the Cardinals, and it all goes with Jonathan India (most likely) at the top of that lineup.
He has been great for the Reds lately with an 11-game hitting streak, and he’ll see a pitcher in Mikolas that throws a lot of sliders. India loves sliders, as he has a .313 average and four run-value against the pitch. The slider has been the worst of Mikolas’ three primary pitches, with a zero run value compared to the -6 and -8 of his four-seam and sinker.
That bodes well for not only India but for Jake Fraley and Kyle Farmer, the other competent bats in this lineup that also hit the slider well. It helps, too, that Mikolas is a pitch-to-contact guy going into a very hitter-friendly ballpark in Cincinnati, so I expect enough of a pulse from India and this offense today to get to this number.
Bonus Pick: Dylan Bundy Over 5.5 hits allowed
This is my way of fading Dylan Bundy without trying to single out a Red Sox hitter. He does not match up well with this lineup at all. Off the bat, it is telling that this number is at 5.5, which Bundy has not gone over a single time at home this year.
Looking at how Bundy is successful when he does pitch well, it’s with his slider against righties and his changeup against lefties. The Red Sox have one righty that will surely be in for a good day. That’s Xander Bogaerts, who has been the slider killer with a ten-run value and a .301 average vs. the slider.
They also have guys like Tommy Pham and J.D. Martinez, who have struggled mightily against the pitch for most of the season but have started hitting it much harder and getting slightly better results. From the left side, some real damage could be done by Devers, Verdugo, and Reese McGuire, who all see the changeup very well.
Verdugo and McGuire have sneakily been hitting well for this offense, and while Devers hasn’t been the Devers we know lately, he still can get ahold of one at any time. I expect Bundy to get hit up today by some of these guys, and playing his over-hits prop is the best way to attack it.