Welcome to MLB Player Props! We went 2-0 in our last article a few days ago, but we’re back to deliver another winner. These props aren’t normally available on sports books, so I’ll be playing these on PrizePicks.
Kyle Schwarber over 1.5 Total Bases
Kyle Schwarber has a fantastic matchup with Paolo Espino today. Schwarber is a great fastball hitter, as many of the better hitters in the league are. 19 of his 33 home runs are off fastballs and he will be facing one that is not very good in Espino’s today.
It is Espino’s lack of versatility from his pitch arsenal that will work in Schwarber’s favor today. Espino throws either a fastball or curveball 86% of the time to lefties. Simplifying the approach for a hitter like Schwarber, who has the tendency to strikeout like he does, will do wonders in this matchup. It is especially important because Espino’s fastball tops out around 90 miles-per-hour, so there is no threat of overpowering Schwarber.
These two already faced off on July 5th in a game where Schwarber had two home runs off Espino’s fastball. I will be expecting more of the same today. Schwarber’s total base prop line is 2.5 on some books and his home run prop is sitting under +200 most places, so I would not be shocked for this to be taken down by PrizePicks before game time. Since we are essentially counting on a home run with Schwarber, the fantasy score would be a suitable substitute if necessary.
Javier Báez Over 0.5 Runs and RBI
Báez and the rest of this Tigers lineup have thrived at home against left-handed pitching. Today, they will face off against Jeffrey Springs of the Rays, who is not the traditional lefty but will still give them some good looks today. Báez himself is hitting .333 against lefties in 87 at-bats this year and will be surrounded by a lineup including Eric Haase, Riley Greene, and others with favorable lefty splits.
Against the last six lefty starters the Tigers have faced, Báez also has a ball off the bat at an exit velocity of 95 mph or higher. For a game that I think we will see a good amount of runs in, those are the numbers I want to target. Springs throws the changeup at a 44% rate to righties, which plays well into Báez’s hands as he has hit that pitch particularly hard against some of those starters such as Sean Manaea, Yusei Kikuchi, and more. Báez’s bat and those of the rest of this Tigers lineup should put him in position to pick up a run or RBI today.