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When the Houston Astros host the Los Angeles Angels on Friday night, the pitching matchup could not be more exciting. Shohei Ohtani will start for the Angels, while Framber Valdez will take the hill for Houston. In this game, we will focus on Ohtani, who will go under the 7.5 strikeout mark in a game where he will face more resistance than usual from the batters on the opposing side.
So far this season, Ohtani has struck out 90 batters in his 11 starts so far this season, an average of just over eight per game. But context matters when betting on MLB props, and Ohtani’s numbers are bolstered by facing some less than stellar competition throughout the year. Double-digit strikeout games against the Royals and Marlins, for example, have inflated his strikeout numbers and make the under worth a play here.
Also making the under worth a play in this game is the always dangerous lineup of the Houston Astros. Houston scored four runs in the first five innings of their win against the Angels on Thursday night. Expect them to put pressure on Ohtani early in this game as well, driving up his pitch count and helping to keep Ohtani from reaching the eight-strikeout mark on Friday night in Houston.
Our next MLB prop bet for Friday comes in the form of backing Corbin Burnes to get the win in the game between the Milwaukee Brewers and Cincinnati Reds. Burnes is just 4-4 with a 3.68 ERA on the 2023 season thus far, but he has been pitching better of late. Against a Reds team that has made a surprising push in the NL Central, look for Burnes to help stabilize the Brew Crew to get them a significant win here.
Burnes is coming off of a start where he allowed just one run in seven innings of work against the San Francisco Giants. In that game, he struck out eight batters, and he will be a prime candidate to run up a high strikeout number again here. That is because the Reds have struck out more than all but five teams in baseball this year, and Burnes should have no problem ringing them up early and often.
Bettors should not worry much about Burnes and the Brewers being the road team for this game either. Cincinnati is a .500 team at home this year, entering Tuesday’s play at 14-14 on the season when they are the home team. Against one of the best pitchers in the game, the Reds will drop below .500 at home in this contest, with Burnes picking up the victory.
Our final MLB prop bet worth taking for Friday night comes in San Diego, where the Padres will host the Chicago Cubs. There is the potential for a huge pitching mismatch in this game, as Michael Wacha takes the mound for the Padres against Jameson Taillon of the Cubs. In this contest, we are taking the player performance double for Wacha, who will strike out at least five batters in a Padres victory.
The main reason we like this bet is more about Wacha’s opponent on the mound than Wacha himself. Jameson Taillon has been a disaster for the Cubs this season, posting an 0-3 record with an 8.04 ERA on the year. His struggles should continue in this game, putting Wacha in a position to deliver the Padres a victory by simply not being as bad as Taillon has been on a regular basis.
Wacha is also doing a nice job collecting strikeouts so far this year, as he has struck out 49 batters in 57.1 innings of work. He has struck out at least four batters in four consecutive starts, and should extend that streak to five starts in a row here, against a Cubs team with the 11th most strikeouts as a team in 2023.
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Jay Sanin is a sports bettor and writer from New York. He has been handicapping since the moment he was old enough to gamble legally, with his specialties being niche sports like the WNBA and XFL. He’s been told he has a voice for radio. He also has a face for radio.More info on Jay Sanin
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