The 2019 MLB season is quickly nearing and that means it is season long player prop time! For the 2018 season, I logged winners on 44 out of 67 (66%) season long player prop bets on their over/under marks in statistical categories. Those bets are undocumented outside of my own records, but those who know me well know I am an honest gentleman, and they also know I have a bit of a knack on this baseball thing.
Laying down some of that hard-earned cheddar to have to wait over six months to see any potential return on these season long props can be quite a drawn out process, but hey, baseball is a drawn out sport that is not for the impatient or for the thrill seeking adrenaline junkies. So if you are one that can truly appreciate the thought, deliberation, skill, and strategy that goes into this game that most grown men can only dream of playing for a living, then you should have no problem waiting the six plus months to see your bankroll additions! But if you are one that thinks baseball is “boring,” a.) I don’t necessarily blame you and b.) then you can still read the analysis below, bet it and forget it, don’t watch a single at-bat all season, then login to your account on September 30 for a pleasant monetary surprise.
These picks are based off my personal hand-crafted statistical player projections.
***Unless noted otherwise, all lines are from MyBookie.
Trevor Bauer: Over 219.5 strikeouts (-115) – As if Bauer’s 30.8% K% last year wasn’t enough, Bauer spent the off-season working on a changeup to bolster is strikeout potential even more and he has been throwing it plenty in Spring Training to get a good feel for it against live batters. Bauer hit this mark with 221 strikeouts in only 175.1 innings pitched last year due to an injury suffered on a comebacker. Having a clean bill of history to his upper arm and upper body, paired with solid mechanics, the only real threat to Bauer not to hit this is another freak injury. The Backwards K projection: 255 strikeouts
Luis Severino: Under 215.5 strikeouts (-155) – I submitted this wager before it was official that Severino would be missing any time to start the season. He is dealing with a shoulder injury this spring and so now he is slated to miss the first month or so of the season, which would make this mark extremely difficult for him to hit in just 27 or so starts, if he’s even able to toe the rubber every time it his turn after he returns from injury. Whether this wager will stick or get canceled out, I am not sure. But it doesn’t hurt to take the under and find out. The Backwards K projection: 163 strikeouts
Patrick Corbin: Under 215.5 strikeouts (-135) – As mentioned in the post Betting: 2019 MLB Season Player Props – ERA, I am a bit skeptical on Corbin’s ability to repeat anything from last season, much in part to his heavy reliance on being mostly a two pitch pitcher. Another factor into this though is that Corbin missed all of 2014 and part of 2015 due to Tommy John surgery. Since his return from the procedure, he has piled up 647.1 innings. Combine that with the fact that he used his slider (a strenuous pitch on the elbow) more than 40% of the time last year, and he may not be pitching a full season this time around. The Backwards K projection: 187 strikeouts
James Paxton: Under 204.5 strikeouts (-115) – There’s certainly no question that Paxton has some elite strikeout upside after he posted a fantastic 32.3% K% last year, but what Paxton has failed to display in his career is the ability to stay healthy for a full season’s load. It’s not that he needs 32 starts to hit this mark, but he probably needs at least 28 starts and the probability of that doesn’t seem great. Factor in some possible regression and the fact that he is now a Yankee and his new team has a super deep bullpen to potentially make his starts shorter. All in all, it seems like he needs a best case scenario to get this mark. The Backwards K projection: 183 strikeouts
German Marquez: Over 199.5 strikeouts (-135) – In the post Betting: 2019 MLB Season Player Props – Wins, I discussed that the fueling of Marquez’ second half jaw-dropping performance was his increased slider usage to pair with his already whiff-o-riffic curveball. With a solid history of health and having unlocked the upside that we saw in the second half of last season, accumulating another 200 strikeout season seems well within reach here. The Backwards K projection: 221 strikeouts
Mike Foltynewicz: Under 192.5 strikeouts (-115) – We can basically just refer to Luis Severino’s blurb above for this. The Backwards K projection: 169 strikeouts
Jack Flaherty: Over 190.5 strikeouts (-115) – Flaherty has one of the more impressive sliders in the game that helped him to reach a 29.6% K% last year as a rookie. Flaherty’s walk rate of 9.6% leaves some big room for improvement though, and I think that we will see some strides in that area since walks were never really an issue for him coming up through the Minors. Not that Flaherty would necessarily need it to hit this mark, but an improvement in walk rate will help him stay in games longer for him to pile up on some extra strikeouts, and just improve his overall effectiveness in general. The Backwards K projection: 217 strikeouts
LEANS – none