Today’s MLB Prop Picks and Best Bets: Keep Banking on Betts

Mookie Betts is atop the NL MVP odds board and is delivering the goods in almost every way to start the season. With a favorable matchup against the Diamondbacks, we expect him to keep producing.

Andrew Caley - Senior Betting Analyst at
Andrew Caley • Senior Betting Analyst
May 20, 2024 • 16:50 ET • 4 min read
Mookie Betts Los Angeles Dodgers MLB
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A new week of MLB action kicks off with 12 games on the baseball betting board. That means there's no shortage of options to bet on in the player prop market.

Among my favorite bets today is my ride-or-die Kyle Tucker, who will look to keep raking when the Astros host the Angels. Elsewhere, one of my favorite players in baseball, Mookie Betts, continues to defy the MLB odds. Here are my MLB picks for Monday, May 20.

MLB props for May 20

Picks made on 5-20 at 4:30 p.m. ET.
Read full analysis of each pick.

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Best MLB bets today

Prop bet #1: Taj Bradley Under 4.5 hits allowed

The Tampa Bay Rays are happy to have Taj Bradley back in their rotation. Between Bradley’s talent and the injuries this staff is dealing with, his return from a pectoral strain couldn’t come at a more opportune time. It also makes his hits allowed prop something we should target.

Today, Bradley will make just his third start of the season and his second in a row against the Boston Red Sox.

The first two have gone pretty well. The 23-year-old right-hander opened his season by limiting a Yankees team that had been mashing the ball to one run on four hits while striking out seven over six innings. He followed that up by allowing two runs on four hits with six Ks in five innings against this same Red Sox team at Fenway Park last Wednesday. 

Bradley employs a four-seamer that averages 96.2 miles per hour plus a cutter, split-finger, and a curveball. While his fastball can be hit hard if he grooves one in there, Bradley’s combination of velocity and pitches mixes makes him very hard to barrel up, and in turn, get hits.

He also pitches for the Rays and is coming off an injury. That means a few things. First, the Rays are happy to yank a starter earlier depending on their game plan. Two, they won’t push him too hard; he's averaged 88 pitches per start in his first two starts.

That feels like a great combination for betting the Under on Bradely’s hits allowed prop. Current Red Sox have just a .201 expected batting average vs. Bradley and the +125 price tag makes this a great bet today.

Taj Bradley prop: Under 4.5 hits allowed (+125 at bet365)

Prop bet #2: Kyle Tucker Over 1.5 total basess

It feels like Kyle Tucker is becoming my ride-or-die when it comes to hitter player props this season. The Houston Astros All-Star has been the best hitter in baseball not named Shohei Ohtani for more than a month now.

He's straight-up raking: the 27-year-old is hitting .312 with a 1.217 OPS over his last 32 games. That includes 13 home runs and 26 RBI.

Now, you might think Tucker is at a disadvantage when it comes to the splits tonight, as he’ll dig in against Los Angeles Angels starter Reid Detmers, but don’t worry, he crushes lefties too. 

It’s unfair that Tucker's hitting nearly as well against left-handed pitchers as he does right-handers but that’s what makes him one of the best players in baseball. Tucker has a .283 batting average and a 1.020 OPS when facing southpaws this season.

Meanwhile, Detmers got off to a hot start this season, but his last five starts have been rough. The lefty has surrendered at least four earned runs in each of those starts pitching to an 8.46 ERA while giving up a .941 OPS. Tucker is also 5-16 with a .302 expected batting average in his career against him. 

The Astros slugger has topped 1.5 total bases in 10 of his last 13 games and our Covers Prop Projections have him sitting at 2.1 total bases for this matchup. At this price, the Over is giving us value once again.

Kyle Tucker prop: Over 1.5 total bases (+115 at DraftKings)

Prop bet #3: Mookie Betts Over 1.5 total bases

Mookie Betts just continues to be one of the best players in baseball and I’m not sure we appreciate his greatness enough. Who can be an outfielder for years at the major league level, then switch to shortstop — maybe the toughest position in baseball — just because his team needs him to?

All while being an elite hitter. That’s Mookie Betts. 

He's having another fantastic season at the dish. He’ll enter tonight’s matchup with the Arizona Diamondbacks with a .341 batting average, a .955 OPS with seven home runs, and 37 RBI. 

Tonight, reliever Joe Manitply will work as an opener for the D-backs, but he probably won’t be happy to see Betts lead off the game. Betts is 2-5 with a double in his career vs. Mantiply. Then, it sounds like rookie Slade Cecconi could get the bulk of the innings.

Cecconi has been tagged in two of his last three starts. He gave up six runs on five hits in 4 1/3 innings against the Padres on May 3. Then, the Reds got to him for six runs on seven hits over 5 2/3 innings in his last appearance on May 14. 

Betts has topped 1.5 total bases in five of his last seven games and I like him to keep that trend going tonight.

Mookie Betts prop: Over 1.5 total bases (+105 at bet365)

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