Today’s MLB Prop Picks and Best Bets: Clevinger Gets Picked Apart by Orioles

Mike Clevinger has not looked sharp since returning to the White Sox rotation and is tasked with solving the vaunted Orioles lineup tonight. As a result, we're fading his strikeouts among our favorite MLB player props today.

Andrew Caley - Senior Betting Analyst at
Andrew Caley • Senior Betting Analyst
May 23, 2024 • 13:58 ET • 4 min read
Mike Clevinger Chicago White Sox MLB
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It’s a light day of action on the diamond with just eight games on the MLB odds board but that doesn’t mean there isn’t plenty of value to be found in the MLB player prop markets.

Today, I highlight a Colorado Rockies hitter who is white-hot and giving us great value with an RBI prop. It should also be a tough night at the office for Chicago White Sox starter Mike Clevinger against the Baltimore Orioles, but what’s the best way to fade him?

Here are my MLB picks for Thursday, May 23.

MLB props for May 23

Picks made on 5-23 at 1:30 p.m. ET.
Read full analysis of each pick.

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Best MLB bets today

Prop bet #1: Hooray for Harris

The Atlanta Braves and the Chicago Cubs play the rubber match of their three-game set at Wrigley Field and outfielder Michael Harris II is primed to have a big day.

Harris came flying out of the gates this season and was hitting better than .300 up until the end of April. However, the 23-year-old hit a bit of a slump, collecting just three hits over a 12-game stretch between April 26 and May 10. 

But the slump was short-lived and while Harris isn’t tearing the cover off the ball, he has hits in 10 of his last 12 games for a .279 average, which includes him going 3-for-9 with a home run and a double in this series against the Cubbies, and I like his matchup today against Cubs starter Ben Brown.

The Cubs rookie hasn’t been as good as his 3.57 ERA indicates. His expected ERA is sitting at 5.06 which ranks in the 17th percentile among MLB pitchers and his .273 opponent expected batting average ranks in the 20th percentile. 

Additionally, Harris has much better splits against right-handers, with a .268 average and a .736 OPS against them this season. 

Our Covers Prop Projections have Harris a 1.7 total bases for this matchup making the Over at this price a solid bet.

Michael Harris II prop: Over 1.5 total bases (+125 at bet365)

Prop bet #2: Rockie road

The Colorado Rockies taking on the Oakland A’s is a series only a bettor could love. Luckily, that’s exactly what we are as these two teams close out their three-game set with a rubber match.

While 20-31 may not seem like a great record when you consider how bad the A’s have been the last few years, this is a huge leap forward. Meanwhile, after a slow start to the season offensively, the Rockies bats are starting to turn things around.

That’s in large part thanks to Ryan McMahon. The third baseman is having a great season, hitting .306 with an .891 OPS, which includes nine home runs and 29 RBIs. He’s also on one hell of a hot streak.

The 29-year-old is in the middle of a 10-game hitting streak where he’s got a .372 batting average and a 1.098 OPS with four dingers and nine RBI.

Today, he’ll dig in against A’s starter Joey Estes. The 22-year-old prospect is making just his fifth career start and third this season. The first two this year have been a little up and down. He held the Seattle Mariners to one run on two hits over five innings but then got torched by the Houston Astros for eight runs on eight hits in just 3 2/3 innings. 

The right-hander has a 5.06 expected ERA and a.279 opponent expected batting average. Yet we are still getting a great price on McMahon to drive in a run, something he has done in five of his last seven games.

Ryan McMahon prop: Over 0.5 RBIs (+215 at bet365)

Prop bet #3: For the birds

Mike Clevinger takes the ball tonight for the Chicago White Sox as they open a four-game series against a very good Baltimore Orioles team. 

It won’t take a genius to figure out we’re fading Clevinger here by targeting the Under on his strikeout prop. 

There’s a lot to like about this bet. For starters, Clevinger hasn’t been very good since returning to the White Sox rotation three starts ago. The veteran right-hander is pitching to a 7.13 expected ERA while surrendering a massive .306 opponent expected batting average. 

That’s not a recipe for success against an Orioles team that is in the Top 10 in OPS and wRC+ and is second in home runs. That could mean a short outing for a guy who hasn’t topped 4 2/3 innings in a start this season.

On top of that, Clevinger currently has the lowest K-rate of his career, striking out just 18.2% of the batters he has faced. The Orioles also have the ninth-lowest K-rate when facing right-handed pitchers this season. 

A low strikeout rate with a potential shorter outing? I really like the Under 4.5 here at even money. It doesn’t hurt that our Covers Prop Projections have Clevinger at 4.3 strikeouts for this one either.

Mike Clevinger prop: Under 4.5 strikeouts (+100 at bet365)

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