Today’s MLB Prop Picks and Best Bets: Conforto Drives D-Backs Mad

Michael Conforto has finally begun to live up to his promise with the Giants this season, and our MLB betting picks expect him to build on this production tonight. Find out who else Andrew Caley is bullish on in Thursday's MLB player props.

Apr 18, 2024 • 12:36 ET • 4 min read
 San Francisco Giants MLB Michael Conforto
Photo By - USA TODAY Sports

It’s a light day of action on the diamond with just five games on the schedule but that doesn’t mean there isn’t plenty of value to be found in the MLB player props market.

Mike Trout is going nuclear for the Los Angeles Angels, while it appears Miami Marlins hitting machine Luis Arraez has worked out the kinks in his swing. Meanwhile, Michael Conforto keeps driving in runs for the San Francisco Giants.

I break down the MLB odds and bring you my MLB picks for Thursday, April 18.

MLB props for April 18

Picks made on 4/18 at 12:30 p.m. ET.
Read full analysis of each pick.

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Best MLB bets today

Prop bet #1: Trout takeover

Remember when Mike Trout was the best player in baseball and was first or second in MVP voting like every single year? Well, Trout is doing his best to make us remember. 

The Los Angeles Angels center fielder is going nuclear. The three-time MVP has hits in nine of his last 10 games, battting .317 with a 1.209 OPS. That includes eight extra-base hits (five dingers!) and eight runs driven in. Trout went 1-for-4 with a home run in yesterday’s matchup against the Tampa Bay Rays, and I like him to end his stay at the Trop with a bang.

Trout will dig in against Rays starter Ryan Pepiot. The 26-year-old right-hander was one of the pieces the Rays got back in the Tyler Glasnow trade from the Los Angeles Dodgers. He’s made three starts this season, and a dominating performance against the Colorado Rockies is sandwiched by two rough outings, where he gave up six and four earned runs, respectively.

Pepiot has been better than the 5.40 ERA suggests, but the only pitch really working for him at the moment his his fastball. And a guy like Trout can take advantage of that.

Covers MLB Props Projections has Trout at 0.7 RBIs so there is value in the Mike Trout odds for Over 0.5 RBI at +170. Baseball is just better when Mike Trout is playing well, even if it’s still for the Angels. Back him to drive in another run tonight. 

Mike Trout prop: Over 0.5 RBIs (+170 at bet365)

Prop bet #2: Good things come in twos

Miami Marlins second baseman Luis Arraez may have had his six-game hitting streak snapped in yesterday’s series finale against the Giants, but it sure looks like the Marlins hitting machine is back in working order after a bit of a slow start.

Arraez, who led the American League in hitting in 2022 and then the National League last season with a crazy good .354 average, is now hitting .345 over his last seven games. He had three multi-hit games over that stretch. 

I like his matchup today as Arraez and the Marlins start a series at Wrigley Field vs. the Chicago Cubs. Arraez will dig in against right-hander Jameson Taillon, who will be making the first start of the season.

Taillon began the season on the 15-day IL thanks to a back injury suffered in Spring Training. He is coming off a sub-par season with the Cubs where he pitched to a 4.70 expected ERA and surrendered a .259 expected batting average. Those marks both ranked in the 28th percentile or worse among MLB pitchers in 2023.

Arraez meanwhile, has been dialed in against righties, hitting .333 against them this season.

At +150, there is some value in the Luis Arraez odds to record another multi-hit game against a starter who will certainly need to shake off some rust and likely won’t be as sharp as he could be.

Luis Arraez prop: 2+ total hits (+150 at FanDuel)

Prop bet #3: Conforto confounds D-backs

National League West rivals do battle when the Arizona Diamondbacks visit the San Francisco Giants on Thursday night.

It’s the opener of a four-game set at Oracle Park where Ryne Nelson will toe the rubber against Logan Webb, and it’s a matchup Giants outfielder Michael Conforto should be salivating over.

Conforto’s second season in the Bay Area is off to a smashing start. Literally. Conforto is smashing baseballs for a .292 average and a .897 OPS through the team’s first 17 games this season. That includes 14 runs batted in.

He’s also had several quality at-bats in his career against Nelson. Conforto is 3-for-7 with a double and a home run when digging in against the D-backs starter. That works out to a .416 expected batting average and a 1.143 expected slugging percentage.

It doesn’t hurt that Nelson hasn’t had his best stuff early on this season. The right-hander is pitching to a 4.11 expected ERA and giving up a .258 expected batting average to opposing hitters over his first three starts.

Conforto has driven in a run in four of his last six games and in 10 of 17 overall this season. Our Covers MLB Prop projections have him at 0.6 RBIs in this matchup, so at a +170 price point, it’s worth firing on the Michael Conforto odds to drive in another one tonight.

Michael Conforto prop: Over 0.5 RBIs (+170 at bet365)

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