Today’s MLB Prop Picks and Best Bets: Rockies Ding Up Oakland Rookie

The Rockies offense has been trending upward in May and should keep things moving against A's rookie Mitch Spence. We break down the matchup and more in our MLB player prop picks for May 22 below.

Andrew Caley - Senior Betting Analyst at
Andrew Caley • Senior Betting Analyst
May 22, 2024 • 13:52 ET • 4 min read
Mitch Spence Oakland A's MLB
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It’s another day where the MLB odds board is jam-packed with action. All 30 teams will take the field today which means plenty of opportunities to find value in the MLB player prop market.

Today, I bring you a trio of pitcher props, which includes me not being able to stay away from Padres starter Michael King in a juicy matchup against the righty-phobic Reds. Meanwhile, Brewers ace Freddy Peralta should keep the fish floundering when he faces the Marlins. Here are my MLB picks for Wednesday, May 22.

MLB props for May 22

Picks made on 5-22 at 1:00 p.m. ET.
Read full analysis of each pick.

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Best MLB bets today

Prop bet #1: Michael King Under 2.5 earned runs

San Diego Padres pitcher Michael King has tantalizing potential. It’s why the Padres wanted him in the Juan Soto deal and we saw it in his dominating performance against the juggernaut Dodgers just a couple of weeks ago.

The 28-year-old right-hander has just been plagued by inconsistency and apparently, we need to avoid backing King when he faces the Colorado Rockies. For some reason, I’m not sure he’ll have that problem when he takes the mound against the Cincinnati Reds tonight.

The Reds have a talented young core but are going through some growing pains right now, with facing right-handers being the most painful experience of all. The Reds somewhat stunningly rank dead last in the major leagues in batting average and OPS when facing right-handed pitchers. They also rank 28th in OPS and have the second-highest strikeout rate.

That should make King a problem for the Reds. What he does well is creating lots of whiffs thanks to his pitch mix. The Padres pitcher generally uses four pitches: a four-seamer, a sinker, a changeup, and a sweeper. That results in strikeouts and soft contact. King ranks in the 71st percentile in K-rate, 87th percentile in average exit velocity, and 71st percentile in hard-hit rate.

The Reds have the seventh-highest whiff rate. If King has his good stuff, he should carve up this Reds lineup. I’m taking the Under on his earned runs allowed sitting at 2.5, a number he's stayed below in five of nine starts.

Michael King prop: Under 2.5 earned runs (-115 at DraftKings)

Prop bet #2: Freddy Peralta Over 6.5 strikeouts

It has been an up-and-down season for Milwaukee Brewers starter Freddy Peralta but the one thing that's been up all season long for him has been the strikeouts. The former All-Star will look to keep racking up the Ks when he takes the ball tonight against the floundering Miami Marlins.

Peralta got off to a hot start this season, pitching to a 1.90 ERA and striking out 33 batters in 23 2/3 innings pitched over his first four starts before surrendering 3+ earned runs in four of his last five starts. However, the strikeouts haven't wavered, punching out 31 batters over his last 26 innings. 

The 27-year-old right-hander is striking out 31.2% of the batters he's faced this season, which ranks in the 89th percentile among MLB pitchers. He also ranks in the 91st percentile in whiff rate and gets a juicy matchup against the Marlins.

Miami ranks 26th in OPS and wRC+ vs right-handed pitchers this season but overall, they haven’t struck out a ton, with the 12th-lowest K-rate vs. righties. Well, that hasn’t been the case against Peralta. Current Marlins players have a 31.1& K-rate against Peralta and their .180 expected batting average against him should see him work deep into this game.

Peralta’s strikeout prop is sitting at 6.5. He’s topped that number in six of his nine starts.

Freddy Peralta prop: Over 6.5 strikeouts (-115 at DraftKings)

Prop bet #3: Mitch Spence Over 4.5 hits allowed

It's such a Colorado Rockies thing to follow up an impressive winning streak with an immediate losing streak. Yup, the Rockies have dropped four games in a row following their seven-game winning streak but if there's a positive to takeaway, it’s that the lineup seems to have turned a corner a bit.

Since May 8 (12 games), the Rockies have plated 5.3 runs per game, ranking second in batting average, fourth in OPS, and 10th in wRC+, and despite dropping their series opener to the Oakland Athletics 5-4 last night, I like their bats to keep this trend going tonight.

That’s in part because the A’s hand the ball to rookie Mitch Spence. The 26-year-old right-hander will be making his second career start and second in a row. He spent the first part of the season working as a long reliever and sometimes as a bulk guy after an opener. His first start was last week against the Royals in which he allowed one run on five hits while striking out four.

I want to focus on the hits. Spence has now pitched 11 innings in May and has allowed 14 hits in those innings, good for a .311 opponent batting average. His hits allowed prop is on the board at 4.5 and I like him to go Over that number. 

Mitch Spence prop: Over 4.5 hits allowed (+115 at DraftKings)

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