Tuesday baseball is upon us once again, and we're blessed with 15 games filled with plenty of MLB player props to dig through. If you're looking for some extra fun, Jared Hochman has you covered with his favorite home run props, but for now, I'll provide you with my three favorite MLB prop picks for today's slate.
I'm taking a look at a trio of American League pitchers — which include Dylan Cease, who has potentially broken out of his early-season slump, Jose Berrios, whose road woes will haunt him in the Trop... and Griffin Canning, a hurler that won't have an easy time missing bats.
Without further ado, let's get started, shall we?
MLB props for May 23
Picks made on 5/23/2023 at 12:30 p.m. ET.
Click on each pick to jump to the full analysis.
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Prop bet #1: Cease and Desist
Not much has gone right for the Chicago White Sox this season, and that includes ace Dylan Cease. The righty hasn’t looked much like the guy who finished second in the American League in Cy Young voting from a season ago. The strikeouts are down and the hard-hit rate is up, however, we’ve seen him put together back-to-back quality starts — and I like his chances of making it three in a row against the Cleveland Guardians.
Cease actually started the season pretty well but hit a rough patch where the low point was getting tuned up by the Kansas City Royals for seven runs on nine hits over four innings. We’ve seen a bit of a turnaround since then, as Cease has allowed just three earned runs on nine hits over 12 1/3 innings over his last two starts. That includes 6 1/3 innings of work against this same Guardians team last time out, and I won’t be shocked if he puts on a similar performance.
That’s because Cleveland's lineup is really struggling this season, particularly against RHPs. Cleveland is hitting just .230 vs. righties which ranks 26th in the Big Leagues while ranking 29th in both OPS and wRC+.
Cease has also had plenty of success in this matchup recently. He has surrendered just four earned runs on 21 hits over his last four starts against the Guardians dating back to last July, pitching six or more innings in three of those occasions and never fewer than 5 2/3 innings.
I’m betting Cease continues to find his groove on his way to recording at least 18 outs in this matchup.
Dylan Cease prop: Over 17.5 outs recorded (-115)
Prop bet #2: Berrios Bullied
There may as well be two Jose Berrios’. The Toronto Blue Jays starter appears to have a split personality when it comes to his home/road splits, and that could come into play tonight when Berrios takes the ball against the Tampa Bay Bays.
Berrios looks pretty comfortable when taking the mound at the Rogers Centre. At home this season he owns a 2.22 ERA, a 1.03 WHIP and is limiting opponents to a .220 batting average. All solid numbers. Then there is the less heralded road Berrios.
The RHP has been knocked around for a 6.67 ERA, his WHIP sits at 1.48, and opponents are hitting nearly .300 against him. And today he takes the ball in what is arguably the toughest place to win for a road team in 2023 — Tropicana Field.
The Rays have been the best team in baseball to this point and are a ridiculous 22-4 at home. Tampa is also crushing right-handed pitching this season, ranking fifth in batting average and first in OPS and wRC+ when digging in vs. righties. And they are licking their chops for another shot at Berrios.
Yandy Diaz, Manuel Margot, Randy Arozarena, and Harold Ramirez all have a career expected slugging percentage of .400 or better, and it’s not like Berrios has had some secret success at the Trop. He’s been tagged for an 8.68 ERA and a 1.55 WHIP in four career starts there.
There’s no reason to think things will change in tonight’s meeting against the Rays. Tampa is still playing great and is one of the best home teams in baseball. Berrios struggles on the road, so expect him to give up more than a few runs in this one.
Jose Berrios prop: Over 2.5 earned runs (-130)
Prop bet #3: Griffin gets Canned
Griffin Canning gets the call for the Los Angeles Angels tonight when they host the Boston Red Sox, and it could be a tough night of racking up the strikeouts for the Halos right hander.
Canning certainly hasn’t had his best stuff to start the season, pitching to a 5.06 expected ERA while surrendering a .266 expected batting average to opponents. Through his first six starts of the season, his strikeout rate is the lowest of his career.
Griffin is striking out just 7.7 batters per nine innings, with a 19.1% K-rate that ranks in the 28th percentile of MLB. Not great. And tonight’s matchup with the Red Sox probably won’t make that any better.
The BoSox have done a great job of handling right-handed pitchers this season. They rank second in batting average, fifth in OPS, and eighth in wRC+. Plus, they’re patient as hell at the dish, possessing the third-lowest strikeout rate in baseball vs. RHP.
The potential of a short night on the mound for Griffin combined with his lack of swing-and-miss stuff means I love him to go Under his strikeout total of 4.5 tonight. A number he has fallen short of in five of his six starts this season.
Griffin Canning prop: Under 4.5 strikeouts (-115)