Today’s MLB Prop Picks and Best Bets: Go With Guerrero

Another day, another trio of MLB prop picks! We're going back to the well for one prop that missed last night, followed by a strikeout prop in a day game, and a total bases prop featuring one of baseball's best sluggers.

May 4, 2023 • 10:15 ET • 4 min read
Vlad Guerrero Jr Toronto Blue Jays MLB
Photo By - USA TODAY Sports

It's a getaway day, which means a slew of early baseball games on the MLB betting board.

So let's get to it as we back Orioles shortstop Jorge Mateo and Twins starting pitcher Pablo Lopez in a pair of early-afternoon showdowns. We've also got our eye on one of the best sluggers in the bigs in the evening game as Vladimir Guerrero Jr. looks to keep mashing at Fenway.

Here are our best free MLB player prop picks for Thursday, May 4.

MLB props for May 4

Picks made on 5/4/2023 at 10:15 a.m. ET.
Click on each pick to jump to the full analysis.

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Prop bet #1: Don't get mad, get even

I missed on the Over 0.5 runs scored by Jorge Mateo last night when he went 0-for-3 at the plate and the Orioles were shut out by Kansas City. Given how brutal Royals starter Zack Greinke had pitched this season, I figured he'd be lit up, but the former All-Star put together a vintage performance. 

Thankfully for Orioles fans, today's starter for the Royals will be Jordan Lyles, who has been mediocre his entire career. Lyles is 0-5 with a 6.11 ERA and an OBA of .259 through six starts this season. He's in the bottom 20th percentile in expected ERA, expected slugging percentage, and barrel rate, so he'll have a tough time missing Baltimore's bats today. 

Despite getting shutout last night, the Orioles have made massive strides on offense, and rank sixth in the majors with 5.27 runs per game.

Mateo leads Baltimore with a .325 batting average and 21 runs through 25 games this season. Although he didn't score last night, he has still plated at least one run in 10 of his last 14 games. With Mateo and the O's facing off against Lyles and a struggling Royals bullpen, look for him to get on the board today.

Jorge Mateo PropOver 0.5 runs (+115)

Prop bet #2: Lopez rebounds

Twins righthander Pablo Lopez is coming off a rough performance against the Royals where he surrendered eight hits and six runs through six innings. That said, even during that shaky outing, he still managed to fan seven batters.

The O/U on Lopez's strikeouts total today is set at 6.5, a number he has eclipsed in five of six starts this year. Lopez is sixth in the majors in strike percentage (68.3%), while his 11.5 strikeouts per nine innings is good for seventh in the bigs. Not only is his strikeout rate in the Top 15th percentile, but his chase rate and extension are in the Top 3% of all pitchers.

The 27-year-old throws with above-average velocity, but the main reason that he has taken his game to another level has been his development of a sweeper pitch. He has an incredible 38.5% whiff rate on that new addition to his arsenal, while his changeup has a whiff rate of 35.4%.

Although Lopez looked shaky in his last two outings, he looks poised for a bounce-back performance against a White Sox team that bats just .232 and struck out 10 times against him last month. 

Pablo Lopez PropOver 6.5 strikeouts (+120)

Prop bet #3: Guerrero the great

Vladimir Guerrero Jr. jacked a 450-foot home run last night, and the Blue Jays first baseman has now gone 4-for-8 from the plate in the last two games against the Red Sox. Guerrero has a history of raking in Boston, batting .444 with five dingers and eight doubles in 19 games at Fenway Park during the 2021 and 2022 seasons. 

Vladdy is slashing .317/.393/.512 this year, and ranks in the top fifth percentile in average exit velocity, hard hit rate, and expected slugging percentage. It also helps that he's being protected in the lineup by Matt Chapman, who leads the majors in OPS and makes it very tough for teams to pitch around Guerrero.

The Red Sox are sending young righthander Brayan Bello to the hill tonight. Bello had a 4.71 ERA with a 1.78 WHIP as a rookie last year, and has a 6.57 ERA with a 1.86 WHIP in three starts this season.

Bello throws his sinker and fastball at 95+ mph, but that impressive velocity also means he gets hit hard. He ranks in the bottom 15th percentile in hard hit rate while sitting in the bottom 25th percentile in expected slugging percentage. With Guerrero doing an excellent job of making contact, look for him to crush the ball again. Back the Over 1.5 on his total bases.

Vladimir Guerrero Jr. PropOver 1.5 total bases (-115)

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