Max Scherzer and Carlos Rodon are two of baseball's preeminent strikeout artists and both get starts against favorable lineups while being available at relatively decent odds.
Rounding out our favorite MLB player props for this evening's slate of games is Cleveland Guardians superstar Jose Ramirez, who is set to do battle in a favorable matchup against the Tigers.
Let's dive in.
MLB props for August 17
Picks made on 8/17/2022 at 10:30 a.m. ET.
Click on each pick to jump to the full analysis.
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Today’s best MLB prop bets
The odds widgets below represent the best odds currently available for each betting market at regulated sportsbooks.
Strikeouts for Scherzer
Max Scherzer is one of nine pitchers (min. 100 innings) with a K/9 above 11 on the season and his 31.3% strikeout rate ranks seventh among them. The strikeout pitch has long been Mad Max's bread and butter, leading the majors in strikeouts on three different occasions while not posting a K/9 below 10.1 since 2011.
Even when injuries start encroaching, like they have in recent seasons, he still returns with a vengeance. Case in point: after missing more than a month from mid-May to early July, Scherzer punched out 11 Reds over six innings in his first appearance off the injured list. In eight starts since the beginning of July, Scherzer has topped double-digit Ks three times and eclipsed his total for tonight's game in five outings.
Enter the Braves. While Atlanta is undoubtedly a superb offensive team, its one bugaboo is the strikeout. The Braves have struck out in 24.4% of their plate appearances (fifth-highest in MLB) and that number goes up to a full 25% vs. righties.
Scherzer is no stranger to them, either. He's faced the Braves twice since his activation, striking out 20 batters in 14 innings while allowing just one earned run (a solo homer from Austin Riley).
And while the home run has been working in general for the Braves as they lead the National League with 182 on the season, Scherzer does a fantastic job of suppressing power. He's allowed just eight homers in 102 2-3 innings this year and his 0.70 HR/9 ranks among the Top 15 starting pitchers with at least 100 innings thrown.
Scherzer misses bats at an elite rate, rarely walks anyone, and doesn't surrender hard contact with much regularity. Grab this number early as it's likely to go up before first pitch.
Rodon and on and on
Like Scherzer, San Francisco Giants southpaw Carlos Rodon is a certified expert in striking batters out. He even ranks slightly ahead of Scherzer with an 11.26 K/9.
Additionally, Rodon avoids barrels and has a great whiff rate, per his Baseball Savant profile. Tonight, he squares off against an Arizona Diamondbacks team that ranks 23rd against left-handers with a 91 wRC+ (100 is considered league average).
Arizona has scored some runs vs. Rodon this season, but despite allowing five earned in his last outing in the desert, he still punched out an even 10 D-Backs.
Rodon has also performed markedly better in the home confines of Oracle Park, striking out 34.8% of batters compared to 28.4% in away games. Don't buy into his reduced strikeout numbers so far in August. Look at the overall picture and recognize that Rodon has been mowing down hitters with relative ease all season and hasn't shown signs of fatigue.
Ramirez goes Tigers hunting
The Detroit Tigers are turning to left-hander Daniel Norris in Wednesday's series finale against the Cleveland Guardians. The former top prospect has been used almost exclusively in relief as this is just his third start of the season and fourth since 2020.
Regardless of role, Norris hasn't been overly successful. This season, he owns a 12% barrel rate, which ranks 14th-worst among MLB hurlers with at least 80 batted ball events. As a result, he's surrendered seven home runs in just 34 2-3 innings.
Guardians third baseman Jose Ramirez is fifth in MLB in total bases (232), second in doubles (36), sixth in triples (four), and has 22 home runs. His .535 slugging percentage is higher than home run machine Pete Alonso.
The switch-hitter has performed better against righties in 2022, but he's batting .348 in 23 career at-bats vs. Norris and has historically handled southpaws with ease.
Norris tends to get wild and issue walks, but Ramirez doesn't draw the free pass too often with a 9.4% walk rate. He'll work counts, make contact, and eventually put the ball in play more often than not. And that sheer amount of contact often puts him in a great position to grab multiple hits in the same game if his power stroke isn't working.
Against a warm body like Norris, Ramirez is a great bet to clear his total bases prop.
Jose Ramirez Prop: Over 1.5 total bases (+105)
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