With less than a week remaining in the MLB regular season, it can be tough to handicap MLB player props.
Some teams have clinched playoff spots and might be focused on the future, while others have been eliminated and could have less-motivated veterans while giving younger players some experience.
With that in mind, I'm looking at a couple of games that matter for playoff positioning while backing a superstar slugger who always shows up despite his team routinely missing the postseason. Here are my best free MLB player prop picks for Saturday, October 1.
MLB props for October 1
- Cabrera Over 1.5 earned runs (-130)
- Scherzer Over 7.5 strikeouts (+114)
- Trout Over 1.5 total bases (+117)
Picks made on 10/1/2022 at 12:15 p.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.
The Milwaukee Brewers are half a game behind the Philadelphia Phillies for the final Wild Card spot in the NL. The Brewers will send Aaron Ashby to the mound today against the Marlins, and with his 4.50 ERA and 1.45 WHIP, he'll likely need plenty of run support from his teammates.
Miami will give the ball to a promising young pitcher in Edward Cabrera, but there are lots of reasons to fade him. Although the 24-year-old has an impressive ERA of 3.15, his expected ERA sits at just 4.29, and his walk rate is among the bottom 10th percentile of pitchers, while his barrel rate is in the bottom 25th percentile.
The Brewers have a strong lineup that is fourth in the majors in barrel rate while ranking ninth in hard-hit rate. They also are fifth in the majors with an OPS of .748 against right-handed pitchers and hit even better at home.
With Cabrera allowing at least three runs in four of his last six starts (pitching to a 5.34 ERA with a 6.64 FIP over that span), take the Over 1.5 on his earned runs today.
Perhaps the most important game on today's schedule is a matchup between the New York Mets and Atlanta Braves with the two teams tied atop the NL East. This should be a pitching battle with a tense playoff atmosphere with the Mets sending future Hall of Famer Max Scherzer to duel Braves right-hander Kyle Wright.
Although he's 38 years old, Scherzer is still a stud that has gone 11-4 with a 2.13 ERA and a 0.88 WHIP in 22 starts this season. Mad Max is averaging 10.9 strikeouts per nine innings which would rank fifth in the majors if he qualified and his strikeout rate is in the top tenth percentile of all pitchers.
Despite being one of the best hitting teams in the majors, Atlanta ranks just 28th in strikeout rate. Scherzer has already faced the Braves three times this season and fanned at least eight batters in each of those starts, highlighted by an 11-strikeout performance against Atlanta on August 6.
Max Scherzer Prop: Over 7.5 strikeouts (+114)
Three-time AL MVP Mike Trout hasn't made the postseason since 2014 but he continues to crush the ball with an underachieving Angels squad. Trout is slashing .277/.363/.618 this season and was even better in the month of September, boasting a slugging percentage of .710 with 10 homers and eight doubles in 24 games.
Today, Trout and the Halos host the Rangers, who will send rookie Cole Ragans to the mound. The southpaw has a 5.40 ERA with a 1.54 WHIP and typically doesn't pitch deep into his starts, which should mean plenty of work for a Rangers bullpen that is ranked as the eighth-worst in the majors according to THE BAT analytics.
Trout crushes the ball against lefties like Ragans, slashing .312/.419/.642. He also has very stark home/away splits with a slugging percentage of .719 at Angel Stadium with that number dropping to .529 on the road.
With Trout continuing to thrill fans in L.A. despite his team's poor play, take the Over 1.5 on his total bases today.
Mike Trout Prop: Over 1.5 total bases (+117)
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