With only four games on the MLB schedule tonight, pickings are somewhat slim on the props market, but that doesn't mean the cupboards are bare.
I'm looking at two games in particular, focusing on a pair of pitchers to go Over their modest strikeout totals and a star outfielder to clear his total bases prop at plus money against a highly suspect pitching staff.
Here are our three favorite MLB player prop picks for Monday, September 26.
MLB props for September 26
Picks made on 9/26/2022 at 11:30 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.
Contreras conquers Cincy
THE BAT X projects Pittsburgh Pirates starter Roansy Contreras to record 18 outs today against a heavily depleted Cincinnati Reds squad. At the time of this writing, his outs recorded prop was not available at any books, but that only means we're pivoting to his strikeouts market.
Contreras has posted 8.59 strikeouts per nine innings and a 22.2% strikeout rate in 88 innings across 19 appearances (16 starts) this season. Those are below his strikeout numbers from the minor leagues since going from the Yankees system to the Pirates. And while New York crushed him to the tune of six runs over 4 1-3 innings in his most recent outing, he recorded a career-high 10 strikeouts.
Today, he faces a much worse lineup in the Reds. And though he only fanned three over four innings of work in his last start vs. Cincinnati, that can't be viewed as predictive especially as he mowed them down for seven Ks in an outing back in July.
The Reds are tied for the fifth-highest team strikeout rate (23.9%) on the season and are missing several key hitters (Joey Votto, Mike Moustakas, Nick Senzel) due to injury.
And prior to his implosion vs. the Yankees, Contreras had posted a dynamite 2.29 ERA over his prior seven starts. He hasn't fully married length and his strikeout potential yet but with a low total and a projection to go six innings against a punchless offense, I like Contreras to clear his modest total. If the outs recorded prop emerges, I'd consider that as an alternative as long as it isn't juiced to hell.
Roansy Contreras Prop: Over 4.5 strikeouts (+100)
Bryce, the elder
After making his last start on September 21, right-hander Bryce Elder seemed destined to finish his season pitching out of the bullpen. However, with rookie sensation Spencer Strider landing on the injured list, the Atlanta Braves had to pivot and return the 23-year-old to the rotation for Monday's clash with the Washington Nationals.
Elder has gotten stretched out over his last three starts, pitching into the sixth inning on all three occasions. He struck out 16 Marlins across 13 innings over two starts before bettering these same Nationals over 5 1-3 with six more punchouts on his resume.
The Nationals haven't been a big strikeout team, but this is a fairly conservative number for Elder, who is projected to pitch into the sixth inning again, per FanGraphs.
He's also done a great job at suppressing the long ball this season, allowing just three home runs in 40 innings. Only three teams have hit fewer homers than the Nationals and Washington have been without Juan Soto and Josh Bell since the trade deadline and they still rank first and third, respectively, on the team in big flies.
Elder should get the length and pull through with the requisite amount of strikeouts.
Bryce Elder Prop: Over 4.5 strikeouts (-108)
Reynolds gift wrap
We're heading back to PNC Park for our second Pirates prop of the day.
Pittsburgh outfielder Bryan Reynolds has been on fire in September and has tapped back into a power source since the beginning of August. He has 11 home runs and is hitting .291 since August 1 and has 10 multi-hit showings in his last 20 games.
The Reds are trotting out veteran righty Chase Anderson, who has only pitched limited innings in 2022 but has never been one to overpower opponents. His hits surrendered are down over his 19 innings of work but that's likely due to a disappearing command and his 11 walks. While Anderson has completed five innings in consecutive outings, he hasn't gone deep with any regularity and simply doesn't miss bats when he's in and around the strike zone.
Anderson has allowed three home runs in limited work, and that isn't incongruous to his career norm. He's allowed 1.44 homers per nine innings of work for his career and served up 10 taters in only 48 innings.
Reynolds has cleared his total bases number five times in his last 10 games and in three of his last four while hitting exclusively out of the No. 2 slot in the lineup.
So even if he doesn't break through against Anderson, he'll get plenty of opportunities against a Reds bullpen that projects as the fourth-worst in the majors, per THE BAT, and has the fourth-worst ERA this season with the fifth-most home runs surrendered.
Bryan Reynolds Prop: Over 1.5 total bases (+112)
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