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BETTING

Best MLB Player Props for June 2: Jordan Lyles An Automatic Fade vs. Ryan McMahon

Ryan Mcmahon Colorado Rockies New York Mets
Ryan McMahon 24 of the Colorado Rockies hits a single against the New York Mets Matthew StockmanGetty ImagesAFP

The books have released their betting odds for today’s baseball action. With player props in mind, especially three games interest me: Royals vs. Rockies, Cubs vs. Padres, and Yankees vs. Dodgers.

For your best bets, I will recommend investing in strong performances from Colorado’s Ryan McMahon, Chicago’s Ian Happ, and L.A.’s Clayton Kershaw.

Picks Summary

  • Ryan McMahon Over 1.5 Total Bases (+135) at BetMGM
  • Ian Happ Over 1.5 Total Bases (+155) at SugarHouse
  • Clayton Kershaw Under 1.5 Total Earned Runs Allowed (+115) at BetMGM

Colorado Rockies vs. Kansas City Royals

Friday, June 02, 2023 – 08:10 PM EDT at Kauffman Stadium



Who Starts for the Royals?

Jordan Lyles starts for the Royals tonight. This game presents a uniquely easy opportunity to strike a profit because fading Lyles is a no-brainer.

As evident in his 0-9 record and 7.30 ERA, Lyles is a horrible pitcher and his struggles are continuous and recent. In his last three starts, for example, he has allowed a combined total of 16 earned runs.

It’s not like he’s only vulnerable to strong lineups, either. The White Sox, for example, accrued four earned runs in five innings against him even though they rank 21st in runs per game.

Even lineups that, on paper, match up poorly against him do well when he pitches. The Brewers are one such example because they rank 21st in slugging against his favorite pitches but amassed seven earned runs in his 2.1 innings.

Lyle’s Pitches

These teams are killing the pitches that Lyles likes to throw the most.

His favorite pitch is his fastball, which he throws almost 13% more often than any other pitch. Opponents slug .500 against this pitch, as they take advantage of its multiple deficiencies.

Heat maps show that he often leaves it in the more middle parts of the strike zone where batters tend to do greater damage. Moreover, this pitch ranks in the 11th percentile in velocity and in the 48th percentile in spin.

These numbers indicate that batters easily keep up with and track the location of this pitch. Because his fastball is of so poor quality, he has trouble finding a pitch that he can really rely on.

Ryan McMahon

My favorite Rockies batter to invest in is Ryan McMahon.

McMahon’s outlook today is solid because he owns a .657 slugging rate against Lyles’ favorite pitches from righties. This stat is impressive because he has earned it despite facing pitchers who are much stronger than Lyles, who throw much better versions of the pitches that Lyles does.

For your first pick, count on McMahon to get at least two hits or at least a double.

MLB Pick: Ryan McMahon Over 1.5 Total Bases (+135) at BetMGM


Chicago Cubs vs. San Diego Padres

Friday, June 02, 2023 – 09:40 PM EDT at Petco Park



Who Starts for San Diego?

Michael Wacha starts for the Padres today.

This game presents a unique opportunity to go against Wacha because Wacha was a long-time Cardinal. Because he played for the Cards, he was a division rival of the Cubs, who are therefore already extra familiar with him.

Now, this line of thought does not work for every pitcher as some pitchers do change when they move to a different team. Getting a different pitching coach can lead a pitcher to develop his arsenal, which could entail throwing different pitches or throwing certain pitches more or less often, but the great thing for our bet today is that this is not the case for Wacha.

Since his first professional season in 2013, Wacha has thrown the fastball most often, the changeup second most often, and the cutter the third most often.

Wacha’s Performance

He has never been a pitcher to rely too much on velocity, but he has declined, which is evident in the drop in both velocity and spin of, for example, his fastball, which is his favorite pitch to throw. So not only are Cub batters getting to see a pitcher they know well, they are also going to see a lesser version of that pitcher.

Plus, the Cubs are already familiar with Wacha – and with this lesser version of Wacha – from this season. On April 26, Wacha faced the Cubs and allowed three earned runs in five innings.

To belabor my point, Wacha faced another former division rival, Milwaukee, on April 14 and in that game, the Brewers used their familiarity with Wacha to score seven earned runs in 4.1 innings.

Ian Happ

My favorite Cubs batter to invest in is Ian Happ, who shows promising form: he is 3-for-7 with a double in his past two games.

Plus, he owns a great track record against Wacha: Happ is 4-for-11 with three homers, amounting to a 1.182 slugging rate, in his career against Wacha.

For our bet to hit, Happ will need at least two singles or at least one extra-base hit.

MLB Pick: Ian Happ Over 1.5 Total Bases (+155) at SugarHouse


New York Yankees vs. Los Angeles Dodgers

Friday, June 02, 2023 – 10:10 PM EDT at Dodger Stadium



Who Starts for the Dodgers?

Clayton Kershaw starts for Los Angeles tonight. Kershaw might seem to be suffering bad form because the surface-level stats of his past two games create a misleading impression.

Two starts ago, Kershaw did allow four earned runs to St. Louis. But Kershaw’s 2.47 FIP (like ERA but factors out fielding) in that game reflects that he actually performed well individually.

In his last start, Kershaw struggled against the Rays, but it is no shame to lose to arguably the best team in baseball. Kershaw is due for a good game, and he is primed to bounce back against a more favorable opponent.

The Matchup

The Yankees stopped scoring 10 runs per game. Now they have cooled off – they were shut out in 10 innings in their last game in Seattle.

A game that starts at 10:10 PM in their time zone is not likely to be one in which they regain their form, but the biggest reason why they will struggle tonight is Kershaw himself, who they match up poorly against. They rank well below average in slugging against Kershaw’s favorite pitches from lefties – the Yankees offense’s recent hot streak was a product of its success against right-handed starters.

Kershaw thrives against teams that are weaker against lefties, as evident against his starts against the Twins and Brewers. This is especially true at home, where he is already solid in general, as evident in his start against a Mets’ team that matches up much better against him than the Yankees do.

His 1.13 home ERA underscores the extent to which we should confide in Kershaw tonight.

MLB Pick: Clayton Kershaw Under 1.5 Total Earned Runs Allowed (+115) at BetMGM


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