Best MLB Player Props for May 24: Let’s Profit from the Return of James Paxton

Picks Summary

  • Matthew Boyd Under 5.5 Total Hits (+100) at BetMGM
  • Tyler Anderson Over 2.5 Total Earned Runs (-139) at BetMGM
  • James Paxton Under 2.5 Total Earned Runs (-120) at BetMGM

The top sportsbooks have released their odds for today’s baseball action and two games, in particular, interest me as worth investing in for our player props of the day: Tigers vs. Royals and Red Sox vs. Angels.

For the reasons below, you should invest in strong performances from Detroit’s Matt Boyd and Boston’s James Paxton.

For your third best bet, you should go against L.A.’s Tyler Anderson.

Detroit Tigers vs. Kansas City Royals

Wednesday, May 24, 2023 – 07:40 p.m. EDT at Kauffman Stadium

Detroit’s Matt Boyd

Matt Boyd starts for the Tigers today. His ERA might mislead you into thinking that we should avoid investing in him, but ERA only illuminates certain aspects of a pitcher to the exclusion of others. Specifically, while he gives up runs, he does not give up many hits.

I am therefore interested in betting in the “under” on his total of hits allowed. The over/under is posted at 5.5. In seven of his eight starts, Boyd has allowed five hits or fewer.

Clearly, 5.5 is too high of a number, and we should take advantage of this gaffe from the oddsmakers by hitting the “under” at +100 betting odds.

Why Boyd Allows Few Hits

Boyd reliably allows fewer than six hits, partly for reasons that explain why he gives up too many runs. He pitches scared. He walks a lot of batters – 3.82 per nine innings.

Moreover, he generally avoids the strike zone. He throws only 37.7% of pitches inside the zone.

Plus, heat maps show that he is a plate-nibbler. He likes to locate his pitches along the borders of the strike zone, where walks are likelier but where, at the same time, batters are less likely to make good contact.

So, Boyd gives up many runs – despite allowing few hits – because opposing lineups require fewer hits to produce runs because they get guys on base by walking.

The Matchup

Boyd is especially worthy of an investment today because he matches up well against Royals’ batters – that is, he will allow fewer runs and even fewer hits than usual.

He primarily throws a fastball, slider, and changeup, and the Royals rank 22nd in slugging against these pitches from lefties.

Plus, the one Royals’ batter who has good hitting numbers against him in at least seven at-bats – Hunter Dozier – was just designated for assignment, so Boyd won’t have to face him.

MLB Pick: Matthew Boyd Under 5.5 Total Hits (+100) at BetMGM

Boston Red Sox vs. Los Angeles Angels

Wednesday, May 24, 2023 – 09:38 PM EDT at Angel Stadium

Angels’ Tyler Anderson

Tyler Anderson starts for the Angels today. His last start, in which he allowed three earned runs to Baltimore, says a lot about him. He might seem likable because he seemed to be cruising through his outing. The three runs that he allowed came via a home run, a single swing of the bat, in the fifth inning.

Anderson likes to elevate his pitches and to generate a rising action in his pitches that takes them across or almost across the upper border of the strike zone. While it is difficult to hit pitches that are located on a border of the zone, it is even more difficult for a pitcher to be perfectly consistent with his location.

When Anderson left a pitch closer to the middle of the strike zone, an Orioles’ batter was able to take advantage for a three-run home run.

Anderson is hard to like because he has such a small margin of error. His ERA is as high as it is (5.27) because he often leaves his pitches in the more middle parts of the strike zone and because his pitches lack quality.

Batters have no problem with his 89.6 mph fastball, for example. It is his favorite pitch to throw, although opponents slug .717 against it.

The Matchup

Anderson is particularly worth going against today because Red Sox batters match up well against him.

Primarily, Anderson throws a changeup, fastball, and cutter. Boston ranks fifth in slugging .507 against these pitches from lefties.

Expect Justin Turner, among others, to dominate today. Turner is 17-for-34 with four doubles and three home runs against Anderson.

MLB Pick: Tyler Anderson Over 2.5 Total Earned Runs (-139) at BetMGM

James Paxton

James Paxton starts for Boston today. Paxton has wasted no time reacclimating himself to professional baseball: in his first start of the season, he allowed two earned runs in five innings to St. Louis. Then, he allowed one earned run in six innings in San Diego.

Paxton is clearly healthy. Obviously, his performances demonstrate his health, but his fastball, which is his main pitch, also looks great.

This pitch averages 96.2 mph, which is as high as it’s been in years. Its uniquely high horizontal movement also makes it difficult to hit, hence, batters hit .214 against this pitch.

The quality of his pitches encourages him to throw them for strikes. He walks fewer batters because he has no need to. His excellent command is evident in the fact that he strikes out about five batters for every one that he walks.

The Matchup

Paxton’s outlook is particularly positive today because he loves pitching in Anaheim: in the Angels’ venue, his career ERA is 2.41 in six starts.

Plus, he does well historically against Angels’ batters. Superstar Mike Trout, for example, bats .179 and slugs .250 against him in 28 at-bats. Trout has six more strikeouts (11) than he has hits with Paxton on the mound.

If you also wish to add a side to your picks, you should play the Red Sox because Paxton will outperform Anderson.

MLB Pick: James Paxton Under 2.5 Total Earned Runs (-120) at BetMGM is your sports betting command center. Read featured betting strategy compiled from a panel of leading sports betting experts.

Site Footer