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MLB Player Props for May 17

Last week was my sixth consecutive winning Wednesday posting MLB player props in this space. Sadly, however, my prop winning streak ended at an even dozen. Dean Kremer allowed 12 hard-hit balls in six innings, but the Rays could not advance a runner past second base. It is an unfortunate reminder that bad luck can ruin even the best plays. Like Phil Hellmuth once said, “If there weren’t luck involved, I would win every time.”

Perhaps my mojo was simply not strong enough to overpower Kremer and his hideous man bun. Either way, let’s start a new streak, shall we? Here are my top three MLB player props for Wednesday, May 17. There are a couple of games (PHI-SF and KC-SD) that have no available props as I write this, so keep that in mind. As always, confirm lineups and shop for the best possible price before locking anything in. Books are constantly moving lines throughout the day. Feel free to adjust or alter any plays as you see fit. And make sure to play responsibly.

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MLB Player Props for May 17

Nick Senzel OVER 1.5 Total Bases (-105, DraftKings)

Nick Senzel is destroying left-handed pitching thus far in 2023. In 29 plate appearances against lefties, Senzel has an absurd .481/.517/.778 triple-slash line. He boasts a .296 ISO and a 246 wRC+ versus left-handers. Because of that, the Reds bumped Senzel up to the two-slot the last time they went against a lefty. If Senzel hits second again on Wednesday, this is an absolute smash for me against Austin Gomber. Since last season, Gomber has allowed some, let’s call them, unsightly numbers at home to right-handed hitters. They include a .586 slugging percentage and a .399 wOBA. Senzel is 11-for-34 in his career at Coors Field, with 20 total bases in those 34 at-bats. That is good for a .558 SLG. He also has an expected batting average this season of .371 or higher against two of Gomber’s primary offerings versus right-handed hitters.

Senzel has been swinging a hot bat of late to boot. He has at least two total bases in five of his last seven games. One of his two misses in that stretch was Monday’s game in which he had a single but three walks. Of course, it is no guarantee that Senzel will hit near the top of the lineup on Wednesday. The team called up top prospect Matt McLain this week, and he has been the two-hitter in both of his games so far. I am playing this prop regardless of where Senzel hits based on the data, but you may want to see where Senzel slots into the lineup before doing so yourself. Just keep in mind that the books may adjust the price once lineups are announced.

Dustin May UNDER 5.5 Hits Allowed (-115, Caesar’s)

I’m not going to lie – this line feels like a trap. I feel like I must be missing something, but I’m not sure what it is. Dustin May has made eight starts this season and has allowed six hits or more once. Granted, it was the one time I bet on him, but that’s beside the point. He has made 33 career starts and has given up more than five hits in six of them. The Twins are hitting .235 as a team versus right-handed pitching this year. That ranks 21st in the Majors. They are also in the bottom 10 in Statcast’s Pitch Value/100 metric against both the sinker and four-seam fastball. Those are May’s two most popular pitches, comprising over 60 percent of his arsenal.

May has started on four days’ rest six times in his career and has only exceeded 90 pitches in two of those games. He has pitched to more contact this year, as he is already approaching a new career-high in innings pitched. Perhaps that approach lends itself to allowing a few more hits. Still, I don’t see today being the day that he gets beat via the base hit. Minnesota should have several high-strikeout, high-walk hitters in their lineup. Unless the Twins reacquired Luis Arraez while I was asleep, I’m not sure why they would suddenly string together a bunch of base hits versus May. I am fully prepared to look like an idiot when this player prop crashes and burns, but give me Dustin May to allow fewer than 5.5 hits on Wednesday.

Rob Refsnyder OVER 1.5 Total Bases (+130, DraftKings)

Rob Refsnyder is a part-time player for Boston but should be in the lineup on Wednesday. The Red Sox will face Marco Gonzales of the Seattle Mariners. Refsnyder has started the last 10 times Boston has faced a southpaw. He has hit in the top third of the lineup in all 10, including two of the last three as Boston’s leadoff hitter. If he is near the top of the lineup on Wednesday, I love that we are getting this player prop at plus money.

We are dealing with some small sample sizes with Refsnyder, but he has raked at home versus lefties as a member of the Sox. Since last season, Refsnyder is 23-for-54 (.426 AVG) with a .611 slugging percentage under these conditions. Overall, his BABIP since last season is .423 against left-handed pitching. Those numbers should play nicely given Gonzales’ propensity to pitch to contact. Of 119 pitchers with at least 30 innings pitched this season, Gonzales ranks 106th in strikeout rate. Refsnyder should get three cracks at Gonzales on Wednesday, making this one of my favorite MLB player props on Wednesday’s board.

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