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MLB Player Props for May 3

Wednesday’s MLB slate features 16 games. Unfortunately, anything involving Brandon Pfaadt appears to be off the table, at least for now. As of this writing, I cannot find any props for the Diamondbacks’ top pitching prospect. The good news is that we still have plenty of MLB player props to consider today.

My picks featured in this space went 10-2 in April, including back-to-back undefeated weeks. Let’s keep those good vibes going as we flip the calendar to May with this week’s picks.

As always, please double-check lineups before locking anything in. Also, be sure to do a little shopping for the best price. You will be surprised how much of an edge you can gain by shopping around the various sportsbooks.

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MLB Player Props for May 3

Mike Trout OVER 1.5 Total Bases (+105, DraftKings)

I think someone at DraftKings should be investigated for this line. I am sure this probably means Mike Trout will go 0-for-4 with four strikeouts on Wednesday. Still, I will present my case to the ladies and gentlemen of the MLB player prop jury.

Mike Trout enters Wednesday with a .568 slugging percentage. Sure, it’s his lowest mark since 2016. But it’s still good for 15th in the Major Leagues. And his SLG against right-handed pitching this year is .608. That will come in handy against Wednesday’s starter for St. Louis, Miles Mikolas. Mikolas has been slightly better recently, but that is not saying much. He still enters this matchup allowing a .321 xBA, which is in the fourth percentile of starting pitchers. Mikolas has also served up a .375 BABIP this season. That is the second-highest among 76 qualified starters. And his 31.2 percent line drive rate allowed is the highest among this year’s qualifiers.

The one thing Mikolas has done well so far this year is his ability to limit free passes. His propensity to pitch to contact is a hallmark of Mikolas’ career and plays well into this prop. I believe this prop is plus-money because Trout walks so frequently. But I posit that is less likely in this matchup. Since arriving in St. Louis in 2018, Mikolas has walked just 20 right-handed hitters in 704 plate appearances in home games. That is one walk for every 35.2 trips to the plate. I am willing to bet that Mikolas pitches to Trout, especially with Shohei Ohtani likely hitting behind him. If Mikolas does indeed go after Trout, I believe Trout will get the better of him and end up with multiple total bases.

Ryan Mountcastle OVER 1.5 Total Bases, -105, FanDuel)

In fantasy baseball circles, strikeout minus walk rate (K-BB%) is a good indicator of a pitcher’s ability. But for total base props, one of the things I like to look at s is a pitcher’s strikeout plus walk rate. A batter cannot accumulate total bases if you walk or strike out. So I try to avoid hitters who are facing pitchers with a high K+BB rate. This brings me to our old friend, Zack Greinke.

Greinke’s strikeout plus walk rate this season is 20.7 percent. That is the sixth-lowest mark among 76 qualified starting pitchers. That is worth noting because he also allows a .320 BABIP, which is 20th among that set of pitchers. That combination has resulted in Greinke allowing 39 hits this season, tied for fifth-most in all of baseball. I think that several Baltimore Orioles are viable in this matchup, but I am rolling with Ryan Mountcastle. Mountcastle enters this matchup swinging a hot bat. He slugged two homers on Tuesday and has five extra-base hits in his last two games. Baltimore’s first baseman also boasts great career numbers against the veteran hurler. Mountcastle has five hits in just nine plate appearances against Greinke, including a double and a home run.

Two-Leg NO WIN Parlay: Joey Wentz and JP Sears (-147, Caesar’s)

As a general rule, I do not like to take props at this high of a price. However, I am willing to make an exception in this case. Joey Wentz gets the start in the first game of Wednesday’s doubleheader for the Detroit Tigers. Wentz is 0-3 with a 6.45 ERA this season. In his young career, he has just two wins in 12 starts. He has only qualified for a win by pitching five innings in just half of those outings. Today Wentz faces the New York Mets. New York has 10 road wins this season, which matches the total number of Tiger wins in 2023. For his part, Mets starter Joey Lucchesi has been solid in both of his starts this season. I do not think Wentz is as bad as his numbers suggest, but I do not anticipate him winning this game.

JP Sears will toe the rubber for the mighty Oakland (for now) A’s. I presume the game will be played in front of mostly family and friends. The attendance for Tuesday’s game was 2,583 fans. Oakland is 6-24 on the year and has allowed more than twice the number of runs that they have scored. They have not had a starting pitcher register a win yet this season. The team is a total trainwreck. Sears is also probably not as bad as his numbers indicate. However, there is no reason to expect him to get a win. Oakland faces Logan Gilbert and the Seattle Mariners. Gilbert has a 30.1 percent strikeout rate and an expected ERA of 2.83 this season. There is no tangible reason to expect Sears to earn a win in this matchup.

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