MLB Best Player Prop Bets for May 17

Zack Wheeler

Getty Wheeler pitches during the 2022 World Series.


layer props provide an additional level of thrill to wagering on sports games. They offer valuable insights into a player’s ability to perform well in daily fantasy baseball or when placing bets on your preferred sportsbook.

Our AI-powered dfsPro model projects a number of individual performances worth keeping an eye on during today‘s games. Let’s dive into some of our favorite MLB player prop bets for May 17. All statistical research is from FanGraphs.

MLB Player Prop Bets

Andrew Heaney Under 16.5 Outs Recorded (-130, DraftKings)

On 5 out of 8 games this season, Andrew Heaney has failed to reach this mark, most notably managing just 11 outs on 95 pitches in his recent matchup against the Los Angeles Angels. Statistical analysis places Heaney in the league’s middle ground with a 3.80 xERA and a .234 xBA. While his strikeout and Whiff% are average, his tendency to avoid walks may not work in our favor. Moreover, when batters do make contact with his pitches, they tend to hit hard, as indicated by his low percentiles in metrics like Average Exit Velo, Hard-Hit%, and Barrel%.

The Texas Rangers bullpen enters the matchup well-rested, utilizing only three relievers on May 15th, none of whom exceeded 16 pitches.

The Angels have shown proficiency against left-handed pitchers (LHP) throughout the season, particularly in May. They rank 10th in wRC+ and 9th in OBP against LHP, while also averaging the 8th most pitches seen per plate appearance (Pit/PA). Specifically, their performance against left-handed pitchers this May is notable, with the 6th highest average, 4th lowest strikeout rate (K%), 7th highest wRC+, 8th highest wRAA, 9th highest BABIP, and 7th highest OPS.

Zack Wheeler Under 18.5 Outs Recorded (-125, DraftKings)

I believe this number is overly ambitious, even for a talented pitcher like Zack Wheeler. Last season, Wheeler fell short of this line in 24 out of 36 games, amounting to a 67% rate. This year, he has been under in 6 out of 9 starts.

While the Washington Nationals may not boast a formidable offense, ranking 21st in MLB with a wRC+ of 95.2 against right-handed pitchers, they have become more patient compared to last year. Their 10.0 BB% against righties is the 5th highest in MLB, and they hover around league average in pitches per plate appearance, a significant improvement from last year’s performance.

Expecting any pitcher to pitch a complete 7 innings against a lineup with some offensive capability, as the Nationals have demonstrated recently, seems like a tall order. Furthermore, Wheeler has struggled against the Nationals, conceding 3 or more runs in all 4 starts against them last year and this year, making this a solid angle to consider.

Lock of the Day

Christian Scott Over 17.5 Outs Recorded (-120, DraftKings)

Christian Scott has exceeded this line in both of his starts this season, throwing 94 and 91 pitches respectively, against respectable offenses in the Tampa Bay Rays and Atlanta Braves.

Scott has had a strong start since his call-up, securing 6 and 8 strikeouts in his first two starts, resulting in a 28% strikeout rate. Additionally, he boasts high chase and whiff numbers. His performance metrics rank impressively, with percentiles of 75th or higher in BB%, Hard-Hit%, and Barrel%, indicating minimal hard contact against him. Although his expected batting average (.246 xBA) falls just below the 50th percentile, he manages to evade trouble with a solid 3.11 xERA, placing him around the 70th percentile.

The Miami Marlins‘ performance against right-handed pitchers has been lackluster, ranking last in BB%, 6th lowest in wRC+, 5th lowest in wRAA, 9th lowest in BABIP, and 6th lowest in OPS. While they don’t strike out much, sitting with the 9th lowest K% against RHP, their BB/K ratio ranks third to last.

What convinced me further is the fact that the Marlins see the least amount of pitches per plate appearance (Pit/PA) by a noticeable margin.

The New York Mets bullpen is depleted after a challenging series against the Philadelphia Phillies, utilizing 5 relief pitchers last night over 11 innings, with 2 long relief pitchers used two days ago and 4 relief pitchers used three days ago.

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