3 MLB Player Prop Bets to Target on Tuesday 9/26/23
Player props can be useful in a variety of ways -- from taking advantage of them straight up to measuring a player's potential to produce in daily fantasy baseball on FanDuel. Here, we're going to focus on the former.
Please note that betting lines and numberFire's projections may change throughout the day after this article is published. Also, the weather may be an issue in some locations.
MLB Prop Bets to Target
Kyle Schwarber To Hit A Home Run (+400)
The Philadelphia Phillies can clinch a playoff berth with a win against the Pittsburgh Pirates tonight. This is always a good place to start, given that something is still on the line for the Phils this late in the season.
I’m targeting Kyle Schwarber to capitalize on his power-hitting capabilities.
Despite Schwarber’s atrocious .197 batting average, he has still managed to knock out a whopping 45 four-baggers (second in MLB) this year. Though he will by no means win the batting title anytime soon, he’s seen an uptick in production as of late, posting a .250 batting average in September (season-best).
But don’t let these abysmal numbers scare you. We really shouldn’t be concerned with a player’s batting average when considering this prop, at least in this case. That's because 40% of Schwarber’s hits this season have been home runs, making him one of the most reliable home-run hitters in the league.
Philadelphia’s leadoff man will face righty Mitch Keller, which should be a desirable matchup for the former.
Schwarber kills the ball against righties. He has posted a 24.6% HR/FB ratio, 40.1% hard-hit rate, 52.1% fly-ball rate, and 128 wRC+ against northpaws this season. Further, 46 out of his 65 extra-base hits (70.7%) this season have come off a right-handed pitcher.
Keller has been a bit of a belly-itcher as of late. In four September starts, he has posted a 5.84 ERA and given up five home runs. His numbers against lefties aren’t promising, either, as 15 of his 24 home runs allowed this season have been given up to a left-handed hitter. He also forfeits a .322 batting average on balls in play and a .453 slugging percentage to southpaws.
This matchup information is enough to make me side with Schwarber, but it’s also worth mentioning his brief but dominant history against Keller. In 10 at-bats against the Pittsburgh pitcher, Schwarber has knocked in seven hits, including four doubles and a home run. The Phillies’ home run leader clearly has the upper hand in this battle, and I like his odds to go yard tonight.
William Contreras To Record 2+ Bases (-110)
Though the Milwaukee Brewers clinched a playoff birth over the weekend, they have yet to clinch the NL Central title and will work to solidify this division championship status tonight against the St. Louis Cardinals.
Zack Thompson is taking the mound for St. Louis and is coming off the heels of a few abysmal outings. In four September starts, he has allowed a 5.73 ERA and given up four home runs.
When looking for a Brewers bat who can capitalize off of Thompson’s vulnerabilities, we should target a right-handed batter. Thompson allows a 40.9% hard-hit rate and .474 slugging percentage to righties, plus 19 of his 20 extra-base hits allowed this season have been sacrificed to northpaws.
The Brew-crew-righty I have faith in tonight is William Contreras.
Contreras enters the night amid a month-best hitting performance, posting a .326 batting average thus far in September. The lights-out nature of his recent play cannot be understated; he has recorded a hit in 31 of his last 33 games. He’s also in the middle of a 12-game hitting streak, and his matchup tonight could aid him in continuing this hot streak tonight.
The Brewers’ catcher has an unequivocal liking for lefties. Contreras boasts a .361 batting average, .660 slugging percentage, 192 wRC+, and a 31.3% HR/FB ratio against left-handed pitchers. His deadly stat line against southpaws creates the perfect storm for him to produce big numbers opposite Thompson, making him a solid choice to record two bases tonight.
Cristian Javier Over 5.5 Strikeouts (-118)
The Houston Astros won a monumental game against the Seattle Mariners last night, leaving them with a game and a half lead over their AL West rivals for that coveted (and final) AL Wild Card spot. Tonight, the ‘Stros will suit up against their biggest competitors once again and look to ensure that last night’s efforts weren't done in vain.
As props go, this is one of the best games on tonight’s slate to target considering how meaningful a win is for both teams. For teams that have already clinched a playoff berth (namely, clinched their respective division) and teams that have already been eliminated from playoff contention, there is too much room for funny business on the pitching end (pitchers getting “shut down for the season,” position players pitching in a meaningless game, etc.).
However, we can rest assured knowing that the kitchen sink will be thrown at this Houston-Seattle matchup.
Cristian Javier will take the mound for Houston in what will be his final regular-season outing, and he’s my pick to produce some whiffs tonight.
In 64 at-bats against the Mariners’ active lineup, Javier has punched out 24 batters (including a 7-inning, 8-strikeout outing earlier this season). This leaves Javier with a whopping 37.5% strikeout rate against Seattle, which is a decent place to start when considering the over for this prop.
Javier also boasts a 28.3% strikeout rate and 10.38 strikeouts per nine innings against right-handed batters. And though it would be preferable for the Mariners to have more than five right-handed batters in their lineup, it’s advantageous for Javier that he is facing a majority (albeit, a small majority) right-handed lineup. Even though Javier only has an 18.8% strikeout rate against lefties (and we know he will have to face four of them tonight), his overall strikeout rate of 36.6% in September is lethal.
The Houston bullpen got some rest last night, only throwing a total of 11 pitches after Justin Verlander clocked in an eight-inning outing. Under normal circumstances, this would give me a bit of pause in choosing the starting pitcher who follows up this game, given that a fresh bullpen could mean a shorter leash and less room for error.
However, the fact that this will be Javier’s final outing of the regular season, and the earliest he could next pitch is in Game 1 of the AL Wild Card (next Tuesday), I don’t foresee a short leash being an issue tonight. Javier has a minimum of six days rest on tap for him, and Houston will look for, more than anything, him to deliver a quality, game-winning outing tonight.
Seattle’s strikeout propensity is well-documented. They come into the night with a 25.7% strikeout rate (second-worst in MLB). When combined with Javier's history against the Mariners, and the incredible month that the Houston pitcher has been having, I like his chances to punch out six batters tonight.
The above author is a FanDuel employee and is not eligible to compete in public daily fantasy contests or place sports betting wagers on FanDuel. The advice provided by the author does not necessarily represent the views of FanDuel. Taking the author’s advice will not guarantee a successful outcome. You should use your own judgment when participating in daily fantasy contests or placing sports wagers.