3 Strikeout Prop Bets to Target for Friday 3/29/24

Riley Thomas
Riley Thomas_riley8
3 Strikeout Prop Bets to Target for Friday 3/29/24

The lengthy MLB season offers a wide array of betting options via the MLB odds at FanDuel Sportsbook.

Strikeout props are among the popular lines offered. These bets can focus on the over/under of a starting pitcher's strikeout total or alternate lines can be utilized for more intriguing odds.

In this piece, we will dive into the stats to back our favorite strikeout props of the day across the MLB's slate. Which pitchers taking the mound could rack up Ks or which may stumble? We have plenty of tools available that can help us zero in on the top picks, and we'll use stats from numberFire's daily fantasy baseball projections, Baseball Savant, and FanGraphs.

Here are some of the most enticing strikeout props at FanDuel Sportsbook for today's games.

Please note lines are subject to change throughout the day after this article is published. All MLB odds come from FanDuel Sportsbook.

MLB Strikeout Prop Bets

Aaron Civale Under 4.5 Strikeouts (-138)

Aaron Civale has not put up huge stirkeout numbers throughout his career, logging 5.0 K's per start last season and 4.9 in the 2022 season. Civale will take the rubber for the first time this season for the Tampa Bay Rays as they face the Toronto Blue Jays.

This is not a great matchup for Civale to get rolling in the strikeout department. Toronto boasted one of the most disciplined batting orders in the MLB last season, carrying the sixth-best strikeout percentage (K%). Civale's 23.0 K% from last season was mediocre (bottom 46%), and his whiff percentage was in the bottom 26%, per Savant.

Various metrics show that Civale could be in store for a rough outing. He gave up a lot of line drives in 2023 (22.1%); for reference, the Colorado Rockies led the MLB with a 21.4% line drive percentage last season. The Rockies leading in any positive stat is quite surprising, but more line drives typically leads to more hits. How does this relate to Toronto? They had the ninth-best line drive percentage last season (20.5%).

Civale did an excellent job of getting batters to chase in 2023, ranking in the 69th percentile of chase percentage. Plus, he had an outside the strike zone swing percentage of 33.7%. However, the Jays check the box once again as they had the seventh-lowest outside the strike zone swing percentage last season (29.9%).

Merrill Kelly 7+ Strikeouts (+100)

As previously mentioned, the Rockies were a surprising leader in line drive percentage in 2023. Don't be fooled, though; Colorado was one of the worst hitting teams in baseball with the sixth-worst on-base percentage. The Rockies figure to be one of the worst batting orders in the MLB once again.

Colorado got off to a nightmare start on Opening Day, falling 16-1 against the Arizona Diamondbacks. The Rockies totaled only four hits with a team batting average of .133. After facing Arizona's ace Zac Gallen, Colorado gets to see another exceptional pitcher in Merrill Kelly.

I love this matchup for Kelly's strikeout total. He was in the 69th percentile of K% last season (25.9%) and the 88th percentile of chase rate. The Rockies pretty much struggled in every category when it came to striking out in 2023. They had the third-worst K%, and Colorado's 32.1% chase rate wasn't far off of Kelly's exceptional chase percentage (32.9%).

Kelly has the stuff to make the Rockies look silly; his cutter and changeup had exceptional vertical movement in 2023 that easily surpassed the league average.

Nick Pivetta Over 6.5 Strikeouts (-104)

After finishing with the second-worst K% in the MLB in 2023, the Seattle Mariners showed no signs of improving in Opening Day's 6-4 loss against the Boston Red Sox. The Mariners struck out nine times paired with a 25.0 K% (not far off from 2023's 25.9%).

Boston has Nick Pivetta taking the mound for tonight's matchup. Pivetta comes off an exceptional season with a 3.98 expected ERA (xERA) and 1.9 wins above replacement (WAR). Both marks were the third-best totals of his seven-year career. His strikeout numbers were especially impressive with 6.6 K's per start. This is pretty much right on par with his 6.5 strikeout total for tonight.

In two matchups against the Mariners in 2023, Pivetta struck out 8.0 batters per game. He also ranked in the 93rd percentile of K%, 89th percentile in chase rate, and 75th percentile in whiff rate last season.

Seattle was also outside the top half in swing percentage and in outside the strike zone swing percentage in 2023. Pivetta has a nasty curveball that has far more break than the league average. This pitch could be a problem for the Mariners, causing them to chase.

In five appearances during spring training, Pivetta averaged 1.2 strikeouts in each inning pitched. If Pivetta can make a solid start lasting through the fifth or sixth inning, reaching seven K's is certainly within reach.

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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.