3 Strikeout Prop Bets to Target for Thursday 4/4/24

Riley Thomas
Riley Thomas_riley8
3 Strikeout Prop Bets to Target for Thursday 4/4/24

The lengthy MLB season offers a wide array of bets 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

Josiah Gray Under 5.5 Strikeouts (-106)

The Pittsburgh Pirates and the Washington Nationals cap their three-game series this afternoon. Josiah Gray, who is currently Washington's top starter, will take the mound for his second start of the 2024 season.

With the Pirates' batting order averaging 11.0 strikeouts over the first two contests of the series, Gray's strikeout total has been set quite high at 5.5.

Since when is 5.5 Ks a high number? Gray was in the bottom 31% of strikeout percentage (K%) and bottom 34% of chase rate in the 2023 season, per Baseball Savant. The one-time All-Star pitcher also reached 6 Ks in only 11 of his 30 starts last season.

Gray was pummeled in his season debut, giving up eight hits and seven runs against the Cincinnati Reds. While Pittsburgh has struggled with striking out in this series, I cannot overlook Gray's tendency to turn in a low K%. Give me the under for the Nats' ace.

Potential rain showers could lead to a delay, as well. A shortened appearance is in the cards for Gray, making the under even more likely.

Pablo Lopez Under 5.5 Strikeouts (+112)

Pablo Lopez was absolutely electric last season, ranking in the top half of every major stat at Baseball Savant. Some of his most impressive finishes focused on stacking Ks, as Lopez was in the 87th percentile in K%, the 79th percentile in whiff percentage, and 95th percentile in chase percentage.

The Minnesota Twins' standout starter hit the ground running by giving up only one run paired with seven Ks in seven innings of work in his 2024 debut. The -144 odds for Lopez to go over 5.5 strikeouts certainly adds up. However, I'm willing to take on the risk on the enticing +112 line for the under.

This starts and ends with Thursday's opponent. The Cleveland Guardians are off to an excellent 5-2 start, and just like last year, they rarely swing and miss.

The Guardians led the league with a 18.7 K% in 2023 and had the fourth-lowest swinging strike percentage (9.9%). Cleveland also struck out for an average of about 7.1 times per game, which was once again the top mark in baseball. Not much has changed thus far, as the Guardians have the second-best K% (16.4%), the third-fewest strikeouts per game (6.7), and the seventh-best swinging strike percentage (10.1%).

By most accounts, striking out Cleveland is still a tall task, even for the best of the best. In three head-to-head matchups in 2023, Lopez totaled only 4.3 Ks per start against the Guardians. He also failed to surpass five strikeouts in all three matchups. Lopez going under 5.5 strikeouts looks more likely than the odds suggest.

Seth Lugo Over 5.5 Strikeouts (+108)

After ranking in the bottom 18% in whiff and chase rates in 2023, Seth Lugo is not one of the first pitchers that come to mind for strikeouts. Still, this veteran pitcher who transitioned to a full-time starting job for the San Diego Padres last year has good value for tonight.

Lugo was excellent in his Kansas City Royals debut, hurling six scoreless innings. Perhaps the only knock was striking out a measly four batters. Plus, Lugo's K% was only 18.2%. Fortunately, Lugo could get his K% up against one of the MLB's worst teams on Thursday.

According to FanGraphs' Depth Chart projections, the Chicago White Sox are forecasted to have the second-fewest runs per game in 2024. Through five games, dark clouds are hanging over the White Sox's lineup.

Chicago has the third-worst K% at 28.0% and has swinging strikes on 13.3% of pitches (fifth-worst). They sat in the bottom half of both categories last season, but the swinging strike percentage could be the most revealing metric. The Sox had the third-worst swinging strike percentage (12.8%) last season; this could be a plaguing issue yet again.

Despite some unflattering stats via Baseball Savant, Lugo is still capable of reaching six Ks. He did so in four of his final six starts in the 2023 season. Kansas City's starter could feast on Chicago's weak batting order.

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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.