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Thursday’s MLB schedule is ripe for the taking in the prop department and features ten games in total, with nine first pitches happening before 4:30 pm ET. The conclusion to the four-game series between the Toronto Blue Jays and Boston Red Sox is the late game on the docket, slated to begin at 6:10 pm ET.
Today’s afternoon-heavy batch of games includes several teams looking to avoid sweeps. The New York Mets dropped the first two games of their road trip to Detroit, and Tigers’ legend Justin Verlander will be on the bump for the Mets today.
It will be the first time he’s faced his former team since 2019, and Verlander has averaged 7.3 innings and 10.5 strikeouts against the Tigers in four previous matchups.
The Red Sox will attempt to sweep the Blue Jays and move up to third place in a competitive AL East this evening. Rookie Brayan Bello makes his fourth start for Boston and will face Toronto’s Kevin Gausman as the Sox aim to extend their winning streak to six games.
On this most hallowed Star Wars Day 2023, we present our player props for today’s action. May the force be with you.
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The Cubs face Washington’s Patrick Corbin to wrap up their DC trip today. The two-time All-Star has had a tough start to the season and enters this contest sporting a 5.74 ERA.
He’s been more susceptible to right-handed hitters over his career but is allowing righties to slash .336/.376/.543 against him through six starts in 2023. Nats Park has not been kind to Corbin this year, either.
17 of the 24 runs allowed by Corbin have come in four home starts, compared to seven runs given up across two starts in Anaheim and Cincinnati. Hoerner is 4-for-4 in his career against Corbin with a walk in five plate appearances, and we expect him to be on base multiple times in today’s series finale.
G-Rod has a streak of 14 scoreless innings dating back to an April 16 matchup with the Chicago White Sox. This stretch includes two straight starts with five innings pitched, six strikeouts, and 0 runs allowed, and Rodriguez was rewarded with the first win of his career last time out against Detroit.
As for the lineup he’ll face, Kansas City is a friendly one for opposing pitchers. The Royals have scored the 2nd-fewest runs per game in the MLB and have the 5th-highest strikeout rate in the majors.
After yesterday’s outlier of a performance in which KC scored six runs and didn’t strike out once against Kyle Gibson, we’re projecting a regression to their normal tendencies against the young phenom Rodriguez.
Gausman’s gaudy strikeout numbers from a few recent starts make this total look paltry, but the numbers speak to how patient and disciplined this Red Sox lineup has been. Boston’s hitters strike out less than 20% of the time, the third lowest rate in baseball in 2023, and several individuals stand out.
Masataka Yoshida, Alex Verdugo, and Justin Turner, the typical first three hitters in manager Alex Cora’s batting order, are among the 14 best players this season at avoiding strikeouts.
Circling back to Gausman, two of his recent 11+ strikeout games came against Seattle and Detroit. They make up two of the three teams in the league with the worst strikeout rates to date. We like the Sox to avoid too many Ks in tonight’s matchup with the Blue Jays ace.