8 MLB Player Prop Bets That Look Like Easy Money
The Major League Baseball regular season begins this week, and it couldn’t come at a better time. I’m willing to go on record and say that April is the best sports month. Who’s with me?
Not only does baseball season get underway around April, we also get the beginning of the NBA and NHL playoffs. The Masters takes place in April. Soccer season is still going. The NFL Draft is in April. March Madness concludes this weekend. There’s a lot going on, and it’s great.
The beginning of baseball season is always a time for optimism. Some team is probably going to wind up losing 100 games this year, but they probably don’t know it yet. Everyone starts the season tied for first place. That’s part of the fun.
Another . Some of these may wind up looking foolish once the season ends in October, but why worry about that now? Let’s take an analytical approach to things and identify a few player prop bets that look like good bets to pay off in 2018.
Corey Seager Total Home Runs
- Over 24 ½ home runs -115
- Under 24 ½ home runs -115
With all the young, rising stars in baseball these days, Corey Seager seems to have fallen by the wayside a bit. We aren’t that far removed from Seager being tabbed as the top overall prospect in baseball, and he’s gone on to enjoy a couple of strong seasons at the big league level.
Shortstop isn’t a position we typically associate with power, but that’s changing a bit. Most of the big boppers still typically play a corner infield or outfield spot, but there are some shortstops with pop these days. In his first 2 big league seasons, Seager has hit 26 and 22 homers, respectively.
This prop of 24 ½ just looks too low. Seager will turn 24 next month, and it’s safe to suggest he can continue to add more power to his game as his body continues to mature. It’s also worth noting that he was limited to just 145 games last year as he dealt with a nagging injury late in the season. Had he played a full complement of games, he likely would’ve finished with 25 or 26 long balls.
Dodger Stadium isn’t exactly a home run haven, but Seager’s power to all fields means he can essentially hit one out anywhere. Seager actually hit 2 more homers at home than he did on the road last season. Seager is an excellent talent, and I feel like he’s being undervalued here.
If healthy, I expect him to creep closer to the 30-homer plateau in 2018. So, hit the over on 24 ½ dingers.
Freddie Freeman Total Home Runs
- Over 32 ½ home runs -115
- Under 32 ½ home runs -115
Freddie Freeman may well be the most . The Braves haven’t been in contention for the last few years, so Freeman doesn’t get a ton of national exposure. Still only 28, Freeman has been consistently putting up big numbers since getting the call for the first time back in 2010.
The Braves used to play their home games in spacious Turner Field, which was often death for power. They opened the brand new SunTrust Park last season, though, which was far more favorable for hitters. The ball would fly rather consistently to right field, which favors a lefty like Freeman.
Freeman finished with just 28 homers last year, but we have to remember that he missed significant time after breaking his wrist. As a result, he logged just 117 games and 440 at-bats. The year prior, Freeman belted a career-high 34 long balls in 158 games while playing half of his games in the aforementioned Turner Field.
32 ½ is a big number considering Freeman has topped it just once before, but a couple of trustworthy projection systems (The BAT, ATC) have him projected to hit 35 or so. I like him to get there, too.
Khris Davis Total Home Runs
- Over 34 ½ home runs -125
- Under 34 ½ home runs -105
I said Freddie Freeman was probably the most underrated hitter in baseball, but Khris Davis probably isn’t far behind. He’s playing in similar anonymity out in Oakland, but the guy has been straight mashing since joining the A’s prior to the 2016 campaign.
He hit 42 homers in 2016 and followed that up by smacking 43 last year. He’s a guy with some holes in his game, but power is not one of them. Davis isn’t one of those hitters that only does it against lefties or righties. He’s more than willing to hit homers against pitchers that throw with either hand, as evidenced by his .293 ISO against righties and .238 mark against southpaws in 2017.
The A’s aren’t necessarily World Series contenders, but we know this is a team that is going to be making a bunch of slow jogs around the basepaths. Oakland hit the fourth-most homers in all of baseball last season, even though the likes of Matt Olson and Matt Chapman weren’t in the majors for the full year. Davis is going to be hitting in the heart of a lineup that is going to score a ton of runs.
O.Co Coliseum isn’t a park particularly conducive to power, but the A’s made it look like Coors Field at times last season. 34 ½ just looks like an incredibly low prop for a guy that has cracked 40 in back-to-back seasons. We might as well continue to ride the wave and take the over once again.
Paul Goldschmidt Total Home Runs
- Over 32 ½ home runs -110
- Under 32 ½ home runs -120
Chase Field has been one of baseball’s best parks for hitters for quite some time, but that may be about to change. The Diamondbacks are set to install a humidor in which to store baseballs, as they do in Colorado’s Coors Field. The humidor is being put in in an attempt by the team to make the ballpark play more neutrally than it currently does.
Obviously, this could have a drastic effect on the production of guys like Paul Goldschmidt, AJ Pollock and Yasmany Tomas. Goldy hit a career-high 36 dingers last season as he made a push to win National League MVP. the award was eventually given to Giancarlo Stanton, but Goldschmidt is known as one of the better all-around hitters in the league these days.
The humidor is going to put a damper on some of that power. It obviously won’t completely sap him, but the humidor has had a fairly dramatic effect on the offense in Colorado. It’s still a favorable park for hitters, obviously, but there’s only so much they can do to quell the flight of the ball a mile above sea level.
The Diamondbacks are expected to have their humidor at the same temperature as the one in Denver, yet Phoenix isn’t as elevated as Denver. The effects of the humidor are expected to be pretty massive.
I’m taking the under on 32 ½ dongs for Goldschmidt.
Francisco Lindor Total Hits
- Over 172 ½ hits -115
- Under 172 ½ hits -115
Francisco Lindor is good. Really good. Despite standing just 5’11” and being listed at under 200 pounds, Lindor still managed to crank 33 home runs in 2017, which was one of the best marks in the league among shortstops. He also slashed .273/.337/.505 in helping the Indians to the best regular season record in the American League.
While power is , most believe his 33-homer barrage was something of an outlier. His swing is more suited to hitting the ball into the alleys and running for days. As a result, most projection systems have him hitting for better average and fewer homers in 2018.
172 ½ hits looks a bit low for a guy that has blown past that in each of his first 2 big league campaigns. He’s still only 24, and I expect him to continue to get better and better. Hitting atop the potent Cleveland lineup will help. Lindor logged 723 plate appearances last year, which ranked second in the league behind Charlie Blackmon.
This one looks like an easy over call.
Noah Syndergaard Total Wins
- Over 13 ½ wins -115
- Under 13 ½ wins -115
One of the worst things about the 2017 season was that we didn’t get to see much of Noah Syndergaard. The Mets’ fireballing ace got hurt pretty early in the year and started just 7 games as a result. Now, though, he’s back and healthy. The Mets haven’t announced who will start on Opening Day, but a healthy Syndergaard would appear to be the most likely candidate.
Thor is one of the most unhittable pitchers in baseball when he’s on his game. He posted a 2.60 ERA in 30 starts during the 2016 season, when he finished with a record of 14-9. The Mets won 87 games that year, and I could see them getting back there this season if they’re able to keep their starters healthy.
There’s no reason to believe Syndergaard wouldn’t be a candidate to win 20 games if healthy, so there’s massive upside on this prop. 13 ½ wins is simply too low for a pitcher of his caliber. The health concerns are warranted, but I think he’s a lock if he’s able to crack 30 starts.
Ryan Zimmerman Total Home Runs
- Over 22 ½ home runs -125
- Under 22 ½ home runs -105
Ryan Zimmerman enjoyed quite the renaissance in 2017. He was essentially an afterthought coming into the season after injuries had seemingly derailed his career. He entered last season healthy, and adopted the new fly ball approach we’ve seen from plenty of others in recent years.
The results spoke for themselves. Zimmerman went on to enjoy the best statistical season of his career at the age of 32. He slashed .303/.358/.573 with 36 homers in the middle of the potent Nationals lineup.
He’s now 33, but it’s hard to imagine he’s in for some steep decline all of a sudden. He’s always had a power aspect to his game, but the new Daniel Murphy-style launch angle approach clearly unlocked new upside for him. He may not hit as many as he did last year, but it’s hard to imagine him plummeting to 21 in the span of a season.
I’m inclined to believe the Zimmerman we saw last season wasn’t some flash in the pan. Take the over on 22 ½ home runs and count your winnings in October.
Mike Trout Total Hits
- Over 164 ½ hits -115
- Under 164 ½ hits -115
Mike Trout is the best player in baseball and he’s only 26. If his career ended today, he would get voted into the Baseball Hall of Fame on the first ballot. Think about how staggering that is. The scary thing is that there’s room for him to keep getting even better.
An unfortunate of action last year, but Trout still finished the ‘17 season with 33 homers in just 114 games. Trout is a guy that is more than willing to take his walks, but we’ve also seen him take an aggressive approach. He’s not exactly Joey Votto yet in that regard.
Trout played a minimum of 157 games in 4 consecutive seasons from 2013 through 2016. In those seasons, he finished with 190, 173, 172 and 173 base hits. Whether a player stays healthy obviously isn’t something we can project, but we can project Trout to put up insane numbers if he’s able to stay on the field.
Taking the over is going to sound redundant at this point, but 164 ½ hits is basically a floor season for Trout if he logs enough playing time. I’m not going to be doubting the best hitter on the planet, so I’m going over again.