Best pitcher props for Tuesday's MLB slate): Fading the lefties

Arizona Diamondbacks starting pitcher Madison Bumgarner (40) watches the ball fly to deep right field for a single off the bat of New York Mets Dominic Smith (2) in the first inning at Chase Field
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PropBetGuy

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More commonly known as @PropBetGuy on Twitter, Doug Carter has been crunching the numbers on player props for years. He's also a staunch defender of future Hall of Famer, Eli Manning.

August baseball is upon us. After the dust from the trade deadline has settled, we now have full focus on which teams are making the playoff push and which teams are already looking towards next season. This is a common theme tonight amongst my strikeout props, but before we get to those make sure you check out our full game previews and picks if you’re looking to wager on any game sides or totals.

Tonight, my best strikeout props of the night involve a three-pack of unders. Each of these pitchers happen to be lefties, which is purely coincidence. However, these pitchers all represent teams on the outside of the playoff picture facing divisional rivals. Looking to stake my bets on fully motivated teams, let’s get to the props.

Madison Bumgarner (ARI) under 5.5 strikeouts (-148)

Line available at publishing. 

In his second year as a Diamondback, Bumgarner has put up some pedestrian numbers, including a 4.87 ERA and 73 strikeouts in 77.2 innings pitched. In his 15 starts, he’s stayed under this line 9 times (60 percent).

But the big left-hander has struggled to register strikeouts since his return from a shoulder injury. With only 11 strikeouts in his last 18 innings, Bumgarner has seen a 15% decrease in spin rate for his three main pitches: his four-seam fastball, cutter, and curveball. As a result, the 13-year veteran has experienced a drop in his strikeout rate of 24 percent to 16 percent and his swinging strike rate of 10.3 percent to 8.3 percent in his three starts since returning.

Tonight, Bumgarner will be greeted by his old franchise. The Giants are an above-average team versus southpaws, with the 11th lowest K percentage (22 percent) and 11th-highest OPS (.742). In fact, San Francisco has held 8 of the last 9 traditional left-handed starting pitchers under this total. With a lineup likely to feature predominantly right-handed hitting, I expect Bumgarner to struggle to rack up the strikeouts versus his former team.

Be sure to check out our full game preview for San Francisco Giants vs Arizona Diamondbacks

Patrick Corbin (WSH) under 4.5 strikeouts (+105)

Line available at publishing. 

I have picked on Corbin a lot of late, and for good reason. The Nationals left-hander has pitched to a 7.18 ERA in his five July starts, failing to record at least five strikeouts in each. His 17.2 percent K rate ranks 47th amongst the 51 qualified starters this season. And versus right-handed batters, that strikeout rate falls to a paltry 15.5 percent.

Albeit a little banged up, the Phillies should be trotting out at least six right-handed bats in the lineup tonight. As of late, Philadelphia has been one of the more strikeout-averse teams in baseball, with the fourth-lowest K percentage in the last two weeks (19.7 percent). Just last week, the Phillies chased Corbin from the game with only two strikeouts in 5.0 innings pitched. Over that time-same span, the Phillies have the eighth highest team OPS. With plenty of past success versus their intra-divisional rival, I expect more of the same for the floundering Corbin.

Be sure to check out our full game preview for Philadelphia Phillies vs Washington Nationals

Kris Bubic (KC) under 4.5 strikeouts (-120)

Line available at publishing. 

The second-year pitcher has bounced between the bullpen and rotation for the Royals this season. In his 10 starts he has pitched 50.1 innings while racking up 41 strikeouts. With his whiff and strikeout rates ranking in the 25th and 17th percentiles, respectively, Bubic has stayed under this line in 7 of his starts (70%).

Bubic did acquit himself well versus his upcoming opponent–the White Sox–in his last start. However, he was only able to record 3 strikeouts across his 6.0 innings of work. Bubic now faces a tall order on the road, where he has struggled this season (7.16 ERA). The White Sox have a top 10 OPS both versus left-handers and at home. I’m anticipating a tough go for the young pitcher tonight.

Be sure to check out our full game preview for Kansas City Royals vs Chicago White Sox

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