Best MLB player prop bet for today 6/22: Tough spot for Jameson Taillon

Chicago Cubs starting pitcher Jameson Taillon (50) walks to the dugout after being pulled in the third inning against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park. The Phillies won 12-3.
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Jameson Taillon is a low strikeout rate arm at this point in his career and draws a tough matchup against a contact-oriented team in extremely favorable hitting conditions. Today’s temperatures in Chicago will sit in the low-to-mid 90’s while wind will be blowing out around 17 MPH in the most wind-receptive park MLB has to offer.

Let’s dive into the article to see why I will be fading Taillon today.

Jameson Taillon (CHC) Under 4.5 strikeouts (-102)

Odds available at FanDuel sportsbook at time of initial post to Twitter. Playable to -125. 1u.

Across 61.1 innings of work this season, Chicago Cubs starter Jameson Taillon has only recorded 43 strikeouts. His 8.0% swinging strike rate is a career-low mark and sits just 13th percentile in MLB this season. Taillon ranks just 4th percentile in whiff rate and has struggled to miss bats within the zone, allowing the 10th highest zone-contact rate among starting pitchers with at least 60 innings pitched.  He does draw opponents outside the zone at a slightly above average rate, but his chase contact rate allowed is 6.2% higher than average. Now Taillon draws a matchup against a Mets lineup he has already faced this season.

New York didn’t produce much offense against Taillon the first time, allowing the right-hander to record a season-high 7.1 innings while scoring only 1 run on a solo home run. Taillon only struck out one Met in that game, however, despite facing 27 batters. With just a 3.8% swinging strike rate in that game, he allowed a ton of contact, especially considering he only walked 1 batter. The veteran has remained under this 4.5 strikeout prop in 8 of his 11 starts this season, and now will make a start in extremely favorable hitting conditions.

Wrigley Field is more receptive to wind than any other MLB ballpark, and with strong winds blowing out today the long-ball could play a large factor. Hot temperatures also benefit the hitters and could gas the starting pitchers later in their outings. The Mets have been mashing left-handed pitching of late but have also been competent against right-handers. During the last 30 days of play New York ranks 13th in wOBA with a wRC+ of 107. Active Mets batters have just a 19.1% K% against Taillon across 94 combined plate appearances. As such, I favor his under 4.5 strikeouts in today’s matchup.

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