Best MLB player prop bets for today 7/13: JT Brubaker can reel in the Marlins

Jul 2, 2022; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher JT Brubaker (34) looks on from the dugout against the Milwaukee Brewers during the first inning at PNC Park. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
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Javan Shouey

MLB · 1 month ago

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A lifelong sports fan from Northwestern Pennsylvania. Die-hard supporter of the Steelers, Pirates and Cavaliers. Insane passion for writing about sports and helping others improve. Incredibly thankful for the platform Pickswise is giving me.

For the last 13 months I have shared my sports betting tips and plays on my Twitter page @shou_in. I am incredibly thankful for the platform Pickswise has now allowed me. I update my record in my Twitter bio daily and am more than willing to answer any questions or provide help through direct messaging.

Read below to see the prop(s) I am eyeing up on Wednesday’s MLB slate.

JT Brubaker (PIT) over 4.5 strikeouts (-128)

Odds available at FanDuel Sportsbook at time of publishing. Playable to -140.

As the season continues and lines become sharper, I find it important to dive deep into what pitchers are doing to see why they are or are not succeeding. Sportsbooks are not delving into increased usage of certain pitches or alternate approaches pitchers are taking. They look at results and react. As bettors we should be looking for these short-term windows in which books are yet to adjust.

JT Brubaker is a prime example in my eyes. The 28-year-old right-handed pitcher has shown signs of increased strikeout productivity over his last 6 starts. Brubaker has cleared this 4.5 line in each of those starts. One reason for the increased production is that his leash has been extended. Brubaker has thrown 94 or more pitches in each game and is averaging 99.7 per game during that stretch. He had seen 90+ pitches only twice this year before that span.

The Pirates’ right-hander has thrown his 4-seam fastball and changeup for a combined 12.7% of his pitches this season. Over the last 6 games, however, that rate has dropped to 4.2%. This was smart on his end as both pitches were getting hit hard. He has bumped his curveball and sinker usage up around 4.5% on each pitch as a result. The curveball is what really stands out to me as he has a 33.7% whiff-rate and 26.5% put-away rate on that pitch this season. While he has only 13 Ks on that pitch overall this year, 11 have come in the last 6 starts, including 7 in the last 3.

Brubaker has a 61st percentile chase rate and a 64th percentile whiff-rate overall. His chase-contact rate allowed is nearly 9% lower than average and he does a good job getting ahead in counts with first-pitch strikes. The Marlins have the league’s 10th-worst zone contact rate this season. They chase at the 6th-highest rate with the 4th-worst chase-contact rate. Miami has the 6th-highest strikeout rate against right-handed pitching in the last 30 days and 7 of the last 9 right-handed starters they have faced have had 5 or more Ks, with an opener being one of the misses. After a bullpen game yesterday, I expect another full leash for the Pirates’ opening-day starter.

Luis Severino 6+ strikeouts/Yankees Moneyline (-105)

Odds available at DraftKings and BetMGM Sportsbooks at time of publishing. Fine with O6.5 Ks at plus money as well.

The last time we bet on Luis Severino to record strikeouts he converted only 3 of his 13 2-strike counts. He still pitched very well overall in the game, and the Yankees won 16-0. Despite his lack of success with his put away pitch last outing, I have faith in Severino tonight.

Severino is a pitcher who has been much more successful at home than on the road this season. His 3.11 overall ERA drops to 2.62 at home, and his overall xERA of 2.79 ranks 87th percentile. He averages 1.25 K/IP and 0.23 BB/IP at home compared to 0.97 K/IP and 0.33 BB/IP on the road. Severino has recorded 7 or more strikeouts in 7 of his last 10 starts while averaging 95.6 pitches per start.

Luis has a 71st percentile whiff rate, 74th percentile swinging-strike rate, and an 81st percentile K%. While his chase rate is below average, his chase contact rate is 7% lower than average when batters do swing out of the zone. He has 3 pitches with whiff rates over 31.8% including his slider which has a 41.7% whiff rate. That slider is his number one put away pitch with a 32.2% put away rate and has accounted for over 40% of his strikeouts this year. Teams are hitting .164 with a .143 xBA off Severino’s slider this season. Cincinnati has 6 bats in the lineup that have a 31% or higher whiff rate against the slider including 4 bats that are 43% or higher. Reds have 6 right-handed batters in the lineup and Severino has struck out 34.5% of the RHB he has faced this season.

Mike Minor and his 5th percentile barrel rate and 8th percentile xSLG will take the mound for the Reds today. The 34-year-old has a 6.63 ERA that expands even further to 7.94 on the road. His xERA sits 23rd percentile and he is struggling to make batters miss. Minor has allowed at least 3 runs in 6 of his 7 starts and 4 or more in 5 of 7. Yankees over the last 30 days against left-handed pitching rank 6th in SLG, 8th in OPS, 2nd in ISO, 10th in wOBA, and have a 123 wRC+.

The Yankees are fresh off a devastating loss last night. They led the entire way before their elite bullpen allowed 4 runs in the top of the 9th inning. Even with that collapse, the Yankees bullpen still ranks 9th in xFIP, 6th in WHIP, and 12th in ERA over the last 30 days. Reds rank 17th in xFIP, 21st in WHIP, and 23rd in ERA during that span. In terms of full season stats, the Yankees have the far superior bullpen ranking 1st in WHIP, 3rd in xFIP, and 3rd in ERA while the Reds are 25th in WHIP, 20th in xFIP, and 29th in ERA. The Yankees also have the slightly fresher bullpen with nobody over 27 pitches in the last 3 days.

New York has won 18 of their last 25 games against a left-handed starter. They are 34-10 this season at home, all as a favorite, and are 10-5 when Severino starts. The Reds are 15-26 on the road, 1-6 when Minor starts, and 0-10 on the 2nd day without a game off.

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