Best MLB player prop bets for today 8/1: Luis Garcia takes on Boston

Houston Astros starting pitcher Luis Garcia (77) delivers a pitch during the first inning against the Cleveland Indians at Minute Maid Park
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Javan Shouey

MLB · 1 week 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 props I am eyeing up on Monday’s MLB slate.

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Luis Garcia (HOU) 5+ strikeouts/Astros ML (-115)

Odds available at DraftKings Sportsbook at time of publishing. 

The Boston Red Sox were at one point 42-31 this season. They have since lost 21 of 30 games, including 7 of 10 since the all-star break. Now they begin a 7-game road trip by flying to Houston. Having fallen into last place in the AL East and rumors circulating that they will be sellers at tomorrow’s MLB trade deadline, Boston has very little motivation, and their recent play is showing it.

The Red Sox have been horrid defensively, recording the 8th-most errors this season. They have already recorded 11 total since the second half of the year began. Against right-handed pitching in the last 30 days, Boston is 27th in OBP, 24th in OPS, 20th in ISO, 24th in wOBA and has a wRC+ of just 79.

Boston is just 34-44 against right-handed starting pitchers this season. Luis Garcia has led Houston to wins in 12 of his 18 starts this season. His 70th percentile xERA and 76th percentile xBA support his success to this point. He does a very good job making batters miss with his 74th percentile whiff rate, 65th percentile chase rate and 84th percentile swinging strike rate. Garcia averages 1.08 strikeouts/inning which ranks 63rd percentile. He has also gone 5 or more innings in 15 of his last 16 starts, with 6 or more innings in 8 of those starts. Boston has the 4th-highest K% against RHP in the last month at 26.9%.

Nathan Eovaldi is a pitcher I really like overall, but his 3 starts since returning from a lower-back injury have labeled him as a current fade. His 13 IP since returning have resulted in a 2.08 WHIP, with 16 earned runs allowed to just 8 strikeouts. The lack of strikeout production is what is alarming to me. He also walked multiple batters in 2 of those 3 starts, something he had done just once before this season. On the year, Eovaldi ranks 35th percentile in xERA and 28th percentile in xBA. His 11th percentile barrel rate, 8th percentile hard-hit rate, and 13th percentile xSLG are extremely worrisome against Houston. The Astros rank top 6 in OPS, wOBA, SLG, ISO and have a 123 wRC+ during the last month against right-handers. They are also 43-25 against right-handed starters this season.

In terms of bullpen, this is no match on paper with Boston ranking 22nd in xFIP and 27th in WHIP in the last 30 days. Houston in the same span ranks 4th in xFIP and WHIP. Ryan Pressley for Houston is likely unavailable after pitching 3 of 4 days. Even considering that, they have a deeper and more rested unit overall. I really like the price on this pairing.

Be sure to check out our full game preview for Boston Red Sox vs Houston Astros

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