Best MLB player prop bets for today 7/8: Braxton Garrett racks up the strikeouts

Photo of Javan Shouey

Javan Shouey


Show Bio

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 Javan Shouey media enquiries, please email
Read more about Javan Shouey

Weekend baseball is here and today’s MLB slate is stocked full with 15 games to choose from. The Braves and Rays will face off again and grab many of the headlines, but I am finding value in the betting markets elsewhere today. Let’s dive in!

You can bet on today’s MLB player props with BetMGM, which has the best odds available for one of our props and a great new-customer promotion where you can get a $1,000 deposit bonus! Click here to take advantage of this offer.

Braxton Garrett (Marlins) over 5.5 strikeouts (-118)

Odds available at FanDuel Sportsbook at time of publishing. Playable to -130.

Braxton Garrett has been terrific for the Miami Marlins this season. The former 7th overall pick from the 2016 draft has been brought along slowly, but is showing flashes of dominance, especially in the strikeout department. The left-hander ranks in the 76th percentile in K% this season but has really taken off since his second start against the Braves. Garrett appeared to be tipping pitches in that May 8 start against Atlanta but has since emerged as an elite weapon for the Marlins. In his last 11 starts Garrett has recorded 6 or more strikeouts 9 times, with one of the misses shortened due to a rain delay. During that span his 28.1% K-BB% ranks 2nd behind only Spencer Strider. The addition of a cutter to his arsenal has been massive for his sequencing and overall portfolio as a pitcher. He has used that offering 25.1% and 25.2% of the time during May and June respectively and had 27.8% usage with that pitch in his only July start so far. While he will mix in a cutter against lefties, this pitch is mainly a weapon against right-handed batters. He has generated a 27% whiff rate and 20% put away rate against those right-handed batters with his cutter. The Phillies have the league’s 8th-highest K% against left-handed cutters this season.

Garrett is able to generate swinging strikes with his 12.8% mark ranking in the 74th percentile, but his high called strike rate leads to a 32.3% CSW%, a mark ranking in the 92nd percentile. A ton of his looking strikes come on his sinker, a pitch he has a 29.0% put-away rate with despite just a 9.9% whiff rate. His movement on that offering is exceptional, generating above-average movement both horizontally and vertically. Braxton also draws batters out of the zone often, ranking 91st percentile with his 33.7% chase rate. Opponents are connecting on those chases just 46.4% of the time, 11.7% less than league average. The Phillies, today’s opponent, have chased at the league’s 4th-highest rate in the last 30 days. They also rank 17th in zone contact rate and have the 9th-highest swinging strike rate during that span. Garrett’s main chase pitch, and main strikeout pitch overall is his slider. That pitch has held opponents to a .191 AVG and .262 wOBA while generating a 44.2% whiff rate and 26.6% put-away rate. The Phillies have struck out against left-handed sliders at the 5th-highest rate.

In the beginning of the season Miami was limiting Garrett to around 80 pitches per start, but the left-hander has seen 88 or more in 3 of his last 4 outings. His only time not seeing 88 or more pitches in that stretch was due to a rain delay in Boston (5 innings through 66 pitches). Seeing the total batters faced jump from around 22 to around 24 is a massive boost when dealing with a strikeout prop. Garrett has an outs-recorded prop of 17.5 today, implying a solid chance of going 6 innings. With his 1.13 K/IP ranking in the 70th percentile, Garrett may not even need 6 innings of work to clear this mark. Alec Bohm is the only projected batter in today’s lineup with a K% below 21.5% against southpaw pitching this season. The Phillies have a 25.5% K% against southpaw pitching in the last 30 days, the league’s 10th-highest mark, and the same rate as their season-long K%. They also have the league’s lowest walk rate against left-handers this year which plays into Garrett’s hands. The lefty has issued just a 4.2% BB% this season, ranking him in the 96th percentile league-wide. He generates a first-pitch strike 68.5% of the time and gets ahead 0-2 on batters 30% of the time, the 24th-highest mark among 107 qualified pitchers. Look for another strong outing from the Marlins lefty, and 6 or more punch-outs to be recorded.

WynnBET has arrived! Click here to sign up and secure yourself $100 in bonus bets from a $100 wager.

James Paxton (Red Sox) over 6.5 strikeouts (-120)

Odds available at BetMGM Sportsbook at time of publishing. Playable to -130.

I hesitated backing James Paxton in his last outing, as he had exited his previous start with knee discomfort. Paxton stated that it began to bother him in his outing against Minnesota, but with 110 pitches in his most recent start my worries over his workload are alleviated. Following that start Paxton said: “The knee held up really well. We did a lot of great work on it this week and it felt strong out there.” The veteran left-hander will pitch today on 7 days’ rest thanks to a brief paternity leave. That extra rest should help June’s AL pitcher of the month in this matchup.

His last outing lasted 7.2 innings against Toronto, striking out 7 batters and allowing 0 runs. Toronto is not an easy team to strike out, ranking as the 4th-lowest K% against left-handed pitching this season. Paxton’s opponents today, the Oakland Athletics, are not nearly as stingy at the plate. In the last 30 days against southpaw pitchers the Athletics have the league’s 2nd-highest K% at 28.9%. They aren’t hitting them well either, ranking 30th in AVG and wOBA and posting a wRC+ of 65 during that span. Their discipline numbers are unimpressive as well, posting the 10th-highest swinging strike rate and 3rd-highest CSW% in that recent stretch.

Paxton wins both in and out of the zone, allowing a chase contact rate 11.5% below the league average and a zone contact rate 4.6% below league average. His 14.2% swinging strike rate ranks in the 87th percentile while his 29.9% CSW% is a career-best mark. The 4-seam fastball is his most-used pitch, seeing 57.9% usage. Despite throwing it so often Paxton is able to generate whiffs on that offering at a 27.4% clip while recording a 24.8% put-away rate. Those are elite numbers for a 4-seamer and have helped him to record 32 of his 61 strikeouts this season. Oakland has the league’s 10th-highest K% against left-handed 4-seamers this season. In the last 30 days they have the 5th-highest mark, a rate that is also 4.2% higher than their season average.

Paxton also generates strikeouts with his cutter and curveball, generating at least a 35.1% whiff rate and 22.0% put-away rate on both offerings. The last 7 left-handed starting pitchers to face Oakland have combined for a 1.22 K/IP. Paxton averages that same 1.22 K/IP mark this year, ranking in the 83rd percentile. With the expectation of a large workload, and an advantageous matchup, I like this spot for Paxton. Add in that Phil Cuzzi, a pitcher-friendly umpire, will be calling balls and strikes and we have a solid mixture of factors on our side. Look for Paxton to record 7 or more strikeouts in his final start before the All-Star break.

You can also read today’s MLB mega parlay and YRFI/NRFI Best Bets

Unibet has arrived, and you can get $100 in bonus bets by signing up right now. Click here to join Unibet and lock in their great new customer bonus.

Pickswise is the home of free expert MLB Predictions every day of the season. Check out today’s MLB Best Bets now.

By signing up you agree to our terms and privacy policy