Best MLB player prop picks for today 6/18: Strikeouts don't come easy for Aaron Nola

Philadelphia Phillies starting pitcher Aaron Nola (27) pitches in the fifth inns against the San Diego Padres during game two of the NLCS for the 2022 MLB Playoffs at Petco Park.
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Kevin Davies


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MLB handicapper for Pickswise hailing from beautiful Boston, Massachusetts. I’ve been playing baseball since I could walk and betting games since I could (legally) gamble! I love a YRFI & NRFI bet and always on the hunt for a winning parlay.
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The NBA season is now over and the NHL season could finish tonight if the Panthers win, but have no fear, there is still plenty of baseball to watch and bet on! Tonight’s slate is a big one in MLB with every team taking the field, so it gave me plenty of choices for my favorite player props of the day. After a deep dive, here are my best MLB player prop bets for Tuesday, June 18. You can also find our MLB picks for today’s big games.

Aaron Nola (PHI) Under 4.5 strikeouts (+110)

Available at DraftKings Sportsbook at time of publishing

It’s a heavyweight battle between the Padres and Phillies in Philadelphia tonight, and the pitching matchup is set to be a good one as Michael King and Aaron Nola are the scheduled starters. Nola has had a solid season thus far with a 3.48 ERA and a 3.68 xERA, but he’s coming off his worst start of the year. In 3.2 innings against the Red Sox, he was shelled for 8 runs and 11 hits in just 3.2 innings. He also recorded just 2 strikeouts during his short outing. A low number of punchouts isn’t out of the ordinary for the LSU alum since Nola’s strikeout rate has been declining for the last few seasons.

In 2020, Nola had a stunning 33.2% strikeout rate. However, his strikeout rate has declined each season since then. In 2024, his punchout rate is just 22.2%. Nola also has an extremely difficult matchup tonight against the Padres, who have some of the best contact hitters in the business. San Diego has just an 18.5% strikeout rate against right-handed pitchers, which is the 2nd lowest in baseball. At plus-money odds, I’m taking a shot with the value.

Jake Irvin (WSH) Under 2.5 earned runs allowed (-115)

Available at DraftKings Sportsbook at time of publishing

The Washington pitching staff has been phenomenal recently. Between Jake Irvin, MacKenzie Gore, Trevor Williams and Mitchell Parker, the Nats have been a pleasant surprise. But the pitcher that has taken the biggest step forward is Irvin, who had a 4.61 ERA in 24 starts last season and just a 3.00 ERA and 1.04 WHIP in 14 starts in 2024. Irvin has phenomenal control and gets plenty of weak contact with his 6-pitch mix. More importantly for this bet, Irvin has allowed 2 earned runs or less in 10 of his 14 starts. However, digging deeper into Irvin’s season, the majority of his bad starts came at the beginning of the year. Three of Irvin’s 4 starts that had more than 2 earned runs scored came in April. That means the right-hander has allowed 2 earned runs or less in 8 of his last 9 starts. In that span, Irvin has limited hitters to a .200 batting average and .220 xBA.

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