Best MLB prop bet for today, 10/1: Javier to record five or more strikeouts
Yesterday’s prop article was 3-0 including a +114 winner on the Cubs team total in the first 5 innings. Today is the conclusion of the regular season, and with 4 teams clinching playoff berths last night we will see a lot of meaningless baseball today.
From a betting perspective there are batters looking to find their 100th RBI, 30th home run, 30th steal, and so on, but today’s best bet focuses on the Houston Astros right-hander Cristian Javier. With a ton of variance projected on today’s slate I won’t be making any official bets myself, but I do have a lean worth discussing.
Let’s dive in!
Cristian Javier (HOU) Over 4.5 strikeouts (+105)
Odds available at DraftKings Sportsbook at time of publishing. Playable to +100.
Javier is someone I have faded quite often this season, but the right-handed pitcher has seen an uptick in strikeout production of late. His 5 starts in September saw 36 strikeouts recorded across his 24.2 innings of work despite allowing a 4.74 ERA and 3 or more earned runs in 4 of those games. Javier was a strikeout merchant last season, posting a 33.2% K% thanks to his 13.8% swinging strike rate. This season he has seen his swinging strike rate drop to 11.5% as his strikeout rate has fallen 9.9%. Those last 5 starts, however, have seen a 14.1% swinging strike rate combined with a 33.7% chase rate and 78.0% zone-contact rate. I had his under on a strikeout prop in his start against Baltimore just to see him generate a 20.9% swinging strike rate and eclipse his posted total with ease. While it is encouraging to see his strikeout capabilities picking back up before the playoffs begin, Javier’s role once the postseason comes is currently unclear. Behind Justin Verlander and Framber Valdez, the usage of Houston’s arms will be interesting to see unfold.
With a win last night and the tiebreaker over the Rangers, if Houston wins today and Texas loses the Astros would win the AL West. This leaves them with something to play for, something most other teams cannot say today. Javier could see a shorter leash as a result, and that is likely the reasoning for his deflated prop. A 4.5 line is something he has cleared 5 straight outing and 60% of his starts this season overall. Arizona is not typically a high strikeout rate offense, but with their playoff positioning being secured last night their lineup could be without key pieces in tonight’s game. Even if the Diamondbacks play their regular guys, Geraldo Perdomo, Tommy Pham, Christian Walker, Ketel Marte and Alek Thomas have all recorded higher strikeout rates against right-handed pitching across the last 30 days than their season-long numbers. Alex Tosi is a relatively new umpire, having been behind home plate just 74 times at this level, but he has trended slightly towards being a strikeout-friendly ump in those games. While not a day I am rushing to bet on MLB, there appears to be some slight value on this prop at plus money.