Best MLB player prop bets for today 4/3: Slow start to 2024 for Joe Musgrove

San Diego Padres pitcher Joe Musgrove
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

The 2024 MLB season continues and although rain along the east coast could put some games in jeopardy, we should still see another great day of baseball. I’ve started the new season 2-0 with my best MLB player prop bets, and I’ve got another great pick I like for today’s action. Let’s dive in, but make sure you also check out our Pickswise experts’ MLB picks for the big matchups of the day. They’re 15-4-1 over the past 2 days so you won’t want to miss those!

Joe Musgrove (SD) under 6.5 strikeouts (+100)

Odds available at BetMGM at time of initial post to Twitter. Risking 1u. Playable to -125 odds.

Joe Musgrove showed glimpses of potential as a young arm in the Astros organization before spending parts of 3 seasons with the Pirates. Since being acquired by San Diego in the deal that sent David Bednar to Pittsburgh, Musgrove has been a borderline elite starting option for the Padres. With 181.1 and 181 innings in 2021 and 2022 respectively, Musgrove was able to put together consecutive full seasons with an ERA hovering around 3. Last season saw some injury battles including a big toe injury and then a shoulder ailment that ended his year early. His K/9 in 2023 dipped below 9 for the first time since his 2019 season while his whiff rate declined. 

Musgrove struggled throughout spring training, and his velocity is still slightly down from previous seasons so far this regular season. His first start of 2024 was in Korea against the Dodgers, where he allowed 9 base runners and 5 earned runs, generating only 2 strikeouts. Musgrove followed that outing up with a start against the Giants, allowing 9 more base runners and 4 earned runs while accruing 3 strikeouts. Through 2 starts his chase rate is down 5.5%, and drawing batters out of the zone is what Musgrove loves to do when on his game. When discussing his lack of control after the start against San Francisco, Musgrove stated “It’s something I gotta address. I’ve got to make some adjustments and find out what it is — if it is just location-based or if I’m not sequencing things right. 

Last season, Musgrove was held under this 6.5 prop in 12 of 17 starts. Most notable public projection systems have Musgrove projected for a K/9 under 9 this season as well. The Cardinals project towards the middle of the pack in projected K% this season, and Nolan Gorman is likely our biggest concern for K’s today. They did strikeout 11 times to Bobby Miller and 7 times to Matt Waldron’s knuckleball-heavy arsenal, but Yu Darvish was held under this mark despite 7 full innings, and Tyler Glasnow was held to only 5 K’s in his 6 innings of work. While I would prefer robot umpires, John Tumpane is generally fairly neutral with his calling of balls and strikes behind home plate.

By signing up you agree to our terms and privacy policy