Best MLB prop bet for today, 5/11: Ragans and Royals roll vs Angels

Kansas City Royals starting pitcher Cole Ragans (55) delivers a pitch in the first inning against the St. Louis Cardinals at Kauffman Stadium.
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Javan Shouey


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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 Javan Shouey media enquiries, please email
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Weekend baseball is here, and we have a full slate of MLB action to consume! With all 30 teams scheduled to play there are numerous angles worth approaching, but my favorite play highlights Cole Ragans and the Kansas City Royals. Let’s dive in!

Cole Ragans 7+ strikeouts / Kansas City Royals 3+ runs scored (+100)

Odds available at DraftKings sportsbook at time of publishing. Playable to -130 odds. Risking 1u.

Tarik Skubal is the best left-handed starting pitcher in MLB, in my opinion, but Cole Ragans is not far behind. The ascension of Ragans has truly been remarkable, as just 2 seasons ago he racked up only 27 strikeouts across 40 MLB innings while registering an average 4-seam velocity of only 92.1 MPH, a 21st percentile mark that season. Now his average 4-seamer sits at 96.4 MPH while he often throws even harder. Not only did Ragans improve his velocity, but his arsenal shifted as well, adding both a slider and knuckle curve to help round out his pitch mix.

Ragans was traded from the Texas Rangers to the Kansas City Royals last season in a swap for Aroldis Chapman who helped the Rangers win the 2023 World Series. The left-hander made his first start with Kansas City on July 15th and including that outing he has made 20 starts with the club. In those 20 outings Ragans has registered a 2.91 ERA, 2.44 FIP, 1.15 WHIP, 0.39 HR/9, 14.9% swinging strike%, and a 30.6% K%. He has recorded 7 or more strikeouts in 13 of his last 19 outings including 5 of 8 this season and each of his last 2.

On the season the Royals’ ace ranks 6th in SwStr% and has the 2nd lowest zone contact rate allowed behind only Jared Jones. His 30.0% chase rate sits 68th percentile while his 32.2% whiff rate is an 87th percentile mark. He is getting ahead early in counts with a career-best 64.1% first-pitch strike rate. This allows him to use his wide array of pitches, each generating a whiff rate of at least 23.5% and a put away rate of at least 20%. His matchup against the Angels should be a solid one, as they haven’t faced many southpaw pitchers yet this season. Ragans has performed better on the road while with Kansas City and registers a high strikeout rate against either handedness of batter. I like his chances at 7 or more punch outs tonight.

I also like the Royals offense in this game. Asking for 3 or more runs in this spot is something I am comfortable doing, as their original team total caught my eye on its own. Tyler Anderson is beginning to see regression catch up to him, allowing home runs in each of his last 5 outings including a poor start against a weak Pirates offense in his last start. On the year his 2.74 ERA is shadowed by a far worse 4.96 xERA, 4.81 FIP, 4.89 xFIP, and 4.87 SIERA. An 8.1% K-BB% is not going to cut it when you allow a 36th percentile xBA and a 10.6%-barrel rate. Behind him is an Angels bullpen sitting 27th in FIP and 29th in ERA. With wind blowing out the Kansas City bats should find success on the road tonight.

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