Best MLB prop bets for today 6/28: Royals get to Triston McKenzie again

Cleveland Guardians starting pitcher Triston McKenzie (24) exits the field after ending the second inning against the Tampa Bay Rays during game two of the Wild Card series for the 2022 MLB Playoffs at Progressive Field.
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Friday’s MLB slate is an enticing one with several matchups worth diving into. For the sake of this article, I will hone in and focus on the Guardians vs Royals matchup. Kansas City has performed well at home offensively this season, and they get their 2nd chance at Triston McKenzie within the last 4 weeks. Let’s dive into today’s best MLB player prop bets, but make sure you also read our MLB picks for all of tonight’s big games.

Kansas City Royals first 5 innings team total over 2.5 (-110)

Odds available at DraftKings Sportsbook at time of publishing. Playable to -125 odds. Risking 1u.

Triston McKenzie has been struggling mightily this season, and his struggles have amplified in the last 6 starts. Over those last 6 outings, he has allowed 3 or more earned runs 5 times, allowing 11 home runs and 21 earned runs in that short span. Included in those outings was a start against the Royals where he allowed 9 hits, and 2 walks, 3 home runs and 5 earned runs in 5.1 innings of work. He is now tasked with the difficult close proximity rematch in a tough environment.

The Royals have been putrid offensively against right-handed pitching when on the road this season, posting the 2nd lowest wOBA and a wRC+ of 71. When at home, however, they have mashed righties, posting the 3rd highest wOBA and a 114 wRC+. They also have the league’s lowest strikeout rate within that sample which should lead to a ton of balls in play for this matchup. The Royals should thrive against McKenzie who has allowed a 14.1% BB% and a 12.6%-barrel rate this season. His 4.66 ERA is shadowed by a 5.24 xERA, 6.16 FIP, 5.24 xFIP, and 5.06 SIERA. Those run-prevention indicators are less than encouraging, and his props suggest he could struggle in this matchup.

McKenzie has his outs recorded line listed at 14.5 without the heavy juice typically attached to that line. Despite his projected short leash, McKenzie’s earned run prop is listed at 3.5 for this matchup. With the first 5 innings team total set at 2.5 for Kansas City, we are getting great value considering unearned runs work in our favor. Given McKenzie’s struggles against either handedness of batter, and his recent form, the Royals scoring 3 runs within the first 5 innings is my favorite bet on today’s slate.

Read our full Cleveland Guardians vs Kansas City Royals predictions

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