Best MLB prop picks for today 5/18: Astros bats stay hot vs Bryse Wilson

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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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We have a full 15-game slate of action on this beautiful Saturday. There are numerous games worth watching and several angles to bet on in each matchup. Today’s prop article will focus on my 2 favorite prop bets for today. Let’s dive in!

Houston Astros first 5 innings team total Over 2.5 (+105)

Bryse Wilson was a solid reliever for the Milwaukee Brewers last season, posting a 2.58 ERA and 1.07 WHIP across 76.2 innings of work, spanning 53 relief appearances. The right-hander began this season as a reliever again but has since made 5 starts as the Brewers lack rotational depth. While Wilson was fine as a reliever last season, a starting role is one where he has struggled in the past. Wilson was a member of the Pirates in both 2021 and 2022, starting in 28 of his 33 appearances with the club. As a Pirates fan I had the displeasure of watching several of those outings, as a lack of strikeout abilities and a propensity to allow hard contact made for consistently hard watches — and his metrics were poor across the board in a starting role.

In both 2021 and 2022 Wilson’s ERA, xERA, FIP and xFIP were all above 5.00. His 2022 season resulted in a league-worst xBA and an 11th percentile hard-hit rate. He is a low strikeout rate arm who generally pounds the zone with strikes, but this season his walk rate has jumped into the double digits at 10.9%. His 44.0% hard-hit rate sits 21st percentile and now he draws a Houston lineup that is in good form offensively. The Astros enter this game having cleared this 2.5 mark within the first 5 innings against each of the last 4 right-handed starters they have faced. That includes Freddy Peralta, who allowed 5 earned runs in their last opportunity yesterday.

While Wilson has produced a 2.65 ERA through his first 34.0 innings of work this season, his underlying metrics are far more concerning. A 4.82 xERA, 4.89 FIP, 4.72 xFIP and 4.50 SIERA are all not likely more accurate representations of his production level moving forward; I expect his regression to begin here in a tough matchup. There is simply no way he can sustain a .207 BABIP or 90.9% LOB%. The Astros’ offense is good to begin with, but they have consistently been better at home over the course of several seasons. When facing right-handed pitching at home this season the Astros rank 5th in wOBA with a 121 wRC+. When isolating their production against right-handers at home within the first 5 innings they rank 6th in wOBA with a 128 wRC+. Wilson has an outs recorded line of 15.5 with slight juice towards the under, and a 2.5 earned runs prop with heavy juice toward the over. Getting the Astros first 5 innings team total at plus money for 2.5 is value in my eyes.

MacKenzie Gore, WAS, Under 17.5 outs (-115)

Odds available at DraftKings Sportsbook at time of publishing. Playable to -130. 1u.

MacKenzie Gore has produced ace-like results for the Washington Nationals so far this season, posting a 3.38 ERA and 29.0% K% through his first 40.0 innings. He has very good-looking underlying metrics such as a 2.75 FIP and an 85th percentile average exit velocity, but this is a tough matchup for him against a Phillies lineup that is more than familiar with his arsenal and style of pitching. Gore is a young pitcher, having made only 48 MLB starts to this point in his career. Six of those outings have been against the Phillies, including 4 since the start of last season. Overall, active Philadelphia batters have 85 combined PA against Gore — posting a combined .300 batting average and .891 OPS. Gore’s hits allowed prop sits at 4.5 with playable juice toward the over, and that is an angle I like. I do see more value in betting against his overall efficiency in this spot, however.

Gore has remained under 6.0 innings of work in 6 of his 8 starts this season, including falling one out short in his first matchup against the Phillies. Both times he has exceeded this 17.5 mark required over 100 pitches, with 102 and 111 pitches in his overs. That 111-pitch outing was in his last start, but I don’t expect the same workload in this start. For starters, that start was made on 6 days of rest, his only occurrence this season. Today’s start is back on his normal 5 days of rest, and Washington’s bullpen is heavily rested with days off on Monday and Thursday and only 2 arms being used yesterday. Having every bullpen arm available is a luxury that Washington’s manager can utilize for matchups in the later innings.

Not only do the Phillies have familiarity and success against Gore before, but they have also been very good against left-handed pitching overall this season. In the last 30 days against southpaw pitching, they sit 6th in wOBA with a 118 wRC+. In that span they have the 4th-highest walk rate and 4th-highest strikeout rate — which is leading to a ton of pitches seen — and Gore is already someone who struggles with efficiency. On the year the left-hander averages the 3rd-most pitches per plate appearance behind only Luis Gil and Dylan Cease at 4.27. He has the 3rd-lowest first-pitch strike rate, which sets him behind in counts with consistency. That is tough to overcome against this Phillies lineup.

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