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Best player props for Monday's MLB slate: Gibson can get going

Best player props for Monday's MLB slate: Gibson can get going

MLB is back in full swing after the break, and we have a great slate on Monday. I’ve got two player props which I really like that I’m going to discuss here. One of them centers on another big start from Rangers pitcher Kyle Gibson. Don’t forget to first check what our MLB analysts have backed with side and total picks for all 13 games today.

Kyle Gibson over 5.5 strikeouts (+130)

Line available at publishing at DraftKings

Getting this much plus-money with Gibson is a steal. He’s not known as a strikeout pitcher, but you wouldn’t guess that from his recent performances. In each of his last three starts, he’s got to at least seven punch-outs.

He has been fantastic overall, entering Monday with a 2.29 ERA and 1.07 WHIP. With those numbers, he should have a very good chance to go deep into this start against the Tigers. It’s a dream matchup, since the Tigers have the second-most strikeouts of any team in the league.

Gibson’s last start came against this same Detroit team, and he struck out seven despite not pitching that well overall and giving up eight hits and five earned runs.

If he can still cash this total while pitching poorly against the Tigers, just imagine what he can do with what should be a better effort. People forget that in his last full season in 2019, he struck out a batter an inning, so these recent outbursts aren’t completely out of nowhere.

Caleb Smith over 4.5 strikeouts (-160)

Line available at publishing at DraftKings

We’re paying a premium here, but I think it’s worth it. Smith was only added to the Diamondbacks’ rotation at the beginning of June, and oddsmakers have been slow to adjust. He was always mowing down batters even when pitching out of the ‘pen, and has 81 strikeouts in only 71 and 1/3 innings this year.

That’s not a fluke. He made only a handful of appearances last year, but in 2019 he had 168 strikeouts in 153 and 1/3 innings. He’s always been a better than one-per-inning guy. As long as he goes five innings, I’d be pretty shocked if he doesn’t get to five strikeouts.

Against a Pirates offense that has scored the fewest runs of any team in MLB, I like his chances of pitching five innings. Since joining the rotation in early June, he’s got to at least five strikeouts in six of eight tries.

One of those two starts where he didn’t was against the Dodgers, when he was chased after just one inning. Pittsburgh surely isn’t going to do that to him. On multiple occasions this season, Smith has reached five strikeouts while pitching fewer than three innings out of the bullpen. He could soar well over this total.

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Last updated: Mon 19th July 2021

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