James Kaprielian is the latest A’s starter to be hung out to dry, woefully overmatched against the Astros. Find out how our MLB player prop picks are targeting tonight’s matchup.
Happy Fade Patrick Corbin Day to those who celebrate!
Now, admittedly, Corbin decidedly hasn’t been the worst pitcher in baseball this season. However, the southpaw is still getting hit hard and often which means there are still MLB odds to take advantage of when he takes the mound.
I also look at Xander Bogaerts to break out of his slump as he returns to Yankee Stadium, now as a member of the Padres. And there isn’t much more to be said about the sad state of the A’s at the moment — expect that I’m betting on the Astros to put up some crooked numbers on the scoreboard tonight.
Let’s kick off the weekend with some winners in our MLB player prop picks on Friday, May 26.
Picks made on 5/25/2023 at 12:30 p.m. ET.
Click on each pick to jump to the full analysis.
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It certainly has been a disappointing start to the season for the San Diego Padres. At 23-27, they currently sit in fourth place in the National League West. This weekend they head East for an intriguing matchup with the New York Yankees in the Bronx.
One Padres player who will be comfortable with his surroundings will be shortstop Xander Bogaerts. The former Boston Red Sox infielder has played a game or two at Yankee Stadium in his career. But he’ll dig in against an unfamiliar foe, as the Yankees have called up Randy Vasquez to make his MLB debut.
Vasquez is a 24-year-old right-hander in the Yankees’ system who has made nine starts at Triple-A Scranton this season. He has a nasty curveball and a fastball that sits in the 93-95 miles per hour range. But his results have been inconsistent this season.
He’s pitching to a 4.85 ERA and a 1.57 WHIP in those starts, but does have 50 strikeouts in 42 2/3 innings.
Despite cooling off in the month of May a bit, Bogaerts’ play has been a bright spot for the Padres this season, hitting .254 with a .753 OPS with seven home runs. He’s showing some signs of turning things around as well, hitting his first home run of the month on Tuesday and collecting three hits over his last three games.
Bogaerts also has some reverse splits going this season, having much more success vs. right-handed pitchers, hitting .278 with a .822 OPS against them.
I’m backing Bogaerts to take advantage of this matchup with an inexperienced starter and betting the Over on his total bases at a very nice +170 price tag.
Xander Bogaerts prop: Over 1.5 total bases (+170)
Happy Fade Patrick Corbin Day! The embattled starter takes the ball tonight when he and the Washington Nationals visit the Kansas City Royals.
Now to be fair, Corbin has definitely not been the worst pitcher in baseball this season (a high bar, I know). In fact, he hasn’t allowed more than three earned runs in seven straight starts. This is my stunned face. That said, he is still getting hit. A lot. This means I’m looking at the Over on his hits allowed prop once again.
Corbin’s surrendering 10.9 hits per nine innings and a .323 expected batting average to opponents, which ranks in the Bottom 2% of the MLB. On top of that, he is pitching to a lot of contact this season, and his strikeout rate is the lowest of his career.
A matchup with the Royals may have you thinking that this may be a game where he keeps the hits in check. Not so fast. Kansas City actually hasn’t been terrible at the dish this past month. The team ranks 14th in OPS and 18th in wRC+ in the month of May.
They’ve also been surprisingly effective vs. left-handed pitchers this season. The Royals rank 16th in batting average, 14th in OPS, and 17th in wRC+ when digging in against southpaws.
Another thing going in our favor for this bet is that Corbin has been eating a lot of innings for the Nationals this season. And why not? It’s not like their options out of the bullpen are much better. He’s averaging more than 5 2/3 innings per start and has pitched at least six innings in seven of his 10 starts.
The Royals may not cash in, but I’m backing them to get a bunch of knocks against Corbin tonight, who has allowed seven or more hits in seven of 10 starts this season.
Patrick Corbin prop: Over 6.5 hits allowed (-130)
It’s kind of depressing how much of a punching bag the Oakland A’s have become this season. But that’s going to happen when you’re 10-42 and have the worst run differential in baseball. By more than 100 runs. Yuck.
Things aren’t going to improve over the weekend, as they welcome the Houston Astros to town, who appear to have shaken off their World Series hangover.
Tonight, the A’s hand the ball to James Kaprielian, and like basically everyone else on the team, 2023 has been a rough ride so far. The 29-year-old right-hander is pitching to a 6.37 expected ERA while surrendering a .485 expected slugging percentage to opponents. On top of that, he has one of the highest walk rates in the league.
Too many walks generally means runs. Particularly vs. a Houston team that, despite a couple of rough outings against the Brewers, has found its hitting shoes recently. Led by a smoking-hot Yordan Alvarez, the Astros rank fifth in batting average, fourth in OPS, and third in wRC+ over the last two weeks (eight games).
Now, the Astros faced Kaprielian in that stretch and only managed one run over his five innings of work. But the right-hander also issued four walks in that game and the Astros were just unable to cash in those baserunners. I’m not expecting that to happen again.
Kaprielian had allowed at least three earned runs in each of his previous four starts this season. The tough times for the A’s continue here as I have him getting tagged for at least three runs in tonight’s start.
James Kaprielian prop: Over 2.5 earned runs (+110)
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