We’ve reached September. Not only does this mark the final month of the MLB regular season, but it also means a certain Earth, Wind & Fire song will continue to be stuck in my head for the next few weeks. Regardless of what music you prefer, the stretch run of the baseball season is a great time for bettors, especially on the player prop markets. But before I get into those, make sure you check out our full game previews and picks if you are looking to wager on any game sides or totals.
My favorite player prop of the night features a pitcher who has had quite a turbulent season. He’s talented, and looking to try to pitch his team into the postseason, and I’m banking on this pitcher to set aside his struggles on the road to bring us to the promised land.
Aaron Nola (PHI) over 5.5 strikeouts (-122)
Line available at time of publishing.
This play, admittedly, is going against the grain. The public likely saw Nola’s ghastly road numbers (5.57 ERA), and took the under. The opening line of 6.5 has been driven down. I get it, I’ve been a big fan of fading road-Nola too this year.
That being said, 5.5 is too low of a line for a fully stretched-out pitcher registering a strikeout rate in the 84th percentile this season. The Phillies’ right-hander has reached 6 strikeouts in 8 of his 15 road starts this season, compiling 92 strikeouts in 82.1 innings pitched. And in those starts on the road, he’s averaging almost 5.5 innings pitched. The bullpen remains a major weakness for the Phillies, and manager Joe Girardi has shown a willingness to allow Nola a longer leash in his starts.
Nola’s opponent tonight, the Brewers, have cooled a bit on their recent strikeout-averse hot streak. Eight of the last 11 right-handed starting pitchers have reached or exceeded 6 strikeouts versus Milwaukee. Nine of those pitchers were able to finish at least 5 innings pitched. The potential for length, of course, gives Nola the best chance to rack up the strikeouts. Plus, the Brew Crew’s offense is down over the last 14 days, registering an OPS of .678 (24th in the league over that span).
It might not be pretty, but Nola should be able to muscle his way through this lineup for at least 6 strikeouts.
Be sure to check out our full game preview for Philadelphia Phillies vs Milwaukee Brewers