With the majority of the league traveling ahead of their weekend series, we’ve got just sux games on tap in a barren MLB slate on Thursday, May 18th. But fear not: Where there’s a will, there are plenty of prop bets to found, and we’ve managed to pick out three great options despite today’s limited schedule.
MLB player prop bets: Thursday, May 18th
Eury Perez, over 4.5 strikeouts (-115)
If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. We took this very same over in Perez’s first MLB start last week, and the big righty cleared it easily, fanning seven in just 4.2 innings against the Cincinnati Reds. Perez is one of the very best prospects in baseball, supplementing his mid-90s heater with a bevy of secondary offerings that have flummoxed hitters on every step of his journey to the Majors. Against a Washington Nationals team that has the third-worst OPS in baseball against righties — and that hasn’t had the chance to see Perez up close yet — he should pile up the strikeouts yet again.
Nestor Cortes, under 16.5 outs recorded (-110)
Nestor hasn’t been quite as nasty this season, with a 5.53 ERA over his first eight starts. He’s recorded at least 17 outs (5.2 innings of work) just twice all year — and the odds are stacked against him reaching that mark on Thursday afternoon.
Cortes has to face a Toronto Blue Jays lineup that has hit him pretty well in the past, with current Jays hitters slashing .275/.333/.586 in 80 combined plate appearances against him. And even if he does manage to hold his own in the early innings, it’s likely that Aaron Boone will still have a pretty quick hook with his starter: The lefty has also been brutal in his third time through the order, with 1.121 slugging percentage and 1.607 OPS against so far this year. That will surely be in the back of Boone’s mind as the game progresses and makes it even less likely that Cortes pitches into the sixth.
Randy Arozarena, over 0.5 RBI (+180)
RBI props are always a bit of a crapshoot, dependent as much as context and luck as anything an individual player does — but if you’re going to chase one, you might as well go with the guy who ranks fourth in baseball with 36 runs driven in. Arozarena and the Tampa Bay Rays will be facing New York Mets righty Tylor Megill on Thursday, and Megill’s 1.50 WHIP and 12.3% walk rate (along with Tampa’s league-leading .347 OBP against right-handed pitching) suggest that there should be plenty of ducks on the pond. And if there are, Arozarena should be in prime position to cash them in: The outfielder has spent nearly all of his time this season batting third or fourth in the order, and he’s slashing a ridiculous .310/.395/.544 overall. At plus odds, this is more than worth the risk.