Like everyone on the planet, I sometimes find my job a little boring. I wish this sensation was due to the monotony of cashing winning tickets, but I digress. I don’t know. Who doesn’t occasionally need a pick-me-up? Especially on a Friday in the Summer? That’s why we’re using a classic gimmick with tonight’s article. We’re only betting strikeout props! It’s like sweeps week, but with a lot more swinging strike rate.
Our record stands at 28-22 for the season. Let’s dive into this massive slate.
All odds provided by DraftKings Sportsbook and all odds subject to change.
It’s been a weird season for Berrios. Actually, it’s been the worst season of Berrios’ we’ve witnessed since his rookie campaign back in 2016. He didn’t make it through the first inning of his start on Opening Day, every single advanced stat hates him and, maybe most concerning of all, he’s not generating swings and misses like he has the prior half-decade. Yet, despite all that, the right-hander is on the heels of setting a new career with 13 strikeouts in his last outings against the Twins. Right now, Berrios is the shrug emoji in human form.
With so much inconsistency coming from Berrios himself, I think it’s best for this prop if we focus on the validity of the opponent. Simply put, the Tigers strikeout a lot. Like, more than almost any team in baseball. For 2022 as a whole, Detroit is one of only six teams with a strikeout rate above 24.0%, while the Tigers also sit first in chase rate (36.1%) and third in swinging strike rate (12.6%). Heck, if you want to narrow the timeline, Detroit is in possession of the league’s highest chase rate (40.1%) and swinging strike rate (14.1%) across the last two weeks, specifically. Berrios should have little issue racking up the five strikeouts necessary.
The Nationals aren’t really a team that strikes out all that much, but that doesn’t matter against someone like Ashby. The 24-year-old was seemingly designed in a lab to generate swings and misses, as he’s managed 99 strikeouts in the first 77.2 innings of his career. That obviously includes his most recent pair of starts, two contests where Ashby combined for a ridiculous 21 strikeouts in just 12.0 innings of work.
The former top prospect is blessed with an envy-inducing arsenal, with his offspeed pitches able to work against a sinker that sits in the upper-90s. The offspeed pitches in question? How about a slider that’s garnered a 43.4% whiff rate in 2022 and a changeup that’s registered a 33.7% whiff rate of its own? Seriously. Everything Ashby throws is intended to get batters out swinging — and it works. The only real worry has been volume, yet Ashby now appears to be locked into the Brewers’ rotation. He’s exceeded this prop three of the last four times he’s thrown at least four innings and I have confidence he’ll get there again on Friday.
I could basically take everything I wrote about Ashby and apply it to Strider. The rookie has been phenomenal in 2022, primarily working out of the Braves’ bullpen. In fact, over 32.2 innings, Strider has managed to collect an eye-popping 49 strikeouts. Again, a lot of that is as a reliever, and Strider’s strikeout rate has dipped in his two starts; but that’s a matter of perspective, because while a 31.6% strikeout rate is lower than a 38.9% strikeout rate, both remain elite.
However, unlike Ashby, Strider will have the advantage of a fantastic matchup on Friday evening. Not only have the Pirates struggled to generate runs this season, they’ve also been recently prone to striking out. To wit, across the past 14 days, Pittsburgh owns the highest strikeout rate in all of baseball at 27.3%. With Strider’s pitch count up to 87 in his last outing, there shouldn’t be any restrictions in place tonight, which should allow him to mow down as many Pirates as his heart sees fit.
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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is theglt13) and I may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.
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