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MLB Player Props for April 5

We are almost a week into the 2023 MLB season and we can already see the massive impact the new rules have had. The updated version of our national pastime looks to be new and improved, which is great for all involved. Stolen bases are way up, and the time of the average game is way down. Fortunately for our purposes, not everything has changed. I say that because two of my favorite pitchers to target – Patrick Corbin and Zack Greinke – are in action Wednesday. That means it is time to exploit this advantage with some MLB player props.
Keep in mind that the vast majority of Wednesday’s MLB slate consists of day games. Props will come at us fast and furious as the morning progresses. That means you must check the latest news and lineups before hitting that “submit” button. With that out of the way, here are a few of my favorite MLB player props for Wednesday, April 5.

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MLB Player Props for April 5

Yandy Diaz OVER 0.5 Runs Scored (-125 at DraftKings)

To be honest, part of me wanted to use all three of my picks for today on this game. That is because Patrick Corbin might be the worst starting pitcher in the league. Last season, he posted a 6.31 ERA and a 6.41 xERA. His 2023 campaign did not start any better. Corbin retired just nine of 20 batters faced in an Opening Day loss against the Atlanta Braves. He now faces the lone undefeated team left in the Majors – the Tampa Bay Rays. This figures to be one of the most lopsided matchups on today’s docket. There are several directions I could go here, as I believe most of Tampa’s hitters are viable in one form or another today. But I think the best bet is that Yandy Diaz will score at least one run in this game.

Diaz should bat leadoff today for the Rays, as he has done in four of their five games this season. He has a lifetime on-base percentage of .372. That number rises to .387 against left-handed pitchers. I do not expect Diaz to face much resistance reaching base today against Corbin. And while runs scored is a stat that is often subject to outside factors such as lineup protection, I do not expect that to be an issue today. Diaz will likely be followed in today’s lineup by Wander Franco, Isaac Paredes, Randy Arozarena, and Harold Ramirez. Last season, those four hitters combined to hit .307 while striking out on just 15.4 percent of plate appearances versus lefties. I expect Diaz to cross home plate at least once today, making this one of my favorite MLB player props on the board today.

Cristian Javier UNDER 4.5 Hits Allowed (-158, Caesars)

As much as I love this player prop, I have to make a couple of disclaimers. First, as you can see, this prop has a higher price attached. That may cause some to shy away. If you want, you can reduce the amount of your wager. For example, you can risk 0.79 units to return 0.5 units if you want to play it safe. Or if you want a little more bang for your buck, you can select Javier to get the win at +105. I must also confess that I played Javier’s hits-allowed prop in his first start this season, and it lost. However, I still believe this is a good play, so I am going to the well once again.

Last week’s blowup against the Chicago White Sox was an anomaly. It was just the second time in 24 career home starts in which Javier allowed more than four hits. While Detroit has taken the first two games of this series, their offense is not ready for primetime. They are hitting just .202 as a team through five games. Javier has also had success against Detroit, albeit in a small sample size. The right-hander has faced the current group of Tigers hitters for a total of 23 plate appearances. Detroit’s hitters are a collective 3-for-22 with 10 strikeouts. Javier should have little trouble handling this lineup, and I expect him to limit Detroit to four or fewer hits today.

Vladimir Guerrero OVER 1.5 Total Bases (+110, DraftKings)

This feels like a mispriced player prop to me. A lot of times a slugger such as Vladimir Guerrero, Mike Trout, or Yordan Alvarez will be plus-money to record two or more total bases. That is because it is quite likely the hitter will be pitched around and potentially walked. I do not see that being the case with Vlad Jr. Zack Greinke would rather have a friendly conversation with a media member or spectator than walk a batter. Since returning to the Kansas City Royals last year, Greinke has walked just 11 of 293 he has faced at home. Greinke will come after Guerrero, as he has done in all 12 of their head-to-head matchups. For total base purposes, that is a positive for the hitter.

In Greinke’s favor is that he knows how to pitch to his ballpark. He has surrendered just one long ball at Kaufmann Stadium since last season. However, Guerrero is seeing the ball well to start the season. Guerrero has a 71.4 percent hard-hit rate and a 21.4 percent barrel rate. Kaufmann Stadium is notoriously one of the best ballparks for extra-base hits, particularly in the alleys. Even if Guerrero cannot lift a ball out of the yard, a well-struck ball that finds the gap would likely be an easy double. Knowing that he will be pitched to should allow Guerrero to zone in on the lower part of the strike zone. This is where Greinke wants to live. If he can avoid chasing low and away, I like his chances to record at least two total bases in this matchup.

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