Last night’s loss gave Oakland five straight, which is something that has been said or written quite a bit this season. As they look to pick up their first win on their road trip, we’ll preview tonight’s game before going over my best prop play for the action.
Despite being outhit yesterday, the Pittsburgh Pirates were still able to come away with a 5-4 win, which extended their win streak to six straight. The Pirates fell behind 3-0 very early in the game, but Oakland’s struggles on the mound allowed Pittsburgh to climb back, as the A’s walked in two runs and allowed a sacrifice fly. After Oakland tied it again in the 8th inning, an Andrew McCutchen sac fly in the bottom of the inning gave the lead right back to Pittsburgh.
As they look to keep building on their win streak, the Pirates will send their ace to the hill in Mitch Keller. The right-hander has made 12 starts this season, and in 74.7 innings, he has pitched to a 3.25 ERA with 93 strikeouts and 17 walks. Keller brought his record to 7-1 with a win over the Giants in his most recent outing, as he threw six innings with eight strikeouts and four earned runs allowed.
Keller will face an Athletics lineup that picked up eight hits last night but, at the same time, left 23 runners on base. Ryan Noda, Seth Brown, and Carlos Perez all drove in runs early in the game, while Almedys Diaz tied it with a double in the eighth. Arguably the biggest positive for Oakland’s offense was Brent Rooker having a multi-hit game since he has struggled a bit since getting off to a scorching start.
James Kaprielian will get the start for Oakland tonight on the mound. Across seven starts and 37.7 innings, the right-hander’s ERA is up to 8.12, with 38 strikeouts and 22 walks. Kaprielian picked up his fourth straight loss in his latest outing against the Braves, throwing 4 ⅔ innings with four strikeouts and three earned runs allowed on five hits.
For my prop play in this one, I’ll be taking the over on Mitch Keller’s strikeout total of 6.5, which is priced at (-126). I’ve been on his strikeout prop consistently over his past few starts, all while expecting the market to eventually make it lose value but finding this number against a team like Oakland is glorious. Keller is averaging 7.75 punchouts a game this season and has exceeded six strikeouts in eight of his last ten starts, including seven straight.
The right-hander now faces an Oakland lineup that is 5th in strikeout percentage over the past month against right-handed pitching on the road. Across the season, the A’s are also fifth in strikes swinging percentage and have the sixth most strikeouts looking in the league. This is a match made in heaven for Keller, who is in the 87th percentile in strikeout percentage.
It also helps that Keller is pitching in his home ballpark, where he has a 29.9% strikeout percentage this season. One of the biggest reasons this prop has been so profitable for bettors is because he does not fade as the game goes on, as his strikeout percentage the first time through the order is 34.3%, and the second time through it is 29.6%.
Mitch Keller Over 6.5 Strikeouts (-126)