MLB Player Props & Home Run Bets: Picks to Consider Ahead of Weekend Action

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Major League Baseball fans and bettors have a number of wagers to consider ahead of this weekend’s action on the diamond. There are several enticing series matchups with postseason ramifications. It may be early, but there are a number of teams claiming control of their playoff destiny. Here, we’re looking specifically at MLB player props, including some potential home run bets.

Odds may not be available yet for weekend prop offerings, but we break down the matchups in an attempt to identify some wagering opportunities. Bettors are encouraged to shop around multiple sportsbooks to find the numbers that best suit them.

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MLB Prop Bets: General Considerations

  • Hitter-friendly environments: Atlanta @ Cincinnati, Arizona @ Colorado, Boston @ Chicago (NL)*, St. Louis @ Philadelphia
  • Pitcher-friendly environments: San Diego @ Los Angeles (NL), Oakland @ Seattle, Chicago (AL) @ San Francisco
  • Hot weather: Summer is the time for balls to fly out of the yard. There are a number of day games over the course of the weekend. Check for temperatures creeping into the low-to-mid 90s — and open-air venues — to narrow down some of your betting targets.

*Wrigley Field can favor hitters or pitchers, depending on the day. Check the local weather reports for the most up-to-date information prior to placing Red Sox vs. Cubs prop bets.

Featured Matchup: Yankees @ Astros Odds, Thurs., June 30

NY Yankees vs HOU Astros Odds MLB Odds

MLB · Thu (6/30) @ 6:11pm ET

NY Yankees at HOU Astros
Minute Maid Park, Houston, Texas

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New York sends Luis Severino to the hill against Luis Garcia. Severino started the second game of last weekend’s four-game set and pitched reasonably well. He took the loss despite hurling six innings of three-run ball. The Yankees didn’t see Garcia during last week’s four-game set in the Bronx.

In theory, that looks like an advantage for the Astros. We’re not necessarily looking to bet on Astros hitters against Severino — he’s still a dominant power pitcher capable of silencing quality lineups. However, unders on innings and strikeouts in addition to overs on runs could be worth investigating.

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MLB Weekend Series for Prop Bettors to Watch

Atlanta Braves @ Cincinnati Reds

The Reds are in the thick of the race for the No. 1 overall pick in the 2023 MLB Draft. They own the league’s worst record and fourth-worst run differential. Meanwhile, the Braves roll into Cincinnati as one of the hottest teams in baseball. What stands out about this upcoming series is that the Braves have hit the second-most homers in MLB while the Reds have surrendered the third most. Look for offense-centric prop bets on Atlanta for Friday and Saturday. Sunday’s finale pits Charlie Morton vs. Luis Castillo, who, in spite of what the numbers may suggest, can combine for a low-scoring pitcher’s duel.

Oakland Athletics @ Seattle Mariners

It’s been an eventful week or so for both the A’s and Mariners, but for different reasons. The Mariners are fresh off the most electric bench-clearing brawl baseball has seen since 2019 (when then-Reds reliever Amir Garrett charged the Pirates dugout). Meanwhile, the Athletics strengthened their hold on the game’s worst record after dropping three of three against the Yankees. Things aren’t going well for either team, but at the very least in the Mariners’ case, they’re playing mediocre baseball. Neither team is particularly proficient in the run-scoring department, and Seattle’s T-Mobile Park is one of the game’s more pitcher-friendly venues. Bettors should anticipate both sides of the coin for this series — under prop bets for hitters (hits, total bases, etc.) and over prop bets for pitchers (i.e., innings, total outs). Both teams are offensively challenged and will have some quality arms taking the ball over the weekend.

Home Run Prop Bets: Who Will Touch Them All?

Austin Riley and Dansby Swanson, Braves

The Braves vs. Reds game on Friday is of particular interest to MLB prop bettors because the hard-hitting Braves face lefty Mike Minor in Cincinnati. Great American Ballpark is among the most hitter-friendly venues in baseball, and the Reds are among the most hitter-friendly pitching staffs in the game. Minor boasts a bloated 7.71 ERA and has served up 10 home runs in 25.2 innings. Riley owns a .635 slugging percentage against lefties this season and has been a consistent power source for the Braves. Dansby Swanson is another right-handed hitter to watch against Minor. He’s hitting well overall (.299/.361/.495), but crushing lefties in particular (.324/.415/.577).

Jose Altuve, Astros

The Astros face a pair of southpaws when they take the field against the Angels this weekend. Altuve has fared well, not only against left-handed pitching (.283/.345/.679), but also at home (.344/.406/.635). He has 15 homers on the year, so he’s someone who can send the ball into the seats. For those with a lower risk tolerance, prop bets on Altuve’s hits or total bases are also very much in play this weekend. With middle-of-the-order slugger Yordan Alvarez potentially out this weekend following a midweek outfield collision, Altuve is capable of taking more on his shoulders.

Popular MLB Wagers

MLB moneyline predictions

The MLB moneyline is the price for a team to win outright. No spread, no conditions, just win. A heavy favorite may draw odds of -200 (meaning a $200 risk pays off with $100 profit) or even shorter. Meanwhile, a big underdog could see numbers as long as +170 (meaning a $100 risk returns a profit of $170) or higher . Moneyline wagers the most popular way to bet baseball and are a simple way for fans to give MLB betting a trial run.

MLB runline bets

When betting Major League Baseball, simply think of “runline” as a synonym for point spread. The runline works just the way a point spread works in basketball or football, only that the runline is almost always set at -1.5/+1.5. A team favored on the runline will be -1.5 and needs to win by at least two runs. Conversely, an underdog on the runline needs to lose by no more than one run in order to cover.

MLB total run bets

Like a bet on the total in other sports, bettors wagering on two teams to combine to score over or under a set total. If oddsmakers set an MLB game total at 7.5 runs, bettors wagering the Over want to see at least eight total runs scored. Under bettors hope for a bit more of a pitching duel and seven combined runs or fewer.

How to read MLB prop odds

When it comes to reading props, there are two main numbers to factor in: statistics and the price. Individual betting props span strikeouts, hits, total bases, and many more.

Let’s say a bettor wants to wager on a pitcher’s strikeouts. The number may be set at 7.5, and the bettor needs to decide if the pitcher is most likely to finish with eight or more (over) strikeouts or finish with seven or fewer (under) punchouts.

The Over and Under come with odds attached. The odds for a pitcher hitting the Over in this example may be set at +110 (bet $100 to win $110). Meanwhile, the Under may come in at -145 (bet $145 to win $100).

Bettors who take a liking to prop wagers will come to appreciate the benefit of shopping around sportsbooks for the best numbers and odds. There can often be value to be had, whether through a better number or more favorable odds.

MLB Betting FAQs

What are MLB alternate lines?

Alternate lines are odds offered by bookmakers at adjusted numbers. Alternate run lines are examples in MLB betting. For instance, while the standard run line may have Mets +1.5 runs (-175) vs. Astros -1.5 runs (+150), the following lines may also be available:

Mets -4.5 runs (+650)
Astros +4.5 runs (-1050)

Mets -2.5 runs (+295)
Astros +2.5 (-390)

What are ‘No Run First Inning’ and 'Yes Run First Inning' prop bets?

The “No Run First Inning” (NRFI) and “Yes Run First Inning” (YRFI) prop bets have become popular because bettors don’t need to wait long before finding out if they won or lost.

The actual wager is as simple as the name suggests. A ‘YRFI’ play means the bettor believes at least one run will be scored in the first inning. Conversely, a ‘NRFI’ bet wins if the first inning is completed without a run being scored.

On what types of MLB pitcher props can I wager?

Bettors can wager on a number of different pitching-related props, including strikeouts, outs recorded, hits and walks allowed, and to record a win. Certain books may offer different bets or different prices, underscoring the importance of shopping for the most favorable odds.

About the Author

Craig Williams

Craig Williams is a Charlotte-based sportswriter who has worked professionally in the gaming, fantasy, and sports business industries. He’s an avid fantasy football player, managing over 100 leagues across multiple formats. When he’s not pouring over Vegas odds and statistics, he’s indulging in soccer and enjoys anything from LigaMX to Champions League.

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