Bruce Zimmermann vs Minnesota Twins: MLB Player Prop Prediction (5/3)
We cashed a sweat-free bet with Pablo Lopez last night. We grabbed over 5.5 strikeouts at +100 odds, and it closed around -200. Lopez hit in the fourth inning, finishing the game with seven strikeouts. We’re shifting our focus to the Baltimore Orioles, who will be hosting the Minnesota Twins at Camden Yards tonight. Baltimore’s struggled to find their footing early this season, recording an AL East worst 8-15 record. Minnesota’s found significantly more success, leading the AL Central with a 14-9 record. In this article, I’ll outline my favorite bet revolving around Bruce Zimmermann vs the Minnesota Twins.
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It’s always difficult to get a gauge on some of the pitchers in the MLB, specifically early in the season. Zimmermann’s been arguably one of the worst pitchers in the MLB over 71.1 innings since 2020. He also never truly found much success in the minors, aside from Rookie and Single-A baseball.
With all of that being said, he may be breaking out this season. Zimmermann owns a 1-1 record with a 0.93 ERA through 4 starts in 2022. His xFIP sits at only 2.84 to go along with a 2.51 FIP and a 3.66 SIERA. By all measures, he’s throwing well, even if he’s due for some regression on his sparkling ERA. The bigger question becomes how sustainable is this success, as Zimmermann’s recorded an xFIP south of 3.00 in each of his last 3 starts, as it’s progressively gotten better throughout the season.
Quite frankly, we don’t need to predict the exact length of his success for this article, as we need him to record strikeouts for only one more game, regardless of his on-field success.
Zimmermann’s never been a dominant strikeout option at the MLB level. He posted a 19.6% strikeout rate last season, and that number’s jumped to 26.3% early this season. It’s backed by career-high swinging-strike (12.3%) and called-swinging-strike (30%) rates. Furthermore, he’s getting more players to chase balls outside of the zone while looking at strikes in the zone this season. Ultimately, his career-high strikeout rate could be sustainable.
The biggest key to this play is the matchup. Minnesota strikes out at the ninth-highest rate (24.7%) in the MLB against left-handed pitching. They’re also roughly an average team in team batting average, slugging percentage, and OPS.
I’m expecting a bit of regression for Zimmermann, but he should be able to keep his strikeout rate where it is. The only major concern is his inability to throw deep into games, as he’s yet to throw more than 76 pitches in a game. With that being said, he recorded 80 or more pitching in 10 of 14 games last season, and he flashed the ability to get to nearly 100 pitches.
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