Zack Wheeler vs Atlanta Braves: MLB Player Prop Prediction (5/23)
We’re coming off of an MLB win with our last bet. The Detroit Tigers and Cleveland Guardians fell way below the 4.5 total in the first five innings of the game on Friday. It was one of the easiest bets we’ve hit the entire season, and we’re looking to continue to ride out MLB momentum. We’re hit 6 of our last 8 bets with a pair of them being at underdog prices. In this article, I’m going to outline my favorite bet for Zack Wheeler vs the Atlanta Braves tonight.
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Quite frankly, I’m beyond shocked to see Wheeler’s strikeout total set at this number with normal odds. It feels extremely disrespect to one of the best pitchers in the MLB, but we can take advantage of that.
First, it’s important to note that Wheeler suffered from the lack of Spring Training, as he’s a pitcher that needs to work his way into form each season. That resulted in only 11 strikeouts over his first 3 starts. He’s recorded 30 strikeouts over his last 4 starts, including 9 against a tough San Diego Padres offense in his last game.
Wheeler’s velocity is up across the board over his last few games, and his overall success with predictive analytics has been better in recent contests. As if that isn’t enough, his swinging-strike rate is drastically higher over his last 4 games than the start of the season.
In his first 3 starts, Wheeler recorded swinging-strike rates of 6.2%, 7.6%, and 7.1%. They’ve jumped to 11.1%, 20.5%, 11.1%, and 19.6% over his last 4 starts. It’s clear that he’s finally pitching at the elite level we’ve been expecting in recent games.
Wheeler also gets an elite matchup against the Atlanta Braves tonight. They’ve been struggling recently, striking out a league-high 27.8% of the time over the last 14 days. They also rank 20th in the MLB in wOBA (.298) over that span.
As if that isn’t enough, Atlanta strikes out at the second-highest rate (25.3%) in the MLB against right-handed pitching this season. This is an ideal matchup for Wheeler, as he gets a high-strikeout offense in the middle of a cold streak.
The Phillies ace has been great against either handedness throughout his career, but his strikeout rate against right-handed batters sits 5% higher than against lefties this season. This is important because Atlanta is expected to utilize 7 right-handed batters.
Wheeler’s posted 7+ strikeouts in each of his last 4 starts, He also sat over this number more often than not last season, and I could see him going for double-digit strikeouts in this game. Overall, I don’t expect to get these odds on Wheeler again, so I’m taking them while I can.
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