Monkey Knife Fight MLB Strategy: Monday, June 24th
Welcome to the weekly Monkey Knife Fight picks article, in which we are going to be doing all the research you need to make the best decisions possible.
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Now, let’s get to the article.
First Prop: COL @ SF: 2/2 Rapid Fire
Jon Gray vs Drew Pomeranz (+.5): Total Strikeouts: Looking at the Vegas strikeout props for these two pitchers, they are both set at 5.5, but there is heavy juice on the over for Gray and heavy juice on the under for Pomeranz (meaning Gray is much more likely to hit the over, while Pomeranz is much more likely to hit the under).
Looking at the numbers for Pomeranz and Gray, Gray gets a bit of an advantage. He owns a 25.6% K rate on the season, which is due for some positive regression considering he is pitching in Coors for half his games, while Pomeranz owns a 23.1% K rate. Additionally, Pomeranz owns a higher walk rate, which will likely cause him to exit the game earlier than Gray due to a high pitch count from guys working the count. Looking at the matchup, there is a slight edge for Pomeranz. While the Rockies lineup is much better than the Giants at hitting the ball, they strike out at a 23.7% clip vs LHP, and the Giants only strike out at a 19.5% clip vs RHP. Overall, I’m rolling with Gray, as he owns the advantage in every category except matchup, and there is a decent chance that Pom has a blow-up game and is out early.
Ian Desmond (+.5) vs Nolan Arenado: Total Runs/RBIs: Looking at the overall numbers, the edge obviously goes to Arenado, as he owns a .351 ISO and .466 wOBA vs LHP, compared to Desmond, who owns a .372 ISO and .438 wOBA vs LHP. Overall, this prop comes down to the tiebreaker which Desmond owns. Vegas currently has the Rockies pegged for 3.75 total runs. Any time you get a volatile category like this, the most likely outcome is a player ends up with zero, and with such a low implied team total, that outcome is even more likely. Also, Desmond is likely batting right in front of Arenado and there is a likely chance that if Arenado does hit in someone, it is likely going to be Desmond, causing a net zero effect in this category. Just take Desmond and move on.
Second Prop: ATL @ CHC: Home Run Derby
If you don’t already know by now, Wrigley is an old stadium, and the way it is designed, wind has a larger effect on home runs more than any other ballpark. This game features two mediocre pitchers and a whole lot of bats with some power, so the wind blowing out to center at 15 MPH has a massive effect on home runs. For this prop, I’ve picked Freeman, Acuna, and Rizzo. Looking at their numbers, we see the following:
Acuna vs LHP: .297 ISO, 36.2% FB%, 25.5% LD%, 55.3% Hard Hit rate
Freeman vs LHP: .293 ISO, 44.6% FB%, 23.2% LD%, and 39.3% Hard Hit Rate
Rizzo vs RHP: .291 ISO, 37.4% FB%, 21.1% LD%, and 44.4% Hard Hit Rate
We know that with the wind blowing out this hard, home runs are going to be hit. These are the three most likely candidates, but honestly, for this prop, you can roll with Bryant, Baez, or Schwarber if you want. All are good options, and I wouldn’t be surprised if every single one of these guys hits a bomb today.
Third Prop: ATL @ CHC: Total Base Race
This prop is very similar to the Home Run Derby prop above, but it has a higher payout and better odds. If you were to take the two-HR prop above instead of the one, you would be getting the same odds, but you have more outs with the total base race; if two home runs were to be hit, the 7.5 total bases would hit on this prop. The advantage of this over the two-HR derby prop is that you have several more outs, as you can get over 7.5 total bases from more than just homers. Not only does the wind in Wrigley help for HRs, it helps with doubles and singles too since the ball travels further. Hits are going to be happening all over the place in this game, and if you want to fade this game in regular DFS, this prop is a great way to hedge. Placing this prop while fading this game gives you a near-guaranteed win in one of the two, as this game is going to be the highest owned in salary format, and you have a real shot at winning both if this game doesn’t go crazy.
Good luck on your props today, and if you don’t see them up on MKF, check back later. We will try and keep these up all day (they should only change because of injury news). If any of these props do get taken down, we will try and get a new one up in this article as soon as we can.