Interpreting Vegas: Player Prop Bets
Each day Vegas releases Player Prop Bets, which can be extremely useful when choosing both batters and pitchers especially if you’re research time is somewhat limited. For daily fantasy purposes, there are three key prop bet categories you can use. In this lesson, I’ll go through each of those categories and discuss both how to interpret each and the relative value of each.
- 1) Pitcher Props – Total Strikeouts
- 2) Batter Props – Hits + Runs + RBIs
- 3) Batter Props – Odds to Hit a HR
Pitcher Props – Total Strikeouts
The total strikeouts prop is pretty straightforward. The line set in Vegas can be a useful marker of expected total strikeouts for each pitcher. Consider the sample of 5 pitcher strikeout lines shown below:
There’s a minimal difference between the top pitcher’s expected K’s, but the major difference between the two comes with the Moneyline for the Over. The moneyline for the over can be interpreted as a probability that a pitcher has more than the expected prop line set.
Interpreting the lines themselves is relatively straightforward, but as with all player props you should really be looking for numbers that ‘jump off the page’ for you. If you have a good understanding of baseball stats, you’ll be able to quickly identify which strikeout props stand out as irregular.
You should also work to combine these figures with the Vegas Lines for each team to try and find pitchers who hit three categories:
1) High Strikeout Prop Bet Line
2) Team is heavily favored in Vegas Odds
3) Over/Under line set for game is low
If you can find a guy who hits all three categories, you have yourself a solid option without doing too much in-depth research!
Batter Props – Hits + Runs + RBIs
The Hits+Runs+RBIs prop is also pretty straightforward in that it represents an expected total of hits, runs scoring and runs batted in. There are 2 lines typically set for players, 2.5 or 2. You want to be targeting guys with 2.5 O/Us and low moneylines.
Batter Props – Odds to Hit a HR
This prop is my personal favorite, and the one I’ll use almost every day. The first thing to look for is outliers. Again this takes a decent knowledge of baseball and an understanding of what props are to be expected and which ones are abnormal. This isn’t an idea that can be taught in a lesson, but needs to be understood over time and takes patience. Some days there won’t be any outliers, so you need to be able to understand that and use other tools to find HR potential.
Also worth noting, there is no total associated with HR props. Vegas just sets Over/Under moneylines to correlate to the likelihood a player hits a HR.
Those are the three key player props for MLB, and hopefully you’ll be able to gain a good idea for how to interpret and use them over time. They can be extremely helpful, specifically for use in tournaments when trying to hit on those elusive home runs.