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MLB K Props, April 18: Fade Lauer, Bundy, Thompson and Bumgarner

Eric Lauer

Eric Lauer

Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

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Eric Lauer O/U 5.5 Strikeouts vs. Pirates

In eight career appearances and seven starts versus the Pirates, Eric Lauer has recorded four or fewer strikeouts in seven of eight games, per statmuse.



Lauer’s last start versus Pittsburgh was his highest strikeout game versus the Pirates with six, but there is a catch.

The lineup he struck out six times over 4.0 innings was against a decent amount of hitters that are gone or were playing on a tanking team in August. For example, some guy named Rodolfo Castro struck out four times and Pittsburgh struck out 13 times as a team.

The Pirates are not handing out Ks this season, especially lately versus LHP. Pittsburgh ranks ninth with a .267 batting average against LHP and has 17 strikeouts and eight walks in 86 plate appearances.

Pittsburgh faced Patrick Corbin yesterday and cashed our sweaty Under 4.5 Ks bet. Pittsburgh has allowed four, one, two, and five strikeouts in four games against starting LHP, all staying Under 5.5 Ks (Corbin, Steven Matz, Josh Rogers, Drew Smyly).

Pittsburgh should have Ke’Bryan Hayes, Bryan Reynolds and a few others back in the lineup today after giving them off for Easter Sunday against Corbin.

I played Lauer Under 5.5 strikeouts (-132) and would take him out -160 odds and a half-unit on the Under 4.5 Ks for +120 or better.

Pick: Eric Lauer Under 5.5 Strikeouts (1u)

Zach Thompson O/U 3.5 Strikeouts vs. Brewers

I grew up going to Pirates versus Brewers games more than 90% of the population in Pittsburgh, and it is safe to say...Milwaukee was my most hated team growing up.

They always beat up on the Pirates, and some things just never change 10-15 years later.

Zach Thompson only has 10 total plate appearances against three Brewers hitters, Andrew McCutchen (4), Victor Caratini (4) and Hunter Renfroe (2). That group has two hits with no strikeouts or walks, so this will be new matchup for both sides.

Thompson also suffered a right shoulder contusion when he was hit by a ball versus the Cubs, so it’s possible that will effect him today.

The former Marlin and now Pirate pitcher opened the season with 4.0 innings at PNC Park versus the Cubs, allowing two earned runs on five hits with three strikeouts. Now, Thompson will make his first road start for the Pirates versus one of their toughest division foes.

Thomspon was 0-4 on the road in 11 appearances last season, only pitching 31.1 innings. However, he has only made seven road starts in his career and hit three or fewer strikeouts five out of seven games (71.4%).

The Brewers have faced six RHP this season and held three Under 3.5 strikeouts, per statmuse. Marcus Stroman and Dakota Hudson combined for five strikeouts versus the Brewers, so I expect Thompson to struggle.

The other three Overs each recorded seven strikeouts apiece, but that is a number Thompson will not be able to hit.



The 28-year-old recorded a whiff% good enough for the seventh percentile (very bad) and his xwOBA is trending in the wrong direction after one start, per baseball savant.

The youngster has struggled so far with Pittsburgh, and I expect that to continue in Game 1 of a new series in Milwaukee. NBC’s model predicts he records 2.4 strikeouts, but I have him at three over 5.0 innings.

I played Thompson Under 3.5 strikeouts at +110 odds. I would play this out to -140 odds.

Pick: Zach Thompson Under 3.5 Strikeouts (1u)

Dylan Bundy O/U 4.5 Strikeouts vs. Red Sox

Dylan Bundy won his first start of the 2022 season, tossing 5.0 innings of one-hit baseball against the Mariners.

Bundy finished with two strikeouts and one walk on 67 pitches, but Fenway and the Red Sox should be a tougher challenge on this Monday afternoon. The 29-year-old pitcher posted a a 5.44 ERA last year on the road.

Current Boston hitters have 173 plate appearances versus Bundy with a .277 BA and 43 hits to 40 strikeouts and 16 walks. Bundy has allowed 20 earned runs in the last four starts versus the Red Sox with five home runs and 11 walks to 19 strikeouts (17.0 innings).

Xander Bogaerts (42), Jackie Bradley Jr. (33), J.D. Martinez (24), Christian Vazquez (23) and Rafael Devers (22) have all faced Bundy 22 or more times. That group has 35 of the 43 hits against Bundy, along with 35 of 40 strikeouts and 14 of the 16 walks.

So far this season, that group looks good enough to rough up Bundy at home. Boston has held six out of nine starting pitchers to four or fewer strikeouts (66.7%) and two of the last three, per statmuse.

The Red Sox are hitting .263 at home (past three games) with 16 RBIs. Boston has 22 strikeouts to four walks with 11 of the Ks and two of the walks coming against starting pitching (Baily Ober, Sonny Gray, Joe Ryan).



Four out of six RHP have gone Under five strikeouts against Boston this season and four out of six allowed at least four hits, something I expect Bundy to do. I like the chances Boston gets to Bundy at home in the only day game of the day.

In Bundy’s last start against the Red Sox, he recorded three strikeouts over 4.0 innings with eight hits and seven earned runs allowed.

Bundy is 5-2 to the Under in his last seven road starts, but we really need him to exit before 5.0 innings.

Dating back to the start of 2021, Bundy is 10-0 to the Under 4.5 strikeouts when he fails to go 5.0 innings and he is 5-0 on the road to the Under when he fails to pitch 5.0 innings.

I grabbed Bundy Under 4.5 Strikeouts at -116 odds. I would play this out to -150 for 1 unit.

Pick: Dylan Bundy Under 4.5 Strikeouts (1u)


Madison Bumgarner O/U 3.5 Strikeouts vs. Nationals

Ready for some MadBum?! You better be.

Madison Bumgarner will make his second start of the season. He is one of my favorite and most profitable pitchers from a season ago. Bumgarner will take on the Nationals -- a team we have watched and bet on a good bit to start the season.

Bumgarner had five strikeouts in 5.0 innings against the Nationals last season, but that was the first month, and most of those hitters are long gone.

MadBum has not faced Washington since 2016 before last year, so this should be a tough challenge for the veteran. Against LHP, the Nationals are hitting .241 this season (13th) and have 15 strikeouts to nine walks over 83 plate appearances.

Against starting LHP, Washington held Max Fried to four strikeouts over 5.1 innings and Jose Quintana to two strikeouts in 4.0 innings. Bumgarner should struggle to hit four as Fried did.

Bumgarner ranks in the 12th percentile for K% and whiff % this season. He has four strikeouts to six walks over 8.0 innings.

He recorded two strikeouts in both starts with six hits allowed versus Houston and San Diego this season. While the Nationals lineup doesn’t seem as dangerous, they are more than talented enough to make consistent contact against Bumgarner.

Let’s roll with the Under 3.5 strikeouts at +106 odds. Bumgarner is a continued fade. I would play this out to -150 odds.

Pick: Madison Bumgarner Under 3.5 Strikeouts (1u)

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