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Tanner Houck of the Boston Red Sox walks to the dugout after being relieved during the sixth inning against the Baltimore Orioles, and we offer our top MLB player props and best bets based on the best MLB odds.
Tanner Houck of the Boston Red Sox walks to the dugout after being relieved during the sixth inning against the Baltimore Orioles. Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images via AFP.

Friday's full MLB slate follows a quiet getaway day on Thursday, and we're offering our top MLB player props and best bets based on the best MLB odds.

All 30 MLB teams were scheduled to play on Friday, but Mother Nature once again made her presence felt after postponing two games on Thursday. Unfortunately for the New York Yankees and Cleveland Guardians, they'll have to wait until Saturday to square off.

For those teams still in action, the day's games are set to begin at 6:40 p.m. ET with a pair of contests starting the evening. The Minnesota Twins and Detroit Tigers will try to go again after their matchup was called off on Thursday. The forecast looks a bit dicey there, so don't be surprised to see first pitch delayed.

Meanwhile, it's an all-Pennsylvania battle when the Pittsburgh Pirates visit the Philadelphia Phillies. That game looks set to start on time but who really knows at this point. Finally, we have a rematch of the Seoul Series, as the San Diego Padres will head to Los Angeles to take on the World Series odds-favorite Dodgers.

Here are our MLB player props and best bets for Friday (MLB picks based on odds via our best MLB betting sites; pick confidence based on a 1-to-5-star scale).

Friday’s MLB best bets

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Friday’s MLB player props

Brandon Pfaadt Under 5.5 strikeouts (+120 via bet365) ⭐⭐⭐⭐

DraftKingsFanDuelBetMGMCaesarsbet365
OddsUnder 5.5 (+110)Under 5.5 (+104)N/AUnder 5.5 (-101)Under 5.5 (+120)

Game info: Cardinals vs. Diamondbacks | Moneyline: Diamondbacks (-125 via Betway) | Total: Over 9.5 (+110)/Under 9.5 (-135) via Betway | Start time: 9:40 p.m. ET

Like Houck, Arizona Diamondbacks right-hander Brandon Pfaadt is racking up the strikeouts to begin the season. However, Pfaadt has been a bit shakier. Despite walking only one batter through two starts, his ERA sits at 5.06, and he's failed to make it six innings in either appearance. However, he has recorded 13 punchouts over those 10 2/3 innings.

Pfaadt faces a St. Louis Cardinals team that sits just in the bottom 10 of the league in strikeout percentage. In general, the Cardinals have featured one of the weakest offenses in the majors through their first 13 games.

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However, despite that, Pfaadt is projected to record only 5.42 punchouts on Friday. Now, that's barely half a strikeout less than the six he'd need to go Over this total, but these +120 odds via bet365 are providing us with the necessary value to make up for that. Based on our projection and this price, we're getting 19.5% +EV on this bet.

The odds at our other best sports betting apps are shortening as I write this, so be sure to get this price before it's too late. Pinnacle opened Under 5.5 at +108 and it's already been bet to -119.

Tanner Houck Under 6.5 strikeouts (-117 via BetRivers) ⭐⭐⭐⭐  

DraftKingsFanDuelBetMGMCaesarsbet365
OddsUnder 6.5 (-140)Under 6.5 (-144)N/AUnder 6.5 (-167)Under 6.5 (-135)

Game info: Angels vs. Red Sox | Moneyline: Red Sox (-115 via Betway) | Total: Over 8.5 (-125)/Under 8.5 (+105) via Betway | Start time: 7:10 p.m. ET  

Boston Red Sox big right-hander Tanner Houck is off to a scorching-hot start to the season. He's yet to allow an earned run through two starts and has struck out 17 across 12 innings. However, when Houck was a full-time starter in 2023, he managed only 8.41 strikeouts per nine innings.

Now, there's been a lot of talk of how the arrival of new Red Sox pitching coach Andrew Bailey has helped the staff. So, maybe this version of Houck is legit, but our projections believe he's due for some regression in his third start despite his opponents, the Los Angeles Angels, owning the ninth-highest strikeout rate in the majors this season.

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Houck is projected for just 5.51 strikeouts on Friday, based on an average from three of our trusted projection models. All three are fairly aligned on his total, with projections of 5.27, 5.49, and 5.78. Based on that number, we're getting roughly 26% positive expected value on these -117 odds via BetRivers.

As you can see, all of our other best sports betting sites offer significantly shorter odds to back the Under, and Pinnacle - which features one of the most respected trading teams in the industry - is already at -183.

Michael Wacha Under 5.5 strikeouts (-111 via Caesars) ⭐⭐⭐⭐

DraftKingsFanDuelBetMGMCaesarsbet365
OddsUnder 5.5 (-120)Under 5.5 (-130)Under 5.5 (-111)Under 5.5 (-111)N/A

Game info: Royals vs. Mets | Moneyline: Mets (-135 via Betway) | Total: Over 8.5 (-120)/Under 8.5 (+100) via Betway | Start time: 7:10 p.m. ET

I'm not sure what's gotten into right-hander Michael Wacha since joining the Kansas City Royals, but he's suddenly racking up strikeouts like never before. Wacha is averaging just above 8 K/9 for his career, but he's registered 13 punchouts over 12 innings during 2024. He went seven innings during his last start while striking out eight and giving up no runs. Surely this can't last, right?

Well, he may sustain that level of run prevention against a New York Mets team that ranked near the bottom of the league in runs scored before it exploded for 16 against the Atlanta Braves on Thursday. However, despite their struggles at the plate, the Mets aren't really striking out this year. Their 19.1% K rate ranks fifth-best in the league.

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Between the looming regression and New York's ability to avoid the walk of shame back to the dugout, it's no surprise Wacha's projection is a relatively low number on Friday. From the average of all three of our trusted projection models, Wacha is expected to record 4.94 strikeouts on Friday. Based on that and these -111 odds via both Caesars and BetMGM, we're getting nearly 21% +EV on this bet.

Most of our best sportsbooks offer a competitive price on this Under, with DraftKings' -120 odds also playable. The interesting part is that Pinnacle's Under is trading at -143 after opening at -125. This price could disappear quickly.

Chris Flexen Under 4.5 strikeouts (-122 via FanDuel) ⭐⭐⭐⭐

DraftKingsFanDuelBetMGMCaesarsbet365
OddsUnder 4.5 (-165)Under 4.5 (-122)Under 4.5 (-128)Under 4.5 (-151)Under 4.5 (-140)

Game info: Reds vs. White Sox | Moneyline: Reds (-180 via Betway) | Total: Over 9.5 (+105)/Under 9.5 (-125) via Betway | Start time: 7:40 p.m. ET

Chicago White Sox right-hander Chris Flexen really stinks at pitching. The end.

What, that's not good enough for you? Fine, then I'll tell you that Flexen is averaging just 4.22 strikeouts per nine innings this season, which matches the number of walks he's allowing per nine. I'll also tell you that his career K/9 is just 6.28, and his career ERA is nearly 5.00. 

And sure, the Cincinnati Reds are absolute strikeout merchants. But they also rank just outside the top 10 in the league in runs scored, and they've stolen the second-most bases in the majors to go along with respectable power numbers.

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As such, Flexen is projected to record only 3.9 strikeouts on Friday. Funny enough, that would essentially match his season high through two starts, which he recorded in his last outing against the Royals when the hurler struck out four through 6 1/3 innings. Based on that projection and these -122 odds at FanDuel, we're getting nearly 18% +EV on this bet.

Only BetMGM is offering a competitive price, as DraftKings is already as short as -165. For its part, Pinnacle is at -159 after opening at -112.

MLB best bets made Friday at 8 a.m. ET.

Here are our best MLB betting sites:

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