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Clarke Schmidt of the New York Yankees pitches against the Detroit Tigers, and we offer our top MLB player props and expert picks based on the best MLB odds.
Clarke Schmidt of the New York Yankees pitches against the Detroit Tigers. Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images via AFP.

We head into the weekend with an action-packed MLB slate on Friday, and we're offering our top MLB player props and expert picks based on the best MLB odds.

Unfortunately, there's no daytime baseball on Friday. The Chicago Cubs get the day started, but they're visiting the Pittsburgh Pirates at PNC Park, so Friday afternoons at Wrigley Field will need to wait for another week. First pitch between the Cubs and Pirates is set for 6:40 p.m. ET.

Shortly after that, we get an AL East battle between the New York Yankees and Tampa Bay Rays at 6:50 p.m. ET from Tropicana Field, a game we're focusing on for our first player prop.

Friday night concludes with a showdown between the Cincinnati Reds and San Francisco Giants at 10:15 p.m. ET, but the main event is just before then.

The Los Angeles Dodgers, the World Series odds favorites, visit Petco Park to take on the San Diego Padres, with first pitch expected at 9:40 p.m. ET.

Here are our MLB player props and expert picks 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 expert picks

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MLB player props

Clarke Schmidt Under 5.5 strikeouts ⭐⭐⭐⭐

DraftKingsFanDuelBetMGMCaesarsbet365
OddsUnder 5.5 (-115)Under 5.5 (-120)Under 5.5 (-125)Under 5.5 (-127)Under 5.5 (-130)

Game info: Yankees vs. Rays | Moneyline: Yankees (-140 via Betway) | Total: Over 8.5 (+100)/Under 8.5 (-120) via Betway | Start time: 6:50 p.m. ET

New York Yankees right-hander Clarke Schmidt has been solid in 2024, as he owns a 3.50 ERA and a 27.3% strikeout rate (good for 10.25 per nine innings) across his first seven starts. He's one of the reasons the Yankees have produced the second-best team ERA in the majors.

Schmidt faces a Tampa Bay Rays team on Friday that's striking out more in 2024 than we're accustomed to seeing. The Rays have often tortured pitchers in the past, driving up pitch counts with a high walk rate while rarely striking out. However, they own the eighth-highest strikeout rate in MLB and the eighth-lowest walk rate.

So, why are we taking Schmidt's strikeout Under on Friday?

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Well, if you follow my picks even semi-regularly, you know I only care about today's data. And Schmidt is projected to record just 4.86 strikeouts on Friday. Additionally, we've seen Pinnacle - which features one of the most respected trading teams in the sports betting industry - move its Under from an opening number of +111 to -145.

Based on our projections, we're getting nearly 20% positive expected value through these -115 odds at DraftKings. Most of our other best sports betting sites offer a relatively competitive price, though none would meet my criteria for a similar four-star pick.

Best odds: -115 via DraftKings

Jon Gray Under 5.5 strikeouts ⭐⭐⭐

DraftKingsFanDuelBetMGMCaesarsbet365
OddsUnder 5.5 (+125)Under 6.5 (-158)Under 5.5 (+120)Under 5.5 (+118)Under 5.5 (+125)

Game info: Rangers vs. Rockies | Moneyline: Rangers (-180 via Betway) | Total: Over 9.5 (-110)/Under 9.5 (-110) via Betway | Start time: 8:40 p.m. ET

Texas Rangers right-hander Jon Gray has been producing a very strong start to the season. He owns a 2.50 ERA and is striking out 9.53 batters per nine innings. He's gone Over this total in four of his seven starts during 2024, and it appears he's poised to do the same on Friday.

That's because the Colorado Rockies stink. No, they're beyond stink at this point. The Rockies own the second-worst strikeout rate, fourth-worst walk rate, fifth-fewest runs scored, third-fewest home runs, and the second-worst wRC+. Their only saving grace is the Chicago White Sox existing.

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However, yes we're taking the Under! Why? Because of Gray's projections, obviously.

Gray is projected for just 5.3 punchouts on Friday. Now, I'd be much more comfortable playing his Under 6.5, but this is the significantly higher EV play. Based on his projection, we're getting roughly 27% +EV through these +125 odds on Under 5.5.

Meanwhile, if we target the best price on Under 6.5 at our best sports betting apps, Fanduel's -158 is just a 16.5% +EV bet.

Best odds: +125 via bet365

Brandon Pfaadt Over 5.5 strikeouts ⭐⭐⭐

DraftKingsFanDuelBetMGMCaesarsbet365
OddsOver 5.5 (+115)Over 5.5 (+122)Over 5.5 (+110)Over 5.5 (+108)Over 5.5 (+110)

Game info: Diamondbacks vs. Orioles | Moneyline: Orioles (-130 via Betway) | Total: Over 7.5 (-120)/Under 7.5 (+100) via Betway | Start time: 7:05 p.m. ET

You've likely seen me fade Arizona Diamondbacks right-hander Brandon Pfaadt a few times in 2024, but we're backing him on Friday. Pfaadt is striking out 9.22 batters per nine this season, a slight uptick from the 8.81 he managed in 2023. He's also doing his best George Kirby impression, walking only 1.32 per nine.

Pfaadt faces a dangerous Baltimore Orioles team that sits around the middle of the pack in strikeout rate on Friday. However, the Orioles play into one of Pfaadt's greatest strengths, as they walk at the league's second-lowest rate.

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Pfaadt's strikeout projection is 5.68 on Friday, with the idea being he could manage around his season average of one strikeout per inning and go six strong against Baltimore. Based on that projection, we're getting exactly 11% +EV on this bet thanks to FanDuel's +122 odds.

Meanwhile, the rest of our best sportsbooks are hovering around +110 to back Pfaadt's Over, and Pinnacle similarly sits at +109 after opening at +120.

Best odds: +122 via FanDuel

MLB player props made Friday at 8 a.m. ET.

Here are our best MLB betting sites:

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