In Cincinnati, the Cardinals and Reds will finish up their four-game series this afternoon. The Reds have taken two of the first three games, including a 10-3 victory last night. Cincinnati will go for the series victory today, but with Luke Weaver on the mound, the offense may have to lead the way. Jonathan India should pace the Reds offense.
The Nationals and Padres are finishing up their three-game series, which means it is the final game this week for Juan Soto against his former team. On Tuesday, he homered and scored two runs, and he also drew a walk last night. Today, Soto may put on a show in his former ballpark one more time.
Over the last two weeks, Christopher Morel has to be considered the hottest hitter in baseball. Last night, he had a “bad” game but still went 1-for-4 to extend his hitting streak. He will look to help his Cubs complete a sweep of the Mets on Thursday night.
MLB Player Props For Thursday, May 25
|St. Louis Cardinals vs. Cincinnati Reds||Cardinals -174|
|First Pitch||12:35 p.m. ET|
Last night, the Reds racked up a season-high 18 hits as Jonathan India paced the offense with two hits out of the leadoff spot. He also scored two runs, giving him four combined hits + runs + runs batted in. India has cleared this line in every game in this series and in seven of his last 10 games. In two other games, he recorded one hit + run + RBI.
India has recorded a hit in six of his last seven games. Over that span, he is hitting .288, which is roughly on par with his .290 average for the season. India has also scored a run in each of his last seven games and ranks fifth in the MLB in runs scored. Today, he gets Miles Mikolas, whom he is 4-for-13 (.308) against with two home runs and three runs batted in.
To be frank, I don’t understand this line. Mikolas has pitched better recently, with a 2.47 ERA over his last five starts. However, he still has a 4.77 ERA for the season, a .299 opposing batting average and a .287 opposing batting average against right-handed hitters. If India homers off Mikolas again, he will cover this line in one swing. However, India typically bats in the leadoff spot (while he also batted third in one game in this series), and this is a favorable prop for leadoff hitters. If he gets a hit, he will be in position to be knocked in by a teammate.
I anticipate that the Reds will push across a couple of runs against Mikolas given their recent success and the game being at Great American Ballpark. However, if Mikolas turns in another solid outing, India can hit this over with either one run or simply two hits. Given his own success against Mikolas, I would expect this line to be in the -135 to -145 range, which offers a bit of value here.
Pick: Jonathan India Over 1.5 Hits + Runs + RBIs (-105)
|San Diego Padres vs. Washington Nationals||Padres -188|
|First Pitch||4:06 p.m. ET|
I expected Juan Soto to excel against his former team given both his familiarity with Nationals Park and the Nationals’ porous pitching staff. I considered him on Tuesday, but the Nats were starting lefty MacKenzie Gore. Soto has done damage throughout his career against both left- and right-handed pitchers, but recently the splits have been far more pronounced.
This season, Soto is hitting .186 with two home runs and a .646 OPS against lefties, but he’s hitting .295 with seven home runs and a .1.032 OPS against right-handers. Soto ultimately did hit a home run on Tuesday, but it was off right-handed reliever Erasmo Ramirez. Today, he will face rookie right-hander Jake Irvin on the mound. In his first two big league starts, Irvin allowed just one run in 10 and 1/3 innings. However, in the last two, he has allowed 12 runs (10 earned) in 7.1 innings, including two home runs to left-handed hitters.
Irvin’s sample size is small, so for me, this play is more about Soto. He is 14th in the Major Leagues with a .901 OPS. Half of his 44 hits (13 doubles and nine home runs) have gone for extra bases. Against right-handers, 18 of his 33 hits have gone for extra bases. Soto had three hits on Tuesday and has seven total multi-hit games this season. However, given how much he walks, we may need him to go 1-for-3 with an extra-base hit to cash this over. DraftKings is offering this line at +115, compared to -110 on FanDuel, so we are getting a decent value here.
|New York Mets vs. Chicago Cubs||Cubs -118|
|First Pitch||7:40 p.m. ET|
Since being recalled from Triple-A on May 8th, Christoper Morel has been absolutely on fire. He is hitting .358 with nine home runs and 15 runs batted in. Morel leads the Major Leagues in home runs over that span and also ranks fourth with a 1.283 OPS. Since 1900, Morel tied for the second-most home runs by a player through the first 12 games of his season. The power surge may be a surprise to some, but Morel did hit 16 home runs in his rookie season.
Today, however, I am playing Morel just to get a base hit. Now, this is more juice than I prefer playing, but we already have one plus-money play and another at nearly even money. If you want another plus-money play, you can take his hits + runs + runs batted in line to go over at +115 or take him for two bases once this game is added on all the books (DraftKings has over 0.5 bases at -155).
I’m comfortable laying juice with Morel because the books have not caught on to his hot start yet. He is -155 to get one hit when he is on a 13-game hitting streak and hitting nearly .360. For comparison, his teammate Dansby Swanson is -235 for one hit when he is hitting .179 over his past seven games. Swanson has a hit in his last three games, but I am merely pointing out that his odds are much worse, despite Morel significantly outperforming him over the past week.
Morel, Swanson and the Cubs will face Carlos Carrasco, who has been a little unlucky but has still struggled mightily this season. Carrasco has a 8.68 ERA and 7.09 xERA through his first four starts. He ranks in the bottom 20th percentile in xBA, xSLG, Barrel %, and Strikeout Rate. Right-handed batters like Morel are hitting .325 with three doubles, three home runs and a 1.038 OPS against him. Morel likely will not bat above fifth in the Cubs lineup, so he may only get two at-bats against Carrasco if he struggles again. However, I like Morel’s chances of getting on base either against Carrasco or the Mets bullpen.
Pick: Christoper Morel Over 0.5 Hits (-155)
How would you rate this article?
This site contains commercial content. We may be compensated for the links provided on this page. The content on this page is for informational purposes only. Action Network makes no representation or warranty as to the accuracy of the information given or the outcome of any game or event.