Here on CBS Sports, I'm the baseball guy who picks so-called prop bets. That is to say, I'll delve through the action on Caesars Sportsbook and grab some of the stuff other than picking the game over total (aka "over/under"). I'm doing the game picks over on SportsLine and there are two more up right now. I've gone 10-2-1 thus far in the playoffs -- and that was after an 0-1-1 start in the AL wild card game -- so hop on over there and subscribe.
Here in the prop bets, which are considerably tougher to hit but also carry excellent odds anytime we do hit, I'm sitting at +130 through six days of playoffs. I'm on a home run drought, so we could sure use one to beef that total up again. Let's get to it.
All odds courtesy of Caesars.
Randy Arozarena homers +400
I'm going back to the well. I tried this call in Game 2 and we came up empty after Chris Sale only lasted an inning. We all know how impactful Playoff Arozarena is and the Rays desperately need this one. Some other things line up well to hit this jackpot.
- The Red Sox desperately need length from lefty Eduardo Rodriguez in this one, though they don't necessarily need to empty the bullpen at the first sign of trouble, knowing they have a Game 5 if need be. Basically, absent a Sale-like meltdown, Arozarena gets multiple shots at Rodriguez.
- Rodriguez had a 3.95 ERA on the road this season, but 5.95 in Fenway.
- In the regular season, Arozarena hit .171 points higher in OPS against lefties. He had 10 homers in 202 at-bats.
- Arozarena has always hit very well in Fenway (.355/.412/.516 in the regular season), though he hasn't homered.
We'll add up the first three points there and throw a "he's due" on the fourth.
Max Scherzer, under 7.5 strikeouts -130
It might sound jarring to wager that Mad Max isn't going to get to eight strikeouts and maybe it's even dumb. He's just trending in the wrong direction there. On Sept. 18, he was nails, allowing two hits in seven shutout innings against the Reds. He also struck out seven. Next time out he only struck out five in five innings in 102 pitches. His last regular-season outing, he only struck out four in 5 1/3 innings while giving up six runs (five earned) on 11 hits.
In the NL Wild Card Game, Scherzer only allowed one run on three hits, but he walked three and only struck out four in 4 1/3 innings. He was already at 94 pitches. He noticeably had poor command. I have no doubt the beast in his head is alive and well, but if he's physically starting to tire at age 37 with so much mileage on his arm, there's only so much mental toughness can take him.
My best bet on this one is Scherzer doesn't really get hit too hard, but the line ends up similar to the wild card game. He'll be inefficient and Dave Roberts has plenty of bullpen arms with enough rest to justify something like a five-inning out -- or less, as we saw in the wild-card game. The Giants have struck out less than once per inning (16 strikeouts in 17 offensive innings) so far this postseason, too.