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Odds and Ends

MLB K Props, August 16th: Touki Toussaint, Gerrit Cole O/U Strikeouts

by Vaughn Dalzell
Updated On: August 16, 2021, 1:05 pm ET

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Touki Toussaint O/U 5.5 Strikeouts vs. Marlins

Atlanta's Touki Toussaint will be making his sixth start of the season after a spring training injury that had him on the shelf until after the All-Star break.

In his first five games back, we have seen a large enough sample size to know he is settling into the rotation. Toussaint has posted 28 strikeouts in 27.1 innings with a 4.28 ERA and 1-2 record over five starts.

Toussaint had three games with five strikeouts this season. Those games came against the Padres, Brewers and Reds -- three talented and playoff offenses/teams.

In Toussaint's other two starts, he totaled three strikeouts against the Cardinals (only start under 5.0 innings) and a season and career-high 10 Ks versus the Phillies.

When Toussaint went 5.0 innings or more this season, he had 5, 10, 3 and 5 strikeouts for four of his five starts. Toussaint has only had two road starts, coming against the Phillies and Cardinals, his lowest and highest strikeout games.

Looking over how starting pitchers have performed versus the Marlins as of late, six of the last 10 starting pitchers have totaled six or more strikeouts, per statmuse. Three of the last six RHP hit this, all coming in the last 10 days.

SP vs Miami

 

The Marlins have the fourth-most strikeouts in the past week with 65 in six games compared to 17 walks (T-20th).

Four Miami hitters have faced Toussaint in his early career: Jorge Alfaro, BrIan Anderson, Miguel Rojas and Magneuris Sierra.

The four of them have 12 plate appearances with four hits, four strikeouts and one walk. Rojas has three strikeouts and two hits in six appearances, while Anderson has one strikeout and one walk in two at-bats. Alfaro has two hits in his only two meetings with Toussaint and Sierra has not recorded any hits, walks or Ks versus Toussaint.

Both of the Marlins catchers, Alex Jackson or Jorge Alfaro have struck out at least eight times in the last 20 plate appearances. If Bryan De La Cruz is in the lineup, he is a potential strikeout victim as he has struck out eight times in his last 22 at-bats.

Anderson, De La Cruz, Rojas and Sierra are four matchups Toussaint can strike out as well as either catcher.

Starting pitcher Braxton Garrett will be hitting once or twice, and he has three strikeouts in 10 at-bats. Toussaint has struck out the pitcher in every game except his two road games versus Aaron Nola and Wade Miley

NBC's model projects Toussaint at 4.8 strikeouts in 5.0 innings, which is right along his 1.0 K/per inning average, but I like the Over.

He averages 5.6 strikeouts per game on the season and 4.5 without the 10 K outing versus Philly. Every team he has faced thus far will be or can be a playoff team -- the Miami Marlins will be the first that are not.

Touki hit rate

 

If Toussaint can get through the order for a second time with minimal damage and survive five innings, I like the chance he can get over the five-strikeout hump.

Toussaint holds opposing hitters to a .122 OBA the first time through the order with a 29.5% K percentage. 

The second time through, his OBA rises to .333 and K% drops to 17.9%.

The third time through, he middles out with a .280 OBA but a stellar K% of 32.0%.

With 94 and 97 pitches in his last two starts, the two highest pitch counts on the season, it's clear the Braves are letting the leash off Toussaint a bit. I like the chances he goes at least 5.0 innings

I grabbed this at -105. I would play this up to -130 odds.

Pick: Touki Toussaint Over 5.5 Strikeouts (1u)

 

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Gerrit Cole O/U 9.5 Strikeouts vs. Angels

This line is really really high if you ask me. Betting on a guy to come back from COVID and toss 10-plus strikeouts is asking a lot, but Gerrit Cole is a stud.

However, per statmuse, only two of the last 25 starting pitchers have gone for 10-plus strikeouts against the Angels.

In August, only the Blue Jays' Alex Manoah (11 Ks) accomplished this versus Los Angeles.

LAA SP

 

Per NBC's model, they project Cole to record 8.6 strikeouts in 7.0 innings, hitting the Under 9.5 Ks.

Only five of the last 25 starting pitchers have gone for 7.0 innings and again, Cole is coming off COVID and a two-plus week break which makes 7.0 innings a tough ask. 

NYY LAA

 

Cole has only faced a few Angels more than 10 times, but given this high number and the fact he has not pitched against LAA since 2019, I feel comfortable backing the Under before lineups come out.

Cole has a 2.70 ERA at home and hit this line in four out of 10 starts at Yankee Stadium. However, three of this 10-plus K games came in his first four starts. Meaning he's gone Under this in five out of his next six home games.

Back Cole to go Under 10 strikeouts and play this at 8.5 for a half-unit.

Pick: Gerrit Cole Under 9.5 Strikeouts (1u)

 

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