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Odds and Ends

MLB K Props, October 19th: Charlie Morton, Zack Greinke, Nick Pivetta

by Vaughn Dalzell
Updated On: October 19, 2021, 3:14 pm ET

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Charlie Morton O/U 5.5 Strikeouts vs. Dodgers

Game 3 of the NLCS will be an amazing game, and no pitcher on Atlanta's roster is worth trusting more in this spot than Charlie Morton.

The Braves veteran is currently at a career-high 33 games pitched and started, making this a record for the 37-year-old RHP.

Please do not get it mistaken, Morton has a lot left in the tank, but his starts versus the Dodgers call this prop into question for me.

Morton had SIX of his EIGHT strikeouts by the end of the third inning in the previous meeting with the Dodgers. That is lucky for most pitchers like I have said the past few days.

The former Pirates pitcher (I am a sad Pirates fan) struck out 13 in 11.0 innings versus Los Angeles this season overall, getting five Ks in 5.0 innings of the first meeting.

Morton has gone Under nine out of 11 games (82%) when he goes 5.0 innings or fewer in 2021, including eight of the past 10 (80%), per NBC's player prop model.

When Morton goes 5.2 innings or less, he has a hit rate of 64% to the Under (9/14). They key will be keeping him at 5.0 innings or less.

mORTON AT 5 IP

 

Morton throws his curveball more than anything at almost 37% as his fastball and sinker combine for 50%.

Over the year, Morton has posted stellar K% (81st percentile) and whiff% (71st percentile) while averaging 1.16 strikeouts per inning. That would mean he needs to continue that and go 5.0-plus innings versus the Dodgers while on his A-game.

Up 2-0, with a bullpen behind him and a rest day yesterday, expect Morton to do his best for 4.0 to 5.0 innings and be preserved for later in the series.

Plus, five of the eight starting pitchers versus the Dodgers went Under 5.5 strikeouts in the postseason (62.5%). We are talking bout Logan Webb twice and Kevin Gausman once as the only pitchers to hit the Over 5.5 Ks.

Morton, oddly enough, will only be making his fifth career start against the Dodgers -- the second-fewest games against any opponent for him (White Sox, 3). 

Morton is a phenomenal pitcher and a vet, but Unders are the way to go and the Braves can lose this game and be ok, the Dodgers cannot -- expect Morton to leave early enough to cash Under six strikeouts.

I played this at -150 juice and would stick around that out to -165.

Pick: Charlie Morton Under 5.5 Strikeouts (1u)

 

Nick Pivetta O/U 3.5 Strikeouts vs. Astros

Nick Pivetta gets the call in ALCS Game 4 for the Red Sox. Boston leads the series 2-1 and can eliminate Houston with two straight wins at home.

However, Pivetta makes his first career postseason start. He came in for 8.2 innings of relief versus the Tampa Bay Rays, allowed 11 hits, struck out 11, walked three and permitted three earned runs.

This is Houston, not Tampa Bay.

Until Eduardo Rodriguez yesterday, Houston allowed four straight pitchers to go Under 3.5 Ks. Five out of the seven starting pitchers total failed to surpass 4.1 innings pitched, per statmuse.

SP vs HOU

 

Here is how starting RHP have fared in the postseason versus the Astros. Nathan Eovaldi and Dylan Cease went Under, while Lucas Giolito and Lance Lynn barely hit the Over.

RHP vs HOU

 

When Pivetta goes 4.0 innings or less this season, he is 4-3 to the Under 3.5 Ks (57.1%) and gone Under four of the last 10 at 5.0 innings or fewer (40%).

When looking at whom he will face, he does not have more than six plate appearances versus any of the Houston hitters, per baseballsavant.com. That has not worked out well for most pitchers in the postseason.

Pivetta vs HOU

 

Yes, Pivetta struck out nine versus Houston earlier in the season, but that does not matter if you have continued to read my articles. Play the Under. I grabbed this at +110 and would play it out to -125/-130.

Pick: Nick Pivetta Under 3.5 Strikeouts (1.5u)

 

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Zack Greinke O/U 2.5 Strikeouts vs. Red Sox

This just keeps getting better. Zack Greinke is on the mound!

Boston has been raking against opposing pitchers, and we continue riding that train today.

Per statmuse, nobody has made it Over three strikeouts, and the last six went Under 2.5 strikeouts.

SP vs BOS

 

Greinke is not special but a shell of his former self.

The 37-year-old RHP made a 1.0 inning appearance versus the White Sox that ended with two hits and one strikeout.

He has not gone past 5.0 innings in the last five games he pitched and there is no reason to believe he will here.

In 14 road starts, Greinke has a 3.45 ERA, .226 OBA and 0.67 strikeouts per inning average. At 5.0 innings, Greinke would have 3.3 Ks, so the Under is the clear play here.

He has gone 4.2 innings or fewer in six of his last nine postseason appearances dating back to 2019.

Hitters like J.D. Martinez, Enrique Hernandez and Hunter Renfroe have seen Greinke plenty. In the limited at-bats that Xander BogaertsRafael Devers, Kevin Plawecki and Alex Verdugo have had, they found success as well.

I grabbed this at +105 and would play it out to -140 -- where it should be.

Pick: Zack Greinke Under 2.5 Strikeouts (1.5u)

 

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