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Kenta Maeda O/U 5.5 Strikeouts vs. Angels
Kenta Maeda entered the All-Star break on fire and came out on the right end, now hitting his Over 5.5 strikeouts in three consecutive starts against the Royals and Tigers twice.
Maeda struck out 25 in those three starts, over 16.0 innings and 271 combined pitches (90.3 per game). Maeda's sporting a 1.69 ERA in July and .130 OBA, by far his best month yet.
While the Los Angeles Angels will be more difficult at the plate than Detroit or Kansas City were about 10-20 days ago, LAA has its problems.
The Angels only have 21 total plate appearances versus Maeda. In his career, Maeda holds a .108 OBA with six strikeouts and three walks against LAA.
Lately, the Angels have the eighth-highest strikeout percentage to RHP over the last 30 days at 25%.
LAA has the fourth-lowest walk rate at 6.7% in that same span and ranks 18th in wRC+ (98). Maeda has walked at least one hitter in 10 straight games and two or more in half of those starts.
When Maeda does not struggle with walks, he gets strikeouts. Maeda only went 10.0 innings against Detroit in the past two starts and collected 15 strikeouts to three walks.
Maeda allowed three runs in the last start -- the only earned runs on the month and across his previous three games.
The NBC player prop model projects Maeda to record 6.7 strikeouts in 6.0 innings against the Angels, hitting the Over 5.5. Maeda has not pitched against LAA since 2019, and he struck out 11 in 8.2 IP over two starts.
Maeda is one of four pitchers to light up the model with value today.
The key for Maeda to hit the Over is reaching five innings. The 33-year-old RHP has hit the Over in 6-of-9 (67%), four of the last five (80%) and three straight at 5.0 innings or more, per NBC's hit rate chart.
Maeda has only started four home games all season, which is ridiculous compared to his 11 road starts. He is 2-2 to the Over 5.5 at home this season but had five strikeouts in an Under against Boston and two Ks versus Oakland, another tough K team.
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The Twins won their last four home games, sweeping the Tigers right before the All-Star break. Maeda sports a 2.41 ERA at home compared to 5.50 on the road (a smaller sample size, I will admit) and owns 22 strikeouts in 18.2 innings of those four home starts.
Per statmuse, the last starting 25 RHP against the Angels have had success reaching 5.0 innings. In the previous 10 games versus RHP, six hit 5.0 innings or longer (60%).
A total of 16 reached 5.0 innings or more in the last 25 games versus starting RHP (64%). Nine of those 16 reached six strikeouts (56.2%) and 10 with at least five (62.5%).
The list below features 22 of those 25 RHP and I like the chances Maeda adds his name to that list, and this season has shown that if he makes 5.0 innings, he is a profitable pitcher to the Over.
Maeda is a perfect 2-0 when he pitches 6.0 innings, something he did just three starts ago versus the Royals.
Look for Maeda to reach 5.0 innings and at least five strikeouts against the Angels, as I like him to carry over some of his July success into Target Field.
Pick: Kenta Maeda Over 5.5 Strikeouts (1u)
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