Every team is now on the board with a win in both MLB championship series. The Astros and Rangers are knotted up at two wins a piece and square off in a critical ALCS Game 5 today. Game 4 of the Diamondbacks and Phillies NLCS follows, as Arizona looks to tie up their series after starting 0-2 as well.
Here we look at home run props picks for MLB Playoffs action on Friday, Oct. 20.
Today’s first game, Astros vs. Rangers in the ALCS, starts at 5:07 ET on Fox. Before the first pitch, we’re looking at today’s games’ best MLB home run prop picks.
Best MLB home run prop picks for Friday’s MLB playoff games
Jose Altuve to hit a home run in ALCS Game 5
Jose Altuve had a pretty pedestrian playoff run until the series shifted to Arlington. Since taking the show on the road, he has put together a two-hit game (with one home run) and a three-hit game in last night’s contest.
One of those hits fell just short of a home run. Streaks matter in baseball, and Altuve is on a tear.
His rhythm goes beyond just right now. He has thrived at Globe Life Field all season, hitting eight home runs in his last nine games.
The Rangers have Jordan Montgomery back on the mound tonight, who Altuve has yet to take deep in his limited matchups against. Montgomery had a solid first outing on the road, going six and a third in a shutout victory to start the series.
With the Astros bats beginning to figure things out, Montgomery isn’t likely to have that level of performance again. In their first matchup, Altuve lined or popped out in each at-bat against him.
Now that he has seen him once in this series and avoided striking out, we like his odds to finally take him yard on the road in a stadium in which he has had uncanny success this year.
J.T. Realmuto to hit a home run Friday’s NLCS Game 4
Game 4 appears to be a bullpen game for the Diamondbacks, as they are scheduled to send relief pitcher Joe Mantiply to the mound for the start.
The one time he faced the Phillies this year was in three innings of relief, and he surrendered four runs in that time span. That doesn’t bode well for the Diamondbacks’ chances of keeping it close in this one like they were able to do yesterday.
With another potential explosion from the Phillies quite possible tonight, we like Realmuto’s chances to go deep given the matchup. He hits Mantiply’s top two pitches at high clips, and he has had great hitting success against him, albeit in limited attempts.
Realmuto also has gone yard at a much higher clip against lefties this season, registering eight in just 137 at-bats this year. He has 12 against right-handers in 352 at-bats.
Josh Jung to hit a home run today in ALCS
Josh Jung was the Rangers’ only offense in Game 3 of the series, knocking two pitches out of the park for four of the Rangers’ five runs. The first pitch he homered was a misplaced slider, and the second was a four-seamer up in the zone.
Although they came against Christian Javier and Hector Neris, they were the exact types of pitches Justin Verlander likes to utilize.
This season, Verlander went to the four-seamer and slider 50% and 25% of the time, respectively, and his high heater is one of the best in the business. Jung took both pitches deep in this series, meaning he sees them well. They’re the two pitches Jung saw the most this season, which greatly helps him in this matchup.
Jung went 0-3 last night and was retired in two of his three at-bats against the changeup and sweeper. Multiple pitch types are required to keep him off balance, and Verlander doesn’t often change it up at this point of his career. Look for Jung to take advantage of one of the few Verlander mistakes tonight.
— By David Fletcher