Zylbert: Will David Price Overcome Postseason Woes?

Zylbert: Will David Price Overcome Postseason Woes? article feature image

Credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Boston Red Sox pitcher David Price (24) reacts during the first inning against the Baltimore Orioles at Fenway Park.

Betting odds: Houston Astros at Boston Red Sox (ALCS Game 2)

  • Over/Under: 8
  • First Pitch: 7:09 p.m. ET (TBS)
  • Probable Pitchers: Gerrit Cole (15-5, 2.88 ERA) vs. David Price (16-7, 3.58 ERA)

Zylbert’s 2018 MLB Over/Under Betting Record
Regular Season: 102-73-4, +21.35 units
Postseason: 3-6-1, -4.10 units
Yesterday’s Result: Astros-Red Sox Under 7.5, Verlander vs. Sale (“loss”)

*Each bet graded as if it were to win 1 unit

A real shame to drop last night’s ALCS Game 1 bet in the manner that we did. Now it’s on to Game 2, featuring an over/under that figures to boil down to one main issue: Can David Price exorcise his postseason demons on this night?

I believe he will. Price’s overall postseason work has left a lot to be desired, but it hasn’t been all bad from the 11-year veteran. Take last year, for instance. In the club’s ALDS matchup against Houston, Price actually fared quite nicely — albeit in a relief role — tossing 9.1 scoreless innings and scattering just five hits. He also picked up 10 strikeouts.

In critical postseason spots, like the one he’ll be in today, Price has been effective as well. In an elimination Game 3 for the Tigers in 2014 he notched eight impressive innings of two-run ball in a losing effort (2-1 to the Orioles).

So, Price is capable of handling himself in these very important assignments.

Additionally, the 2012 AL Cy Young winner looked just fine opposite the Astros this season. Price faced the defending champs twice, registering a quality start on each occasion, and he also struck out 17 combined in the two outings, spanning 12.1 innings.

Allow me to reiterate: Price is game for these types of high-pressure situations.

Boston Red Sox starting pitcher David Price (24) reacts during the game against the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory
Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Boston Red Sox starting pitcher David Price (24).

He’ll be going up against Gerrit Cole, who is coming off an outstanding start last weekend in the ALDS opposite Cleveland. In his Game 2 assignment, the former Pittsburgh Pirate crafted together seven excellent innings in which he gave up just one run on three hits, while punching out 12 batters.

That’s further evidence for why Cole can be trusted in the playoffs. The 28-year-old has made four career starts in the postseason, compiling a 3.13 ERA and 0.74 WHIP to go with an impressive 26/3 K/BB ratio across 23 innings.

And like his counterpart, Cole has contributed nice work against this opponent in 2018. In his two games against Boston, Cole registered a pair of quality starts in the process of etching a 3.46 ERA and .208 batting average against.

The weather could factor in here as well. Like last night’s series opener, there will be less-than-ideal hitting conditions at Fenway Park tonight, and that can only make things more difficult in the face of solid pitching.

Given where the over/under line has stubbornly stat all day, you can wait to see if it goes up to 8.5. Even if it does not, I’ll still be on this under.

Play: UNDER 8/8.5