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Friday’s MLB Over/Under: Sabathia, Junis Kick Off Series at The K

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Kansas City Royals starting pitcher Jakob Junis. Credit: Peter G. Aiken/USA TODAY Sports

OK, nice Athletics-Blue Jays Over 9.5 win last night, emerging victorious pretty much without a sweat (except maybe when it was 0-0 in the second). That keeps my momentum going strong into the weekend, The Cat’s favorite time of the week. Let’s see how I start it off tonight.

Zylbert’s 2018 MLB Over/Under Betting Record: 29-16-2, +11.1 units

Yesterday’s Result: Athletics-Blue Jays Over 9.5, Triggs vs. Sanchez (WIN)

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


New York Yankees @ Kansas City Royals | O/U: 9

8:15 p.m. ET

Probable Pitchers: C.C. Sabathia (2-0, 2.23 ERA) vs. Jakob Junis (4-3, 3.53 ERA)

When you see a Jakob Junis over/under of mine, typically that means I’m seeking a lower-scoring outcome. In this instance, however, I’m feeling out an over for his assignment opposite CC Sabathia tonight in the opener of this three-game set at The K.

Listen, Junis’ sophomore success thus far is legitimate, as I do believe he has the potential to even be a future All-Star. That doesn’t mean he’s not prone to a down stretch, which is something he may be on the verge of entering after allowing at least one home run for the fourth straight start his last time out, a loss to the Indians. It was also the third time he’s given up at least four runs. In all, he’s been tattooed for 11 home runs in his eight outings this year, and tonight he’ll be taking on an offense that has blasted the fifth-most homers in baseball.

In addition, the difference between Junis’ 3.53 ERA and 5.01 FIP (Fielder Independent Pitching) is quite significant and also suggests a rough patch may be ahead for the Royals’ right-hander. His luck has been aided by a very friendly .226 batting average on balls put in play, which is certain to go up sooner than later. This seems like a spot for that to happen, taking on an intimidating Yankees’ batting order that has churned out the most runs per game (5.78) and highest team OPS (.785) in the game.

We’ll also like that the Yanks are entering this series hot at the dish. That’s definitely been true of their two premier sluggers Giancarlo Stanton (10-for-25, 3 HRs, 7 RBI) and Aaron Judge (9-for-25, 3 HRs, 12 RBI), who have both been absolutely raking over their last seven contests.

Meanwhile, Sabathia — who has also been overachieving up to this point — may be due for an off night as well. He had one the last time he toed the rubber, when the Red Sox got to him for four runs on nine hits in just four innings. Meanwhile, Kansas City has MLB’s seventh-best team batting average (.266) against left-handers. Sabathia is averaging a relatively low 6.94 K/9 this year, which would be his lowest ratio since 2004 if it stays there. The Royals can be tough if they’re constantly putting the ball in play.

And like his counterpart this evening, Sabathia has also been pretty fortunate as he enters his ninth start of 2018. The 18-year veteran (yes, he’s been pitching that long now) has registered a big difference between his ERA (2.23) and FIP (3.61), while he’s also been helped out by a favorable .255 BABIP.

Make sure you get this over wager in as soon as you see this, as there’s a strong possibility that the total returns to its opening line of 9.5. At 9, this looks like a solid bet from the Friday night slate.

Play: OVER 9 (-120)

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