Friday’s MLB Over/Under: Sizing Up Matz vs. Arrieta Series Opener in Philly

Friday’s MLB Over/Under: Sizing Up Matz vs. Arrieta Series Opener in Philly article feature image

Walker Buehler has done it again, chiming in with another nice performance to help cash last night’s Reds-Dodgers Under 7.5 bet. We’ll probably be tailing him plenty more times in 2018 while he remains a member of the Dodgers rotation. Now the best time of the week is upon us — the weekend — so let’s shoot for more of the same starting with tonight.

Zylbert’s 2018 MLB Over/Under Betting Record: 25-13-2, +10.6 units

Yesterday’s Result: Reds-Dodgers Under 7.5, Mahle vs. Buehler (WIN)

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

New York Mets @ Philadelphia Phillies

7:05 p.m. ET

Probable Pitchers: Steven Matz (1-3, 4.23 ERA) vs. Jake Arrieta (3-1, 3.15 ERA)

Sometimes based on the over/under line, you can tell if the oddsmakers are blatantly disrespecting a starting pitcher. In this series opener of a four-game set between the Mets and Phillies tonight, it appears that is exactly what is going on with up-and-coming left-hander Steven Matz.

This line should not be at 8.5. By comparison, I just had a successful under with Jake Arrieta involved opposite one of my favorite pitchers in the game, Jameson Taillon, and had an over/under of 7. As much as I love Taillon, he is not 1.5 runs better than Matz.

Sure, the 26-year-old Stony Brook native has exhibited some maddening inconsistency over the past few years but based on how he’s looked recently, Matz just might be settling into a comfortable groove. In his last start, Matz had his best showing on the young campaign, notching a season-high six innings and allowing just one run on three hits, walking one and striking out six. And that came against a solid Rockies lineup. Overall, he’s registered an impressive 10.08 K/9 mark — which is his first time averaging more than a strikeout per inning — and opposing batters are hitting just .214 off the fourth-year southpaw.

Matz has faced the Phillies once before, last year during his injury-marred 2017. Even under those difficult circumstances, he was still able to spin a gem, limiting the Phils to two runs in five-plus innings. I like him to continue his momentum through tonight and keep it going.

He’ll be taking on Jake Arrieta from Citizens Bank Park, which is exactly where we want the 2015 NL Cy Young Award winner. Since he arrived in the National League toward the end of the 2013 campaign, Arrieta has produced a considerably better ERA at home compared to on the road. During his four-and-a-half seasons with the Cubs, he strung together a miraculous 2.31 ERA, 0.96 WHIP, .182 batting average against and 378 K’s in 378.1 total innings while going 30-14 in 59 starts at Wrigley Field.

That trend has spilled into his first year with Philadelphia, where he’s 2-0 in three starts with a 1.50 ERA, 0.78 WHIP and .133 BAA in his first three home assignments. In each of his last two starts from Citizens Bank Park, Arrieta logged a season-best seven innings and was victorious in both. Facing the Mets for his career, the nine-year veteran has been exceptionally good, holding a 2.30 ERA, 1.00 WHIP and .218 BAA in seven career meetings.

It’s no secret that the Mets have been scuffling significantly since their strong start, as they’re now down to 18-17 on the year. Their offense has been a big reason why, as they’ve scored two runs or fewer in seven of their nine May games thus far. Yoenis Cespedes has been playing hurt as of late, so look for that to factor in this evening, as well. Arrieta also has extensive success against former Reds hitters who are now current Mets, Jay Bruce and Devin Mesoraco.

I’ve put my under bet in right away with the line at 8.5 and you should do the same. The potential is there for some solid pitching from both starters to kick off this NL East series.

Play: UNDER 8.5 (+100)