Two very interesting pitching matchups tonight in the AL East. If you look at Wins Above Replacement (WAR), Dylan Bundy and Chris Sale have performed as top-10 pitchers so far this season.
Meanwhile, Chris Archer and Marco Estrada can’t say the same, as they have struggled mightily in 2018. That said, there are a few reasons to at least consider both underdogs.
Let’s take a closer look at both AL East matchups.
Tampa Bay Rays (+118) at Baltimore Orioles (-128) | O/U: 7.5
Chris Archer (1-1, 6.59 ERA) vs. Dylan Bundy (1-2, 1.42 ERA)
7:05 p.m. ET
Arch Madness: I keep waiting for Archer to turn it around, but he keeps letting me down. He’s been getting shelled this season, as evidenced by his 6.59 ERA. If the season ended today, it would mark the third consecutive year that his ERA sits significantly higher than his xFIP, which is generally quite low due to his high strikeout numbers. Simply put, when he doesn’t miss bats, he gets hit hard.
Since 2016, he holds the third-highest hard-hit percentage of any qualified pitcher at 36.3%. This year, he has allowed hard-hit balls at a nearly 39% clip, while striking out 1.6 less batters per nine innings than he did in 2017. Not a great combination.