Saturday’s MLB Over/Under: Attacking a Coors Field Total
Pictured: Colorado Rockies pitcher Tyler Anderson. Credit: Kiel Maddox-USA TODAY Sports
What are the best types of bets to win on any given night? The ones that don’t require any sweating, as was the case in last night’s Twins-Mariners Under 7 play thanks to some pretty stellar pitching from both James Paxton and Fernando Romero. It was the way we wanted to start off Memorial Day Weekend, but there’s still more work to be done on this Saturday.
Zylbert’s 2018 MLB Over/Under Betting Record: 34-19-2, +12.7 units
Yesterday’s Result: Twins-Mariners Under 7, Romero vs. Paxton (WIN)
*Each bet graded as if it were to win 1 unit
Cincinnati Reds @ Colorado Rockies | O/U: 11.5
9:10 p.m. ET
Probable Pitchers: Tyler Mahle (3-6, 4.53 ERA) vs. Tyler Anderson (3-1, 4.74 ERA)
When you’re seeking out an under at Coors Field — the biggest haven for offense in sports — you ideally wouldn’t want the guy who leads the major leagues in HR/9 allowed (2.2). Alas, here we are leaning on Mahle with the hope that he can start to bring that troubling number down.
For comparison’s sake, no one allowed two or more homers per nine innings a season ago when home runs were belted in record portions. Thus, you have to figure Mahle’s current pace won’t sustain. Another reason to believe that has to do with his unlucky HR/FB percentage (23.6%), which is currently the second-highest in the bigs. Again, though, that’s not a sustainable number. It’s worth pointing out that only three pitchers registered a percentage higher than 20% in that department last year. If you take out Mahle’s misfortunes with the long ball, he sports a respectable 3.97 xFIP.
Other than his vulnerability to home runs, Mahle has enjoyed a modest rookie campaign in 2018, while flashing plenty of promise that bigger things are ahead. The 23-year-old right-hander been fairly consistent eating up innings, pitching into the sixth inning or deeper in seven of his 10 starts. Mahle is also recording a decent number of strikeouts, averaging 8.72 K/9 — he exceeded that only once during his time in the minors.
While there might be some uncertainty surrounding Mahle’s outlook tonight, you can count on one of the best pitchers in Coors Field history, Anderson, who has flipped the script throughout his career and actually delivered decent work in his home digs.
Unlike most who have come before him in Rockies purple, Anderson has actually excelled at Coors, being more than a full run-and-a-half better in his home outings (3.50 ERA) than on the road (5.08 ERA). It’s a trend that’s been prevalent in each of Anderson’s three MLB seasons.
The key for the former first-round draft pick is that he does a terrific job keeping the ball in the yard when pitching in Colorado. In fact, he’s yielded only 15 total taters in his 22 starts (and one relief appearance) for his career at home, a stark contrast to the 21 he’s given up on the road in the same exact sample size.
Anderson may also benefit from Cincinnati’s lackluster production against left-handed pitching. For the season, the Reds are hitting .235 versus southpaws, which was tied for 20th in MLB. As a result, Anderson’s potential tonight looks solid. One quality outing from either starter might be all we need for this under, but with the extra juice currently on the over, wait until first pitch to see if you can get the line at 12. If not, the under at 11.5 can work just as well.
Play: UNDER 11.5/12