Wednesday’s MLB Over/Under: Analyzing Tonight’s Intriguing Marlins-Padres Total
Patrick Gorski-USA TODAY Sports Pictured: Miami Marlins pitcher Jose Urena
Once again, it took some mighty scratching and clawing to pull out an under, as we did last night in Reds-Diamondbacks Under 8. That means I’m on yet another five-game winning streak, while also having won nine of my last 10. Most glaringly, I’m back at 67% on the year! Let’s just focus on keeping it going.
Zylbert’s 2018 MLB Over/Under Betting Record: 38-19-2, +16.7 units
Yesterday’s Result: Reds-Diamondbacks Under 8 (WIN)
*Each bet graded as if it were to win 1 unit
Miami Marlins @ San Diego Padres | O/U: 7
10:10 p.m. ET
Probable Pitchers: Jose Urena (0-7, 4.69 ERA) vs. Clayton Richard (3-6, 4.97 ERA)
There’s only one team left, the Marlins, that I have not yet bet on this year in an over/under — that is, until now. And oh man, I’m seemingly asking for trouble with this one.
Obviously, this looks like a very low total on paper for this caliber of pitching matchup. On one end of the spectrum, you have a guy who is 0-7, and on the other, it’s a career journeyman who identifies as a soft-tossing lefty more than anything else. But it seems like the oddsmakers are following my line of thinking as it concerns the pitching matchup at hand.
First off, Urena has been one of the unluckiest pitchers in the league and should not be saddled with his current winless record. Ironically, it was this 26-year-old who led the team in wins only a season ago.
Put it this way: Of the 128 pitchers around Major League Baseball this season that have pitched at least 40 innings, Urena has received the lowest run support, a mere 2.55 runs per game according to ESPN Stats and Information. He’s actually gone seven innings and allowed one run three different times this season, but Miami plated a combined two runs in those efforts.
Additionally, the four-year veteran has registered a respectable 3.95 FIP (Fielding Independent Pitching) through his 11 starts, which means he’s pitched better than his current stats. Better days figure to be coming for Urena, based on his career-best 7.39 K/9 mark. He’s also averaging a career-low 2.13 BB/9 and surrendering less than a home run per nine innings.
Other peripherals that indicate Urena’s luck should turn include the type of contact he’s drawing from opposing batters. For instance, he’s allowing just 16.4% of batted balls to be line drives, and his 53.4% of ground balls is easily a high for his time in the big leagues. Don’t expect this right-hander to stay winless for much longer, and in the meantime, he’s capable of fine work to help produce an under in this spot.
Meanwhile, while Clayton Richard isn’t the ideal name you’re looking for regarding an under bet, you can’t really catch him at a better time. By that, I mean he’s in as nice a groove as you’ll see this veteran southpaw in, entering this assignment having pitched into the seventh inning or deeper in each of his last four starts.
Richard will have that opportunity based on his opponent’s lackluster performance in 2018 against left-handed pitching. In fact, the Marlins own the fourth-worst team OPS versus lefties in the bigs at .679. In addition, they’re also second-worst with their home run efficiency in that department, with just one long ball every 46.4 at-bats when a southpaw is on the hill.
But the key tonight for this 34-year-old will be the fact that he’s pitching at home tonight, where he’s been considerably better throughout his career, especially during his time in a Padres uniform. In his 11 major league seasons, Richard has a 3.60 ERA at home, easily besting his 5.10 ERA on the road, and it’s even more extreme when he’s working from pitcher-friendly Petco Park, where he has posted a nifty 3.30 ERA in 480.1 career innings.
That trend has continued to ring true this season, as Richard is sitting with a 4.08 ERA in his home outings, while on the road, he has a 6.26 ERA. It figures to keep going that way, as Richard has actually finished with considerably better numbers at Petco compared to his away outings in each of his eight years with San Diego.
Since this total has absolutely no shot of dropping to 6.5, you might as well wait until first pitch to see if you can get the under at 7.5, especially with the over having so much juice at the moment. If we don’t get that raise in the line, I’m still going with the under at 7.
Play: UNDER 7/7.5