Friday’s MLB Over/Under: Can We Trust Lopez and Duffy Tonight At Kauffman Stadium?
It doesn’t get any better than what we had yesterday, as Tigers-Pirates Under 8 ended 1-0 in a beautiful pitchers’ duel that culminated on a walk-off home run in the bottom of the ninth.
Zylbert’s 2018 MLB Over/Under Betting Record: 18-6-2, +11.5 units
Yesterday’s Result: Tigers-Pirates Under 8, Fulmer vs. Nova (WIN)
*Each bet graded as if it were to win 1 unit
Chicago White Sox @ Kansas City Royals | O/U: 9
8:15 p.m. ET
Probable Pitchers: Reynaldo Lopez (0-2, 1.50 ERA) vs. Danny Duffy (0-3, 5.26 ERA)
Without question, Reynaldo Lopez has been the brightest spot within an otherwise rocky starting rotation for the White Sox up to this point. That’s because he carries a shiny 1.50 ERA, 1.13 WHIP and .150 batting average against to go along with his 23 strikeouts in 24 innings pitched.
Yes, Lopez has also walked 15 batters — which is already more free passes than he issued all of last year in eight starts — but good news for the 24-year-old right-hander: the Royals have drawn the fourth-fewest walks among all major league teams. And let’s not forget they’ve scored the fewest runs in all of baseball, too.
Lopez has already notched a pair of quality starts opposite this division rival in as many tries, and fortunately for us, that work came last year. That’s notable because that means the Royals have not yet seen him in 2018, and that’s just how we’d prefer it. Lopez has looked better than he did a season ago — his first with the South Siders — and has allowed two runs or fewer in each of his first four starts.
Like their counterpart tonight, the White Sox have also relatively struggled at the dish so far this season, and it’s only been more difficult for them with a left-hander on the hill, which hopefully paves the way for Danny Duffy to bounce back from his last time out.
Against southpaws, Chicago ranks 28th in team batting average (.211) and they’ve also manufactured the fewest runs (17) in this department as well. In addition, they’ve struck out 68 times in 209 total at-bats opposite lefties, or once every 3.07 ABs. That last stat can puts Duffy, who despite his shortcomings so far this year has actually seen his Ks (8.77 K/9) bump up, in a good spot.
Duffy faced the White Sox in his first assignment of the season, and while he ultimately didn’t fare well at all in that outing, don’t forget he had a rough spring training that seemingly spilled over into Opening Day. The eight-year veteran has mostly righted the ship since, surrendering three runs or fewer in three of his last four starts, with the one blemish coming versus the Detroit Tigers in his most recent outing, though that’s a team that’s put up nice numbers against lefties.
The real key for Duffy will be whether or not he can keep the ball in the yard. Duffy has allowed a total of just four runs in the three starts where he did not serve up any taters. He was the victim of three long balls on Opening Day against Chicago but has allowed only one since then, and I think now that he’s settled in, that should be more of the norm.
At 9, the line will probably remain there, but you might as well wait it out to see if you can get it at 9.5. Considering the current juice is -105 for the under, it’s possible there’s a change at some point, albeit not likely. Even if it stays put, this is still a solid bet to roll with into your Friday evening.
Play: UNDER 9/9.5
Photo: Chicago White Sox starting pitcher Reynaldo Lopez. Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki, USA TODAY Sports