Monday’s MLB Over/Under: Corbin Hosts Guerra in The Desert

Monday’s MLB Over/Under: Corbin Hosts Guerra in The Desert article feature image

After a win yesterday at Wrigley Field behind Lucas Giolito, we get ourselves ready for a new week — one that is already out to a dynamite start with the Supreme Court ruling in favor of sports gambling.

Zylbert’s 2018 MLB Over/Under Betting Record: 27-14-2, +11.5 units
Yesterday’s Result: White Sox-Cubs Under 8.5, Giolito vs. Hendricks (WIN)
*Each bet graded as if it were to win 1 unit

Milwaukee Brewers @ Arizona Diamondbacks
9:40 p.m. ET
Probable Pitchers: Junior Guerra (2-3, 3.09 ERA) vs. Patrick Corbin (4-0, 2.12 ERA)

Take a guess which southpaw has the best ERA and K/9 mark amongst National League left-handed starting pitchers right now. No, it’s not Clayton Kershaw — it’s 28-year-old Patrick Corbin, who has enjoyed an outstanding first month-and-change to the season. Corbin is 4-0 with a 2.12 ERA, 0.82 WHIP, 11.82 K/9 and a ridiculous .164 batting average against.

If you’re completely surprised by this breakout performance from Corbin, perhaps you shouldn’t be. After all, the former second-round draft pick showcased this type of excellence during his first full campaign in the bigs of 2013 — a season he also nearly started for the NL in the All-Star Game instead of Matt Harvey — and while that was five years ago, Corbin has an excuse for his delayed reemergence, considering he had Tommy John surgery towards the end of that season.

It took him a little while to get back into the swing of things, but it appears Corbin is harnessing his notable potential again as he’s surrendered three runs or fewer in all eight of his starts while logging at least six innings each time he’s stepped on the bump.

Can he contribute another such outing and keep that streak going? He’ll certainly be in a favorable position to do so. Corbin is one of those pitchers that has been considerably better throughout his career at home (3.36 ERA) compared to on the road (4.69 ERA), and that trend has been very visible in ’18, as he’s allowed a total of five runs in his five starts at Chase Field this season. That’s good enough for a 1.32 ERA, and in the process, opposing lineups have mustered a putrid .122 average off the lefty in those starts.

Let’s also touch on Milwaukee’s significant struggles versus left-handed pitching this season. In fact, only one other team in the league (Mets) has produced a worse batting average and OPS with a lefty on the hill, as the Brewers have churned out an awful .209/.289/.344 slash line in this department. How are they going to suddenly buck that trend opposite a guy who has been cruising like Corbin?

We’re also going to need some fine work from the other starter in this matchup tonight, and I think we can get just that from the improved Junior Guerra. Yes, he wasn’t sharp in his last two starts but overall, the 33-year-old right-hander has been solid, looking like the 2016 version of himself when he first arrived on the scene as a big-league starters and went 9-3 with 2.81 ERA.

In six starts, opponents are hitting just .219 off Guerra, as he’s also managed to put up 9.56 K/9. By comparison, he’s never averaged more than a strikeout per inning, so that’s impressive and exhibits progress. He’s also coming off an outing that saw him strike out a season-high nine.

Something else that may help Guerra is the fact that the D-backs have been scuffling lately, entering this series on a five-game losing streak. Thus, players might be pressing and their offense hasn’t been anything special this season.

It may be especially tough to score runs in this particular affair, as scoring has been down in Arizona home games this year — just as advertised when it was announced they were installing a humidor for baseballs. In 23 games played at Chase Field so far, there has been an average of just 6.7 runs per game. Look for another such outcome on the lower-end of the scoring spectrum as we hopefully cash this under.

Play: UNDER 8 (-120)

Follow Matt Zylbert on Twitter @MattZylbert