Monday’s MLB Over/Under: Can the Padres Get to Stephen Strasburg Tonight?

Monday’s MLB Over/Under: Can the Padres Get to Stephen Strasburg Tonight? article feature image

Last week concluded with a win in our Tigers-Royals Under 9 bet thanks in large part to a good performance out of Kansas City’s Jakob Junis. Now let’s hope we can kick off this week with another win.

Zylbert’s 2018 MLB Over/Under Betting Record: 23-11-2, +10.9 units
Yesterday’s Result: Tigers-Royals Under 9, Boyd vs. Junis (WIN)
*Each bet graded as if it were to win 1 unit

Washington Nationals @ San Diego Padres | O/U: 7
10:10 p.m. ET
Probable Pitchers: Stephen Strasburg (3-3, 3.47 ERA) vs. Tyson Ross (2-2, 3.28 ERA)

It’s always a good idea to tune in when San Diego native Stephen Strasburg returns home. Not only did one of his two career shutouts take place within the pitching-friendly confines of Petco Park, but in three starts in this ballpark, Strasburg has been masterful, wielding a 2.84 ERA, 0.89 WHIP, .176 batting average against and a 19/5 K/BB ratio in 19 innings.

As it is, Strasburg is already rightfully considered as one of the best hurlers in the game. Though some might not be overly impressed by his current 3.47 ERA, the nine-year veteran has actually been better that, as evidenced by his 54/11 K/BB ratio for the season in 46.2 innings. Opposing hitters have managed just a .218 average off the electrifying right-hander as well. In addition, according to Fangraphs, Strasburg has yielded 23.8% soft contact, which would go down as the highest such mark of his excellent career if it ends up around there.

If there’s one vulnerability Strasburg has displayed in his game so far this year, it’s that he’s been prone to the long ball, having already served up eight homers in his seven starts. By comparison, he allowed no more than 15 in each of the previous three seasons. Fortunately, taking on a Padres lineup that is tied for 19th in homers and ranks 28th in OPS (.673) can help cure that, at least for Monday evening.

Also remember, as I discussed on Friday in my winning under play involving the Padres — who would end up getting no-hit — they’re without some key players in their lineup. Wil Myers, Austin Hedges and Hunter Renfroe are all still absent.

Meanwhile, would you believe that Strasburg’s counterpart tonight, Tyson Ross, has actually been one of the best ‘under’ pitchers more than a month into 2018? As a matter of fact, Ross is enjoying a renaissance season, and the outstanding results (3.28 ERA, .218 BAA, two home runs allowed) have helped propel the under to victory in five of his six starts.

Remarkably, despite being limited to just 13 games (11 starts) combined over the previous two seasons due to injury, Ross has pitched into the seventh inning or deeper in all but one of his outings in 2018. And he’s looked strong along the way, perhaps even more so lately, as he’s logged seven or more strikeouts in each of his last three starts. For the season, he’s averaging more than a strikeout per inning, his first time accomplishing that since 2015 when he fanned a career-best 212.

Clearly, based on his early season performance, Ross has recaptured his old form and is thriving in the process. His main bugaboo over the years has been avoiding the disabled list, but luckily up to this point, it appears he’s fully healthy. It’s not a bad idea to ride the former NL All-Star when he’s in this type of rhythm.

That is especially true when Ross is working from Petco Park, where he’s excelled over the years. In fact, there’s no question he’s been one of the best pitchers in the history of this venue, carrying a 2.78 ERA, 1.12 WHIP and .227 BAA, to go with his 271 Ks in 268.2 innings for his career when toeing the rubber in San Diego.

Make sure you get this bet in right away, as there’s no way it goes up to 7.5, and there’s a very real chance it could drop to 6.5. With an under 7 in probably the best park for pitchers, it could just take one standout performance from either of these talented starters to cash.

Play: UNDER 7 (-120)