Sunday’s MLB Over/Under to Consider: Can Weaver Build Off Dominant Spring?
We certainly found ourselves in a precarious situation at times in last night’s White Sox-Royals Under 8.5 bet, but thankfully triumphed in the end after it came down to the bottom of the ninth with two outs and the deciding run (since 4-4 would’ve meant a loss) in scoring position. For what has been a fun opening weekend of the 2018 season, let’s try to cap it off unbeaten.
Zylbert’s 2018 MLB Over/Under Betting Record: 2-0, +2 units
Yesterday’s Result: Giolito vs. Kennedy Under 8.5 (WIN)
*Each bet graded as if it were to win 1 unit
St. Louis Cardinals @ New York Mets
1:10 p.m. ET (ESPN)
Probable Pitchers: Luke Weaver vs. Steven Matz
Of all pitchers that logged more than 14 innings in spring training, only one (surprise, Clayton Kershaw) allowed fewer runs than Luke Weaver, who yielded just a single earned run across his 16.1 innings of work. He was so dominant this spring, in fact, that opposing batters managed just a .113/.203/.170 slash line off the 24-year-old right-hander.
It’s just further evidence that Weaver is a guy who is going to be a main piece in the Cardinals rotation for years to come, and even has the potential to be their best starter as soon as this season.
After struggling during his first stint in the big leagues in 2016, Weaver rebounded nicely a year ago, posting a 3.88 ERA and an outstanding 72/17 K/BB ratio in 10 starts and three relief appearances. He even had a stretch of seven consecutive starts with at least six innings pitched, surrendering two runs or less.
Simply put, Weaver is ready to put it all together and flourish after breaking camp with the team for the first time in his career. Another guy who could possibly do this as well is his counterpart this afternoon, Steven Matz.
Don’t be phased by Matz’ overall unpleasant spring numbers, as that was mostly the result of a rough first few outings. In his final four starts to conclude his Grapefruit League tenure, the Long Island native allowed just four total runs in 18.1 innings, picking up 20 strikeouts compared to only five walks over that span.
This was no fluke either, as Matz had his first pain-free spring training in years, free from the elbow issues that rattled him the last two seasons. Thus, look for the former second-round pick to start harnessing his heavy potential again, much like he was doing when he first came up in 2015.
What this boils down to is trusting two up-and-coming hurlers to come through in their season-opening assignments. Given their recent body of work, I’d say they can both be relied upon to hand this under bet to a pair of talented bullpens.
Before you make this wager, however, wait until first pitch to see if the over/under line goes up to 8. With Under 7.5 currently having +105 odds, there’s a chance it indeed goes up a half-run, which could be crucial in the event of the always-popular 5-3 score. Even if it remains the same, this is still an under to have action on at 7.5.
Play: UNDER 7.5/8
Top Photo: San Francisco, CA, USA; St. Louis Cardinals starting pitcher Luke Weaver (62) throws a pitch during the second inning against the San Francisco Giants at AT&T Park. Credit: Sergio Estrada-USA TODAY Sports