Sunday’s MLB Over/Under: Will Bundy vs. Sale Live Up to the Hype?
Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
In yesterday’s article for my Angels-Royals Under 7.5 bet, I closed with the following words: “Just make sure you attempt to get this at 8, as I am definitely afraid of a 5-3 outcome.” Unfortunately, the line would never return to 8, and in a cruel twist of fate, the score indeed ended 5-3 in a crushing defeat. Those are the worst to dwell on, though, so let’s just advance to Sunday.
Zylbert’s 2018 MLB Over/Under Betting Record: 11-3-1, +7.8 units
Yesterday’s Result: Angles-Royals Under 7.5 (loss)
*Each bet graded as if it were to win 1 unit
Baltimore Orioles @ Boston Red Sox | O/U: 7
1:05 p.m. ET (MLB Network)
Probable Pitchers: Dylan Bundy (0-1, 1.35 ERA) vs. Chris Sale (1-0, 1.06)
As expected, Chris Sale has been absolutely dominant to begin his second year with the Red Sox. Across his first three starts, last year’s AL Cy Young runner-up has yielded a grand total of just two runs in 17 innings of work, while also crafting together a 1.00 WHIP, .222 batting average against, and a beautiful 23/3 K/BB ratio. He’s just lights-out.
So, how can we be assured that this will continue through his next assignment? Well, simple. First off, Sale has been splendid in his outings at Fenway Park. In 17 career starts and three relief appearances at the historic venue, he’s 9-4 with a 3.16 ERA, 1.04 WHIP and .215 BAA, while punching out 148 batters compared to only 22 walks in 116.2 innings. That’s a pretty remarkable stat line over a large sample size.
Additionally, he possesses good numbers opposite the Orioles. Sale faced them three times last year and was victorious in all three, etching a 2.05 ERA, 0.72 WHIP, .167 BAA, and a remarkable 33/3 K/BB ratio in 22 innings.
The lineup he’ll face today figures to be downgraded slightly, as the O’s are without one of their best hitters in Jonathan Schoop. Baltimore is already having a tough enough time at the dish as it is, averaging the fourth-fewest runs per game (3.3) in the league. They’re also hitting .222 as a team, the fifth-worst mark in baseball. Oh, and they’ve struck out more than any other team in the bigs. With 163 Ks in 535 at-bats, they’re averaging a strikeout once every 3.28 ABs. Sale, arguably the best strikeout artist in the game today, should be salivating.
If the 5-10 Orioles were to be represented by one All Star right now, it would probably be young Dylan Bundy, who looks like he’s finally putting it all together in his third Major League season. There’s really no reason to question if he’ll continue his excellent brand of pitching, at least in the short term.
The former first-round draft pick has made three starts, going at least six innings in each and allowing a combined three earned runs. Most impressive of all, he’s recorded a fabulous 25/5 K/BB ratio in his 20 total innings thus far.
One of the great things about this bet is that there may even be some room for error with Bundy, so long as Sale spins his usual standout work in leading this under. At the very least, the Baltimore right-hander figures to be dealing with a lineup that may be missing some key players. Xander Bogaerts, of course, is out, and that’s a huge downgrade at shortstop with Tzu-Wei Lin in there. Mookie Betts could also be out of the lineup after departing yesterday’s ballgame with an injury. Bundy figures to be up for the task regardless in seeking to continue his strong start.
With the total at 7, you’ll want to grab this under as soon as possible, being that there’s a possibility it could go down to 6.5.
Play: UNDER 7 (-120)