Wednesday’s MLB Over/Under: Can Duffy and Paxton Get Back On Track?
Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports
Last night’s Padres-Rockies Under 10.5 wager was never really in doubt, other than a little bit of sweating when Pat Valika mishandled that ground ball to first base with two outs in the seventh, leading to the three-run Hunter Renfroe bomb on the very next pitch. Fortunately, it was smooth sailing from there to extend my unbeaten streak to seven (6-0-1). There’s a fine chance we can continue it at least another day, as I’m on a pitching matchup featuring two guys — Zylbert Guys, to be specific — I am very familiar with.
Zylbert’s 2018 MLB Over/Under Betting Record: 9-1-1, +7.8 units
Yesterday’s Result: Lucchesi vs. Anderson Under 10.5 (WIN)
*Each bet graded as if it were to win 1 unit
Seattle Mariners (-134) @ Kansas City Royals (+124) | O/U: 9
2:15 p.m. ET
Probable Pitchers: James Paxton (0-1, 7.45 ERA) vs. Danny Duffy (0-2, 7.45 ERA)
It’s been a bizarre identical beginning to 2018 for both of these proven southpaws, who come into today’s assignment with identical marks in ERA (7.45), WHIP (1.55) and batting average against (.250) through their first two starts. They even possess the same number of walks (five) and home runs allowed (three).
Luckily, I know James Paxton and Danny Duffy (pictured above) very well, being a big fan of each since they first came up to the big leagues, and I know they will improve upon those uncharacteristic numbers as soon as possible. This looks like an encouraging spot toward accomplishing just that — and we even get a roomy total (9), as well.
Concerning Paxton, it’s very surprising how he’s allowed at least one home run in each of his outings thus far. In 24 starts a season ago, the left-hander known as “Big Maple” surrendered a homer in just seven of them. With today’s opponent, though, he’s in a favorable position to end that streak, given Kansas City’s lack of power against lefties. In fact, the Royals are one of only two teams to have not gone yard against a lefty this year, a span that has lasted 80 at-bats. Additionally, their .633 OPS opposite southpaws ranks 21st in baseball.
If Paxton isn’t going to be bit by the long ball, he has a notably high ceiling for this affair. It also may be helpful that he owns a spotless 2-0 record in four career meetings with Kansas City, to go with a 2.42 ERA, 0.99 WHIP and 20/2 K/BB ratio across 22.1 innings. Considering the lack of depth in the Royals’ batting order right now — Cheslor Cuthbert is their current cleanup man!) — Paxton will have every opportunity to put up a useful showing for under bettors.
Duffy is hoping to do the same, drawing a banged-up Seattle offense for the task. With no Nelson Cruz, Mike Zunino, Ryon Healy and Ben Gamel, the Mariners are really hurting, and it’s possible they’re without one of their key veterans like Robinson Cano or Jean Segura due to resting, this being the day game after a night game.
In turn, this should provide the eight-year veteran a nice opportunity to notch a quality start. As it is, he has already recorded solid career numbers versus the M’s, logging a 2.67 ERA and 34/12 K/BB ratio in eight appearances (six starts).
He figures to also have some of his confidence back after a troublesome spring training and opening day. In his last start, Duffy allowed the first five batters to reach base, ultimately yielding three runs in the first, but settled down after that to retire 17 of the next 20 he faced.
Overall, it could take just one standout performance from either of these two hurlers, with the total as high as it is, to pull out this under. Regardless, I don’t see Paxton nor Duffy getting lit up at The K this afternoon, and if they’re both hanging in there, we’ll be in good shape.
Play: UNDER 9 (-115)