Tuesday’s MLB Over/Under: The Dark Knight Makes His Cincy Home Debut

Tuesday’s MLB Over/Under: The Dark Knight Makes His Cincy Home Debut article feature image

Cincinnati Reds’ pitcher Matt Harvey. Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY Sports

Even though four of the nine hits in last night’s Diamondbacks-Brewers game went for homers, we were able to get to the window with our Under 8 bet intact. We’ve now strung together two wins in a row after a pair of losses, so hopefully we can run this streak to three tonight.

Zylbert’s 2018 MLB Over/Under Betting Record: 31-18-2, +10.8 units
Yesterday’s Result: Diamondbacks-Brewers Under 8, Greinke vs. Anderson (WIN)
*Each bet graded as if it were to win 1 unit

Pittsburgh Pirates @ Cincinnati Reds | O/U: 9.5
7:10 p.m. ET
Probable Pitchers: Jameson Taillon (2-3, 3.97 ERA) vs. Matt Harvey (0-2, 6.17 ERA)

What in the world? I genuinely did not expect the over/under for this series opener between the Pirates and Reds to be as high as 9.5 — certainly not with this pitching matchup consisting of two talented upper-rotation hurlers — but we’ll gladly take it for this under wager.

Granted, Harvey has fallen on hard times, leading to his departure from the Mets a couple of weeks ago, but the former staff ace may have figured some things out if his first two starts with his new club are any indication.

The Reds have gone 2-0 in both of Harvey’s outings since bringing him aboard, and while the 29-year-old went only four innings each time out in those efforts, he still looked solid, yielding a combined three runs on eight baserunners in those eight total frames. For tonight’s assignment, you have to figure he’ll be going deeper than that now that he’s been stretched out again. Remember, before being jettisoned from New York, he was a member of the bullpen.

We’ll be leaning specifically on Harvey’s desire to stay in the rotation, where he feels he belongs (and isn’t afraid to be vocal about it). I certainly agree with that, as I thought the Mets should’ve given him more of a leash, and luckily in Cincinnati, he’ll have plenty of rope to stick in this starting rotation.

There have already been some signs of the old Harvey resurfacing, like in his team debut in Los Angeles opposite the Dodgers when he retired 12 of the 13 batters he faced and needed only 55 pitches to do it. Additionally, he had his old heater going, as Harvey has seen his fastball touch 96 mph since donning a Reds uniform. Sometimes, a change of scenery and a return to a familiar role is enough to get a player back on track, and I believe that is the case with the Dark Knight. He figures to be extra amped this evening in his first home start at Great American Ball Park.

And then we have Taillon, who absolutely does not deserve to be saddled with such a high total in an NL affair. I’m a big fan of betting on Taillon totals and have a 4-1 record (all unders) when the Pirates hand the ball to the former No. 2 overall pick. Given his continued upward trend as of late, he’ll be in a position to help clock in another one.

In his last three starts, Taillon has not picked up a decision but he has registered a 1.98 ERA and .235 BAA in 13.2 innings. He doesn’t have the brightest numbers when pitching in Cincinnati, but the key concerning his history against this team is what he did when facing the Reds most recently. That would be the second weekend of the season — in an under I had — when the 26-year-old recorded the best outing of his young major-league career with a dominant one-hit shutout.

Furthermore, Taillon has simply been very consistent; not just this season but really since he first came up two years ago. In 2018 he has yielded three runs or less in all but two of his nine starts. An outing like that would be terrific for an under this high. He also does a decent job of keeping the ball in the yard (0.95 HR/9 for his career), and that can be pretty significant when working from a hitter-friendly stadium such as Great American Ball Park.

No need to wait on any potential line movement, as it looks like it’s going to stick at 9.5, so you can get in your action as soon as you see this. If the old Matt Harvey continues to pop up in more than just flashes, this under looks like it will be in nice shape.

Play: UNDER 9.5 (-110)