Tuesday’s MLB Over/Under: Can You Trust Nova and Giolito in Series Opener?


Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

We had it 1-1 in the sixth of last night’s Nationals-Padres Under 7 wager before the wheels came off for Tyson Ross in a big way. That can happen, however, especially with a hot offense in play that just got one of its best hitters (Anthony Rendon) back in the lineup, so no need to fret. Let’s just move on to Tuesday.

Zylbert’s 2018 MLB Over/Under Betting Record: 23-12-2, +9.7 units

Yesterday’s Result: Nationals-Padres Under 7, Strasburg vs. Ross (loss)

*Each bet graded as if it were to win 1 unit

Pittsburgh Pirates @ Chicago White Sox | O/U: 9

8:10 p.m. ET

Probable Pitchers: Ivan Nova (2-2, 4.01 ERA) vs. Lucas Giolito (1-4, 7.03 ERA)

Since getting absolutely pounded by the defending world champion Astros a few starts ago, the White Sox’s Giolito has bounced back into form, pitching into the sixth inning or deeper and yielding three runs or fewer in each of his past two outings.

But you know the most encouraging item about the prized young right-hander’s recent work? No, not the season-high seven strikeouts he posted his last time out in a solid road outing at St. Louis opposite Carlos Martinez. It has to be his drop in walks, as the former first-round pick has issued only two free passes each in back-to-back starts. That’s significant because previously, he had not walked fewer than three in any of his four other outings this year.

The increased strikeouts are a boost, too, as that’s more of who Giolito is as a pitcher. He registered a 9.37 K/9 mark in Triple A last year and was even better in that department in 2016, when he entered the majors for the first time after churning out a 9.64 K/9 with Washington’s Triple-A affiliate. If he’s pumping in strikes and has his command going with his above-average repertoire, Giolito really does have a chance to be one of the American League’s top young hurlers.

Ivan Nova (pictured above) was once an AL starter, before he was dealt from the Yankees to the Pirates leading up to the 2016 trade deadline. He’s been steady and solid since the move,  including a 4.01 ERA and a 35/6 K/BB ratio in 42.2 innings this year. And that’s even after getting hit hard by a hot Nationals lineup.

Overall, the 31-year-old righty has allowed three runs or fewer in five of his seven starts. Nova will seek better results when he squares off with the club that has scored the third-fewest runs in baseball. Additionally, this is a White Sox team that is suddenly reeling again, having lost seven of its past eight. During that span, the Chisox have topped the four-run plateau only once — in their only win during this current slide.

The over/under has remained a roomy 9 all day, which is an inviting number for when you have a decent pitching matchup. Both Giolito and Nova are capable of delivering a lengthy, quality showing in this spot, and one strong performance is all it may take.

Play: UNDER 9 (-110)

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