Wednesday’s MLB Over/Under: Will the Crooked Numbers Continue in Braves-Reds?

Wednesday’s MLB Over/Under: Will the Crooked Numbers Continue in Braves-Reds? article feature image
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Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY Sports

Despite a strong first two innings from Robbie Ray and Vince Velasquez to go with a boat load of strikeouts for the game last night, the rain appeared to make things considerably more difficult as our Diamondbacks-Phillies Under 7.5 bet went awry in defeat. Luckily, precipitation does not look like it will be a factor in our over/under play for Wednesday.

Zylbert’s 2018 MLB Over/Under Betting Record: 16-6-2, +9.5 units

Yesterday’s Result: Diamondbacks-Phillies Under 7.5 (loss)

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


Atlanta Braves @ Cincinnati Reds

6:40 p.m. ET
Probable Pitchers: Matt Wisler (1-0, 1.29 ERA) vs. Brandon Finnegan (0-2, 11.05 ERA)

This may seem like a bit of a leap of faith emanating from hitter-friendly Cincinnati, especially with 30 runs being scored in the first two games of this series, but I trust both guys in this pitching matchup to help assist us in ringing up this under bet.

For starters, we’ve got Matt Wisler to lean on after an incredible first start since being recalled by the Braves. He absolutely had his way last week versus the Mets — a real quality team — limiting them to a measly two hits over eight shutout innings, striking out eight and walking none. It may not be a fluke, as the former seventh-round draft choice also got out to a nice start at Triple-A Gwinnett, where he posted a 2.25 ERA and 0.58 WHIP to go with an 11/1 K/BB ratio in his two starts there.

Are we going to see more of this version of Wisler after he’s mostly disappointed in his previous three seasons with the Braves? We may not, but given the particular spot he’s in entering tonight’s assignment, I still like the 25-year-old to provide a useful outing for an under as high as 9.5.

This is basically as important as it’s going to get for Wisler, seeing as how he specifically said, “I’ve got to go out there on the mound and try to earn my spot every time.” He added: “Nothing’s going to be given this year. So I’ve got to go out there and do the best of my capabilities and try to earn some more starts.”

Fortunately for Wisler, he gets baseball’s worst team tonight. The Reds are tied for the third-lowest team batting average (.227) in the National League, and they’ve also produced the second-fewest OPS (.634) and home runs (15) in baseball up to this point. Wisler is in a position to succeed if he just continues to build off what he’s been doing so far.

As for his counterpart this evening, Brandon Finnegan hasn’t inspired much confidence to start the season, but he’s a lot better than what he’s shown thus far.

Finnegan appears to finally be fully healthy for the first time since 2016, when he went 10-11 in 31 starts with a respectable 3.98 ERA and .236 batting average against. His problem is surrendering too many free passes, which he’s done so far this season as well. He’s talented enough to start throwing more strikes.

This is someone, to me at least, who projects as a fine mid-rotation starting pitcher. He referred to his first pair of starts as “two horse-bleep outings,” but he’s talked about feeling more confident after he got “ahead of hitters better” in his most recent turn last Friday. He’ll figure it out.

With this bet, I’m going to wait up until the first pitch to see if the line goes up to 10. It isn’t likely to happen, but considering the current juice, it’s still possible and it’s not like I have to worry about it going down to 9. Even at 9.5, this is a worthwhile bet.

Play: UNDER 9.5/10