Wednesday’s MLB Over/Under: Can Gausman Continue Ascension in Atlanta?
Aug 10, 2018; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Braves starting pitcher Kevin Gausman (45) delivers a pitch to a Milwaukee Brewers batter in the sixth inning at SunTrust Park. Mandatory Credit: Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports
Betting odds: Miami Marlins at Atlanta Braves
- Over/Under: 8.5
- First pitch: 7:35 p.m. ET
- Probable Pitchers: Jose Urena (3-12, 4.74 ERA) vs. Kevin Gausman (6-9, 4.27 ERA)
Zylbert’s 2018 MLB Over/Under Betting Record: 78-51-3, +21.6 units
Yesterday’s Result: Pirates-Twins Under 9, Taillon vs. Odorizzi (WIN)
*Each bet graded as if it were to win 1 unit
Considering how hot Atlanta’s offense has been as of late, it’s understandable to approach an under bet involving the Braves with extreme caution right now. Most notably, rookie sensation Ronald Acuna is on quite the scorching run, having mashed at least one home run in five consecutive games and seven of the last eight, totaling a whopping eight dingers within that span. But hear me out.
First off, the main reason for buying into this bet actually has to do with Atlanta’s starting hurler, Gausman, who will be making his third start for the Braves since he was acquired from the Orioles before the trade deadline.
If Gausman’s first two outings in an Atlanta uniform are any indication — and I believe they are — the 2012 first-round draft pick could turn out to be a steady arm for a playoff push. Gausman posted a 2.77 ERA and 1.08 WHIP in his first two Braves starts, striking out 10 and walking only two in 13 innings.
He was at his best his last time out, pitching eight innings of one-run ball in his home debut opposite the Brewers last Friday. Gausman also had eight strikeouts, his most in a game in more than two months.
He’s in a good place mentally, even acknowledging his excitement about entering a playoff race, but there’s also a distinct reason why the 27-year-old was able to have his way in that outing against a tough Milwaukee lineup.
He pitched exclusively from the stretch, something he worked on with pitching coach Chuck Hernandez during a bullpen session between starts. Gausman said he “didn’t really miss a beat” and will likely continue doing that in this evening’s game.
Fortunately, he has a favorable matchup on tap with the Marlins, who have been reeling at the plate for weeks now. They are 2-11 this month entering Wednesday, due in large part to a struggling lineup.
Miami has plated more than three runs in a game only twice this month. After trading away Justin Bour and Cameron Maybin (not to mention the injury to Martin Prado), the Marlins figure to keep having issues scoring runs. As it is, they’re already dead last in that category in the National League.
As mentioned earlier, the Braves have had no problem with their offensive output, but as long as Gausman is in control as expected, that means there will be some room for error regarding Urena, the opposing starter in this game. In other words, if Urena doesn’t get hammered, that could help craft the makings of an under triumph.
To his credit, Urena has fared well against Acuna (albeit in seven at-bats) limiting him to one hit and two walks while fanning him three times. Additionally, three other key bats in Atlanta’s batting order — Dansby Swanson, Johan Camargo and Ozzie Albies — are a combined 7-for-32 (.219) against the Miami right-hander.
We’ll also try to catch Urena in a bounceback spot, as he’s yielded at least four runs in each of his last two outings. Only once before has the Dominican pitcher been tagged for that many runs in three consecutive starts, so hopefully he doesn’t match that streak.
Even if Urena does surrender a number around there, we can still get by based on Gausman’s performance. Just wait until first pitch to see if the over/under line inflates to 9; if it doesn’t, I’m still on it at 8.5.
Play: Under 8.5/9