Thursday’s MLB Over/Under: Shane Bieber Faces Blue Jays North of the Border

Thursday’s MLB Over/Under: Shane Bieber Faces Blue Jays North of the Border article feature image

Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Cleveland Indians starting pitcher Shane Bieber (57) reacts after giving up a home run in the sixth inning against the Oakland Athletics at Progressive Field.

Betting odds: Cleveland Indians at Toronto Blue Jays

  • Over/Under: 9
  • First Pitch: 7:07 p.m. ET
  • Probable Pitchers: Shane Bieber (8-3, 4.66 ERA) vs. Sam Gaviglio (3-7, 5.02 ERA)

Zylbert’s 2018 MLB Over/Under Betting Record: 90-60-4, +23.70 units
Yesterday’s Result: Tigers-White Sox Under 8, Zimmermann vs. Kopech (loss)

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

When you have two starting pitchers going at it, who are each capable of yielding crooked numbers on the scoreboard — which is this case in this series opener between the Indians and Blue Jays — it’s always worth at least a thought to take the over.

Cleveland rookie Bieber has shown some flashes of promise. Yes, he has an 8-3 record, but the 23-year-old has been fairly inconsistent along the way and has seemingly hit the rookie wall after posting a respectable 3.53 ERA in his first seven starts.

In nine of his last 11 turns in the rotation, Bieber has surrendered at least three runs, and was tagged for at least four in seven of those outings.

That’s exactly what has happened in each of his last two outings and he could be prone to a similar result in this hitter’s environment.

Toronto enters Thursday ranked fourth in the majors in home runs (187), and fourth in homers launched at home (97) as well. Plus, opponents have hit .296 against Bieber this season.

Bieber’s counterpart in this matchup, Gaviglio, has fared well in his home starts — despite Rogers Centre’s reputation as a hitter’s park — with an ERA nearly six fewer runs (2.68) lower than what it is on the road (8.10).

But we can still scratch out some runs off this second-year right-hander thanks to a potent Indians lineup.

Like his counterpart, Gaviglio has also been shaky lately, giving up three runs or more seven times in his last 10 outings.

The key could be Gaviglio’s difficulty with keeping the ball in the yard. As a rookie, he served up 1.94 HR/9 in 16 games (13 starts), and while he’s been able to bring it down a bit this year, he’s still seeing 1.52 balls get over the fence off him per nine innings.

In 10 of his past 13 starts, he’s allowed at least one home run.

It’s OK to put the bet in right away, as I don’t see the over/under line going down n this contest between two solid offensive clubs.

Play: OVER 9 (-115)