Monday’s MLB Over/Under: Are Brad Keller, Joe Musgrove Legit?

Monday’s MLB Over/Under: Are Brad Keller, Joe Musgrove Legit? article feature image

Jay Biggerstaff, USA Today Sports. Pictured: Brad Keller

Betting odds: Kansas City Royals at Pittsburgh Pirates

  • Over/Under: 7.5
  • First Pitch: 7:05 p.m. ET
  • Probable Pitchers: Brad Keller (8-6, 3.04 ERA) vs. Joe Musgrove (6-9, 3.87 ERA)

Zylbert’s 2018 MLB Over/Under Betting Record: 95-66-4, +22.20 units

Yesterday’s Result: Twins-Royals Under 8.5, Gibson vs. Junis (loss)

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

The Royals may be headed to their first 100-loss season in more than a decade, but there are one or two promising pieces in Kansas City. One silver lining for Ned Yost has been the unexpected rise of Keller, a rookie reliever-turned-starter.

The 23-year-old entered the pitching rotation at the end of May and hasn’t looked back, making 18 starts. In all but four of them, the right-hander gave up three runs or fewer.

Overall, he’s pieced together a very nice freshman campaign, going 8-6 with a 3.04 ERA. Perhaps the most impressive stat in Keller’s portfolio is the fact that he’s allowed just seven home runs in his 127.1 innings this season.

Keller will have a favorable matchup this evening, not just because he’ll be working at pitcher-friendly PNC Park, but also because he’ll be taking on what looks to be a relatively harmless lineup. Under bettors should be salivating that the likes of Kevin Kramer and Kevin Newman are on Clint Hurdle’s lineup card tonight.

Musgrove has been a bright spot for the Pirates this season despite his 6-9 record. In his first year as a Bucco, the former Astro has posted a respectable 3.87 ERA and 1.17 WHIP while establishing himself as a legitimate option for the pitching staff in the years to come.

One main backing point regarding Musgrove is that he appears to be getting stronger as of late. In all but one of his last five outings, Musgrove has fanned at least seven batters. That’s notable because in his previous 13 starts this year, he reached that plateau just two times.

Musgrove has also done an excellent job cutting down on the walks — especially compared to his 2.30 BB/9 in Houston last year. This season, that number sits at 1.89, and it’s been even lower than that over the last several weeks. Musgrove has issued no more than two walks in each of his last nine starts.

I think at least one of tonight’s starters will clock in with a standout night at the office. As long as the other continues his steady pitching, that figures to be enough to formulate this under.

Play: UNDER 7.5 (-125)