Sunday’s MLB Over/Under: Jakob Junis Takes On Kyle Gibson in Kansas City
USA Today Sports. Pictured: Jakob Junis
Betting odds: Minnesota Twins at Kansas City Royals
- Over/Under: 8.5
- First Pitch: 2:15 p.m. ET
- Probable Pitchers: Kyle Gibson (7-13, 3.67 ERA) vs. Jakob Junis (8-12, 4.28 ERA)
Zylbert’s 2018 MLB Over/Under Betting Record: 95-65-4, +23.25 units
Yesterday’s Result: Tigers-Indians Under 8, Fulmer vs. Clevinger (loss)
*Each bet graded as if it were to win 1 unit
Given the starting pitching matchup on tap — which sports two of my favorite under-the-radar pitchers in all of baseball — you can bet this series finale caught my attention right away.
On the season, Kansas City starter Jakob Junis’ numbers may not particularly stand out, but they don’t tell the whole story of his first full campaign as a starter in the big leagues, either.
Junis actually held a very respectable 3.61 ERA and 1.13 WHIP through the season’s first two months, but hit a rough patch afterward that included him pitching through a back injury that would ultimately land him on the disabled list for much of July.
Since returning, however, Junis found his early season form. The second-year right-hander has made 10 starts after coming back from his DL stint, and in all but one of them, he’s yielded three earned runs or fewer. Within that span, Junis has manufactured a 2.83 ERA.
They key to Junis’ resurgence is that he’s been able to limit the long ball a lot more than he was earlier in the season, even when he was having success through April and May. In his first 17 starts, spanning 101 2/3 innings, Junis surrendered a whopping 24 home runs. Following his return from injury though, Junis has given up just five downtowners in 60 1/3 innings.
Oh, and Sunday happens to be Junis’ birthday! He turns 26, and while I have no official stats on how players perform on their birthday (I should’ve asked Paul Lo Duca about this), I’d be willing to bet on it providing a boost in most cases.
Kyle Gibson, meanwhile, has been much steadier than his counterpart. After all, in three of the five full months of the season, the former first-round draft choice has registered an ERA between 3.30 and 3.80.
Consistency is a nice trait to lean on in an under that is as high as 8.5. Gibson has typically exhibited that versus KC during his six-year major league career. This will be his 18th assignment opposite the Royals, going 6-5 with a 3.40 ERA against K.C. over the previous 17.
He also apparently enjoys taking the mound in pitcher-friendly Kauffman Stadium, where he’s notched a 3.05 ERA and 1.17 WHIP in nine career starts.
With this total, you can afford to wait up until first pitch to see if the line goes to 9. If it does not, I’ll still be on this under anyway.
Play: UNDER 8.5/9