Friday’s MLB Over/Under: Wheeler Seeks to Continue Second-Half Surge
Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Mets starting pitcher Zack Wheeler (45) pitches during the first inning against the Washington Nationals at Citi Field.
Betting odds: New York Mets at San Francisco Giants
- Over/Under: 7
- First Pitch: 10:15 p.m. ET
- Probable Pitchers: Zack Wheeler (9-6, 3.46 ERA) vs. Andrew Suarez (5-9, 4.42 ERA)
Zylbert’s 2018 MLB Over/Under Betting Record: 88-57-3, +24.9 units
Yesterday’s Result: Rockies-Padres Under 8, Marquez vs. Lauer (WIN)
*Each bet graded as if it were to win 1 unit
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It’s been awhile since Zack Wheeler has allowed more than two runs in an outing. In fact, it hasn’t happened since the All-Star break, as the 28-year-old has churned out a perfect 6-0 record and 1.17 ERA in seven starts in the second half.
Will the Giants challenge the hard-throwing right-hander and put a dent in his performance following the Midsummer Classic?
That remains to be seen, but given that San Francisco has lost Buster Posey (injury) and Andrew McCutchen (trade) in the past week, it may be more unlikely than not.
Wheeler has been so good since the unofficial halfway point that he has actually allowed the lowest percentage of hard contact per swing in the league over that span, according to Anthony DiComo of MLB.com.
In addition, he’s held opponents below the Mendoza Line — a .199 batting average against, to be exact.
One of his starts in the second half came 11 days ago opposite these same Giants, whom he blanked over seven sharp innings. It was the only game this season where he struck out 10 batters.
Let’s also recall that the Giants drafted Wheeler in the first round in 2009, so there’s always that extra incentive to do well against them after they dealt him to Flushing years ago.
And then there is Andrew Suarez, who also can be useful to under bettors. The 25-year-old southpaw is coming off arguably his finest start of the campaign, when he tossed seven scoreless innings at home against the Rangers last weekend and scattered only six baserunners.
Suarez has been significantly better at pitcher-friendly AT&T Park than on the road. Suarez has a 3.39 ERA, 1.07 WHIP and .238 BAA in 11 home starts.
In his 12 outings on the road, however, he’s posted a 5.55 ERA, 1.60 WHIP and .315 BAA. That’s quite the stark contrast; luckily, he’s at home in this one.
The Mets’ continual struggles opposite left-handed pitching could be what benefits Suarez the most. As has been the case all season, New York is sitting near the bottom in the major offensive categories with a lefty on the hill.
The Mets are 29th in both team batting average (.227) and OPS (.653) against southpaws. Furthermore, the 43.3 at-bats they log per home run off a left-hander rank third-worst in MLB.
With this over/under, you’re definitely going to want to wait until first pitch to see if the line inflates to 7.5.
Based on the current juice, there’s a good chance that indeed happens, but even if it doesn’t, I’ll still be on this under for my Friday night action.
Play: UNDER 7/7.5