Saturday’s MLB Over/Under: Banking on Trevor Cahill in Oakland vs. Mad Bum

Saturday’s MLB Over/Under: Banking on Trevor Cahill in Oakland vs. Mad Bum article feature image

Sergio Estrada-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Madison Bumgarner

  • San Francisco starter Madison Bumgarner only has a 3-3 record, but his underlying metrics are much better than that.
  • Oakland's Trevor Cahill has some really drastic home-road splits. He's allowed just two runs in 28 innings this season in Oakland, where he'll get the start tonight

Pretty unfortunate to drop last night’s first over/under of the second half, as we were in desirable position late in the proceedings before the bullpens let things get away at the very end. We’ll try to get that back on Saturday.

Zylbert’s 2018 MLB Over/Under Betting Record: 63-41-3, +17.75 units

Yesterday’s Result: Twins-Royals Under 8.5 (loss)

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

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San Francisco Giants @ Oakland Athletics | O/U: 7.5

  • Over/under: 7.5
  • First pitch: 9:05 p.m. ET (MLB Network)
  • Probable pitchers: Madison Bumgarner (3-3, 2.90 ERA) vs. Trevor Cahill (1-2, 3.10 ERA)

In the first four Bay Bridge Series contests, including last night’s 5-1 San Francisco victory, the under has gone 2-1-1 and the teams have scored no more than eight runs.

Perennial NL Cy Young candidate Madison Bumgarner played a hand in one of those matchups eight days ago, as he beat Oakland with six solid innings of one-run ball. That’s been a theme for the former World Series MVP in 2018 ever since coming back from a broken pinky that cost him the first two months of the campaign.

Through his first eight starts this season, Bumgarner is only 3-3 but he’s notched a sweet 2.90 ERA and .225 batting average against. He’s pitched into the sixth inning or deeper in every assignment, and in all but two of those, he surrendered three runs or fewer. Thus, it’s no surprise that the under has gone 5-2-1 when Bumgarner has toed the rubber.

The last time the Giants’ ace pitched at the Oakland Coliseum — a little more than two years ago — things did not go so peachy, as he was tagged for four runs in 6.1 frames. However, that involved the highly unusual circumstance of Bumgarner batting for himself in an American League park, which is something we won’t have to worry about this evening.

Plus, he actually holds good career numbers against some of Oakland’s key hitters, with Khris Davis, Matt Olson, Matt Chapman, Marcus Semien and Mark Canha being a combined 4-for-29 (.138) off the San Francisco left-hander. The A’s as a team are also tied for the third-lowest batting average versus southpaws (.233) in the AL.

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It looks like we can count on Bumgarner to be his steady self tonight, but can veteran journeyman Trevor Cahill keep up? Well, if he’s going to go down, it will be in the fortress where he’s etched his best work over the years.

This is Cahill’s fourth year with the A’s (second stint), and in each of the first three, he finished with decisively better numbers when taking the mound in his home ballpark.

Those glaring home-and-road splits have once again been on display this year, as Cahill has allowed a mere two runs combined in his four home assignments, spanning 28 total innings (0.64 ERA). When he’s pitched on the road, he’s registered a 5.92 ERA. Cahill has made more starts in Oakland (54) than anywhere else in baseball and it’s clear he likes working there (career 25-18 record and 3.03 ERA).

Unfortunately, I acted just a bit late on this total, as the line has dropped to 7.5 in most places. Look around to see if you can get it at 8, but the under at 7.5 is still a nice play on this Saturday night.

Play: UNDER 7.5/8

Editor’s note: The opinion on this game is from the individual writer and is based on his research, analysis and perspective. It is independent of, and may not always match with, the algorithm-driven Best Bets from Sports Insights.