Zylbert: Can Carlos Carrasco Contain Astros’ Live Bats in Game 2?
Kim Klement, USA Today Sports. Pictured: Cleveland Indians starting pitcher Carlos Carrasco
Betting odds: Cleveland Indians at Houston Astros (ALDS Game 2)
First Pitch: 4:37 p.m. ET (TBS)
Probable Pitchers: Carlos Carrasco (17-10, 3.38 ERA) vs. Gerrit Cole (15-5, 2.88 ERA)
Zylbert’s 2018 MLB Over/Under Betting Record
Regular Season: 102-73-4, +21.35 units
Postseason: 2-2, -0.50 units
Yesterday’s Result: Yankees-Red Sox Under 8, Happ vs. Sale (loss)
*Each bet graded as if it were to win 1 unit
The defending champion Astros kicked off their 2018 postseason with a resounding 7-2 win Friday in Game 1. After the teams exchanged zeros through the first three innings, Houston finally got to Corey Kluber in the fourth and fifth, and never looked back.
Does the same result await Kluber’s rotation-mate Carlos Carrasco?
Well, I can’t tell you if he’ll win or not but I can assure you we can be comfortable entrusting Carrasco for an under in this spot.
First of all, the 31-year-old looked very cool, calm and collected in his successful postseason debut a year ago. He stifled a tough Yankees lineup in five-plus shutout innings that also saw him strike out seven. Unsurprisingly, that was on the road.
Carrasco churning out quality work away from Cleveland is seemingly the norm for him. After all, he’s an impressive 45-28 for his career on the road with a 3.10 ERA and 1.07 WHIP — that easily bests the, well, unimpressive 34-34 record, 4.37 ERA and 1.31 WHIP he’s posted at home.
And he’s been consistent with his extreme splits, too. In fact, Carrasco has finished with an ERA considerably lower on the road in each of his five seasons serving as a full-time starter (2011, 2015-18) than at Progressive Field.
After another successful season that also saw him record a career-high 231 punch outs, it’s apparent that the right-hander also known as “Cookie” is one of the more underrated pitchers in all of baseball. He’s capable of keeping it going.
Meanwhile, Gerrit Cole is also coming off a great showing in 2018 — except in his case, it was probably the best season of his six-year career (and in his first campaign outside of the pitcher-friendlier National League).
Cole registered career-best marks in strikeouts (276), WHIP (1.03), batting average against (.198) and even winning percentage (.750). He provided all of that with a sparkling 2.88 ERA, the second-lowest he’s ever had.
The former Pittsburgh Pirate’s ability to keep the ball in the yard can be of use here, as well. The Indians cranked out 216 homers as a team this season — sixth in the majors — but may have a tough time relying on the long ball this afternoon. Cole yielded only 0.85 HR/9, which is actually very close to his career mark (0.79).
For this under wager, you’re definitely going to want to get your action in right away while the number of 7.5 remains, as it definitely isn’t going any higher.
Play: UNDER 7.5 (-120)