Monday’s MLB Over/Under: Angels, Diamondbacks Meet in Pitcher-Friendly Environment
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Zack Greinke
Another night, another Padres game that settled comfortably under the total. Now let’s try to make it a winning streak with tonight’s over/under.
Zylbert’s 2018 MLB Over/Under Betting Record: 47-29-2, +14.9 units
Yesterday’s Result: Padres-Braves Under 8.5, Strahm vs. Teheran (WIN)
*Each bet graded as if it were to win 1 unit
Arizona Diamondbacks @ Los Angeles Angels | O/U: 7.5
10:07 p.m. ET (ESPN)
Probable Pitchers: Zack Greinke (5-5, 3.87 ERA) vs. Jaime Barria (5-2, 2.61 ERA)
This is only Zack Greinke’s second start back at the Big A after leaving the Angels after the 2012 season, when he was acquired as a rental just days prior to the trade deadline. While he only spent a few months with the Halos, there’s usually some sort of sentimental feeling when a pitcher returns to face an ex-team, especially in a setting where they experienced success.
Greinke was solid at Angel Stadium when it was the place he called home, ending up 4-2 with a 3.45 ERA and 1.17 WHIP while notching a 56/11 K/BB ratio across 47 innings. He’s been back once since, recording a quality start there during the ’15 campaign.
But it’s much more than stats from six years ago as to why it’s a smart idea to lean on the 15-year veteran in this particular spot. One, he’s in rare territory that he typically bounces back from, having allowed four or more runs in consecutive starts. That’s happened four other times to Greinke since 2014, and in the follow-up start in each instance, he ended up yielding two runs or fewer.
Greinke is also due for some better fortune. Opposing batting orders are making contact with Greinke’s pitches outside the strike zone a whopping 65.6% of the time when they swing, while inside the strike zone, hitters are making contact 82.3% of the time. It would be the lowest such mark of his career if it ends even within two percentage points of that. A .294 batting average on balls put in play off him has not helped, either.
The Arizona hurler is also being touched for 1.51 HR/9, which is his highest allowed since his rookie year of 2004. That figures to start going down sooner than later, and at least as it pertains to tonight’s assignment, he’ll be working from a pitcher-friendly stadium.
This stadium has been especially friendly to one of the game’s most underrated rookies, Jaime Barria. The 21-year-old is having a great first season at 5-2 with a shiny 2.61 ERA and 1.11 WHIP. He’s been even better at home, where he’s surrendered only five total runs over four starts, spanning 21 innings. Even more impressive, he hasn’t allowed a single homer in front of the Angel faithful.
Barria has allowed more than two earned runs in just one of his eight starts and another such performance would be greatly welcomed for this under. Even if he churns out something slightly off that pace, we can still get by with Greinke playing his part.
Play: UNDER 7.5 (-110)
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.