Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Madison Bumgarner
Yesterday’s Tigers-Reds Under 9 victory moved me to 11-1 on Wednesdays this season, as well as 4-0 with over/unders involving Michael Fulmer and 3-1 on such bets that feature Tyler Mahle. That’s why it’s always important to keep your own splits, so you know what’s working. Now it’s Thursday, so let’s see what I’ve dug up for tonight.
Zylbert’s 2018 MLB Over/Under Betting Record: 49-30-2, +15.8 units
Yesterday’s Result: Tigers-Reds Under 9, Fulmer vs. Mahle (WIN)
*Each bet graded as if it were to win 1 unit
San Diego Padres @ San Francisco Giants | O/U: 7.5
10:15 p.m. ET
Probable Pitchers: Tyson Ross (5-4, 3.51 ERA) vs. Madison Bumgarner (0-2, 4.67 ERA)
In his first three starts of the season following a broken finger, Bumgarner hasn’t posted the most impressive numbers. But don’t let that fool you into thinking the former World Series MVP is suddenly on the decline. In fact, he’s only just getting back into form, which is why it’s a wise idea to buy him low while he’s drawing higher-than-anticipated over/under lines.
Case in point, tonight’s matchup with longtime NL West nemesis Ross, a showdown you would never see command a total as high as 7.5. But we’ll take it and attempt to profit off such a curious decision from the oddsmakers on this Thursday evening.
“Each time out I’m getting better and better, that’s all I can ask for,” Bumgarner said after his most recent outing this past Saturday in Los Angeles, an under we emerged victorious on. “It’s the first time I went over 100 pitches and my velocity is creeping up and my stretch and grip is coming back.”
That’s good news for those backing Bumgarner, who actually hasn’t looked bad either. Two of his three outings have been quality starts, and while his Ks have been relatively low (only nine in 17.1 total innings), he’s getting a lineup on tap that strikes out once every 3.6 at-bats with a left-hander on the hill. San Diego has a tough time in this area, owning a .232 team batting average against southpaws, the fourth-lowest mark in the National League. We also figure to benefit from the fact that MadBum will be working from home this evening, where he holds a splendid 2.79 ERA and 1.07 WHIP in 112 career starts.
But what makes this bet so appealing — as well as puzzling if you’re trying to understand why the oddsmakers are offering that extra hook — has a lot to do with the opposing hurler. Ross, a former All-Star who is generally pretty steady, is obviously no slouch and he’s been enjoying somewhat of a renaissance season. Not only has he strung together a fine 3.51 ERA and 9.0 K/9, he’s holding batters to a .225 average, which would be a career best if it ended up there.
Perhaps above all, we’ll be leaning on Ross’ strong work against San Francisco. In 10 career starts (and two relief appearances) against the Giants, the nine-year veteran has notched a 3.08 ERA with 71 punchouts in 64.1 total innings of work. He’s been even tougher on the Giants this season, facing them twice already and surrendering just two runs (one earned) in 12 innings while striking out 14.
That basically means if the 31-year-old can simply provide under backers with something typical of his work when dealing with San Fran, we’ll be in great shape, assuming Bumgarner continues his upward ascension back to normalcy, which seems like a pretty reliable bet.
Play: UNDER 7.5 (-110)
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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.