Wednesday’s MLB Over/Under: Oddsmakers Underrating Two Quality Pitchers

Wednesday’s MLB Over/Under: Oddsmakers Underrating Two Quality Pitchers article feature image

Gerry Angus-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Marcus Stroman

  • Both Oakland's Sean Manaea and Toronto's Marcus Stroman have been trending upward lately.
  • But oddsmakers continue to hang high totals for their games.
  • Matt Zylbert is taking advantage of that for his Wednesday MLB over/under bet.

Whoa boy. It couldn’t really get any closer than it did in last night’s Indians-Twins Under 8.5 bet. While Trevor Bauer and Kyle Gibson each delivered quality starts, the bullpens made us sweat a ton, and ultimately we cashed in a 6-2 Cleveland win.

Zylbert’s 2018 MLB Over/Under Betting Record: 70-45-3, +20.3 units
Yesterday’s Result: Indians-Twins Under 8.5, Bauer vs. Gibson (WIN)

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

>> Follow Matt Zylbert in The Action Network App to get free alerts on all his MLB bets during the season.

Toronto Blue Jays @ Oakland Athletics | O/U: 8

  • 3:35 p.m. ET (MLB Network)
  • Probable Pitchers: Marcus Stroman (4-7, 5.20 ERA) vs. Sean Manaea (9-7, 3.46 ERA)

Really, oddsmakers? It wasn’t too long ago when games in Oakland would very rarely draw an over/under line of 8 or higher, and even though that has become a lot more commonplace (such as the first two games of this three-game set), this series finale features a pitching matchup that deserves more respect than a total this high.

Manaea — one of my top three sleepers going into last year — pitched like an All-Star in the season’s first half. Hell, if you take May out of the equation, he had a case to even start the Midsummer Classic.

Of course, that’s a full month’s worth of work, but it’s fascinating how outside of May, when he allowed at least four runs in all six of his starts, Manaea has given up no more than three runs in any of his other 16 outings across March, April, June and July.

It’s a new month now, so which Manaea will we get? Well, to me, that poor month of May was just a fluke for the talented southpaw, and because Manaea has produced quality starts in seven of his past nine turns on the bump, I believe it’s a wise idea to bank on him on Wednesday. The over/under line is high enough where even a pedestrian six-inning, three-run showing can be very useful.

Plus, I like the time and setting where the 26-year-old will be working. Manaea is not only better at home, but he’s also been decisively better in day games. In fact, he’s 13-3 with a 3.32 ERA and 1.07 WHIP in 26 career afternoon starts (and one relief appearance), contrasted by a 15-23 record, 4.27 ERA and 1.29 WHIP he’s registered at night.

Meanwhile, Stroman, also has been trending upward. Since the All-Star break, the animated 5-foot-8 right-hander has tossed consecutive quality starts. And even beyond that, he’s been good enough in his last seven outings to trim his ERA by more than a whopping 2.5 runs.

The key for Stroman lately is that he’s cut down walks, issuing no more than two free passes in nine of his last 10 starts. This is a legitimate upper-rotation pitcher who appears to have righted the ship and is back on the way up after his early season swoon. That means he can be trusted right now, and along with Manaea’s steadiness, I believe there’s enough value here that warrants action on the under.

Play: UNDER 8 (-120)

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.