Wednesday’s MLB Over/Under: Rays, Marlins Meet After Marathon Game
Winslow Towson-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Matt Andriese
Happy Fourth of July, everyone — though I must say I did plenty of celebrating after we somehow escaped last night’s Cardinals-Diamondbacks Under 7.5 bet with a win. In fact, it appeared we lost in the bottom of the eighth — that is, until Jake Lamb’s two-run homer was reviewed and ruled a double, which ultimately stranded what would have been the two deciding runs thanks to the ensuing double play. With this reprieve, let’s see if I can capitalize on today’s holiday slate.
Zylbert’s 2018 MLB Over/Under Betting Record: 56-36-2, +16.15 units
Yesterday’s Result: Cardinals-Diamondbacks Under 7.5 (WIN)
*Each bet graded as if it were to win 1 unit
Tampa Bay Rays @ Miami Marlins | O/U: 8
1:10 p.m. ET
Probable Pitchers: Matt Andriese (1-3, 3.86 ERA) vs. Jose Urena (2-9, 4.40 ERA)
Baseball is unforgiving, and this is a good example of that. In the middle contest of this three-game, Interleague set between Florida residents last night, first pitch was at 7:10 p.m. ET. And what unfolded was a 16-inning, 5-hour and 31-minute marathon that involved pretty much everyone — from relief pitchers as pinch-hitters to a position player (dead-bat Jesus Sucre) getting summoned to the mound.
Simply put, it was a crazy game that resulted in a 9-6 Rays win and the ramifications from such a taxing affair could play a significant role in the series finale — scheduled to begin barely 12 hours later. And that’s where we come in with this under wager, in which two tired clubs will face off in the rubber matchup at a very early start time.
Aside from that, I think we have the right pair of opposing pitchers to assist in this effort. While Jose Urena’s numbers on the surface don’t look too impressive, he’s been better than that 2-9 record, as evidenced by his respectable 3.68 FIP (Fielding Independent Pitching).
It may be tough to see, but the 26-year-old has made strides in his fourth major league season. He’s registering a career-best 7.18 K/9, and the contact against him hasn’t been bad. His line-drive (18.3%) and flyball (28.7%) rates are at their lowest since he first came up, while his groundball percentage (53%) is at its highest ever. Thus, the Miami right-hander looks like he can keep chugging in the right direction, and having not pitched since June 20 can be beneficial, since he’ll be extra fresh opposite a group of tired hitters.
Things are a little more complicated out of the other dugout, as we now expect when the Rays implement their bullpen game strategy. In this instance, though, they’re going with Matt Andriese as their “opener” and that’s something I can really get behind, since I am a big fan of the 28-year-old righty.
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As I’ve detailed before, Andriese belongs in the rotation. At least he’s making the most of his opportunities by posting a modest 3.86 ERA with only six hits in three previous assignments this season. His most recent came against the Yankees about 10 days ago, when he was tagged for a three-run bomb by Miguel Andujar. Other than that, he’s been nearly spotless when designated as the starting pitcher.
The issue is that Andriese has not been allowed to go more than 3.1 innings in any outing yet this year, but that could potentially change this afternoon after Tampa Bay used so many relievers only hours ago. Even if that is not the case, it is expected the Rays will call up two fresh arms for the bullpen, with one writer believing it will be right-handers Andrew Kittredge and Ryan Weber.
Wait for the over/under to potentially go to 8, where it’s gone to at a lot of books. Even if that desired line movement does not take place, I’m still going to make this bet my Fourth of July action of the day.
Play: UNDER 8 (-120)
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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.