Aaron Doster, USA Today Sports. Pictured: Seth Lugo
Always important to finish off a winning weekend, and I was fortunately able to do that with yesterday’s Rangers-Twins Under 9 bet. Thank you, Jose Berrios! It’s another new week now, so let’s get it started right.
Zylbert’s 2018 MLB Over/Under Betting Record: 52-31-2, +17.6 units
Yesterday’s Result: Rangers-Twins Under 9 (WIN)
*Each bet graded as if it were to win 1 unit
Pittsburgh Pirates @ New York Mets | O/U: 7.5
7:10 p.m. ET
Probable Pitchers: Jameson Taillon (4-6, 4.03 ERA) vs. Seth Lugo (2-2, 2.85 ERA)
There’s no doubt Taillon has been a best friend to this daily column, as I’m 6-1 on over/unders this season involving the second pick of the 2010 draft (all unders). Tonight’s game against the Mets looks like another spot for the Pittsburgh right-hander to churn out a winning under bet.
Having written about Taillon literally more than any other pitcher this year, I don’t believe I need to reiterate how fond I am of the 26-year-old. It is worth noting, however, that Taillon has gotten back on track following a bit of a rough start in Cincinnati just over a month ago; he hasn’t surrendered more than three runs in any of his five starts since.
Taillon has also seen his strikeouts go up during that span, accumulating 30 Ks in 31.1 innings, compared to only six walks. I can’t stress it enough: Taillon is a future star who has exhibited this potential in extensive flashes.
He should be able to handle a fading Mets lineup that is looking especially weak for this series opener. After all, just look at their six-through-eight hitters before the pitcher’s spot: Jose Reyes (.170), Kevin Plawecki (.239) and Luis Guillorme (.182). Yeesh. Oh, and Joey “Dead” Bats (.226) is in the No. 2 hole.
The Pirates have also been slumping as of late, entering this series on a five-game skid. Offense has been the biggest reason for that, as Pittsburgh has scored a total of eight runs during the losing streak. In addition, the Pirates have scored more than three runs in a game only twice in their past 10.
That bodes well for Lugo to rebound from a pair of off outings. There’s a stark difference between those two starts and this particular night at the office, as he’ll be working in front of the hometown fans in this one. That’s important because Lugo has been incredible at Citi Field this season, having allowed just three runs total over 13 games (including two starts) in Flushing, spanning exactly 30 innings. Opponents have hit just .187 off Lugo when he’s at home, too.
Lugo knows his spot in the rotation isn’t yet permanent, so each start is crucial. He’s capable of coming up big when necessary, as he’s shown in the recent past with his standout performances against the Yankees and Cubs, and luckily here, he gets a lineup that’s been reeling as of late. The Pirates don’t have dangerous rookie Austin Meadows in the starting lineup, which can definitely be beneficial for Lugo. With both offenses pressing right now, look for the pitching to dictate how this game plays out.
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.