Friday’s MLB Over/Under: Can Mets’ Zack Wheeler Stay This Hot?

Friday’s MLB Over/Under: Can Mets’ Zack Wheeler Stay This Hot? article feature image

Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports Pictured: New York Mets starting pitcher Zack Wheeler

Betting odds: New York Mets at Miami Marlins

Over/Under: 7.5
First Pitch: 7:10 p.m. ET
Probable Pitchers: Zack Wheeler (3.89 ERA) vs. Jose Urena (4.66 ERA)

Zylbert’s 2018 MLB Over/Under Betting Record: 76-48-3, +22.9 units
Yesterday’s Result: Mariners-Astros Under 6.5, Paxton vs. Verlander (loss)

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

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All win streaks come to an end at some point, and unfortunately, it was time for that six-gamer I had going into last night. But I think I can embark on a new one with this Friday night over/under from Miami.

There’s a reason Zack Wheeler remains in a Mets uniform — and will continue to do so even through the Aug. 31 waiver trade deadline.

The former first-round draft pick has rediscovered his pre-Tommy John form and is now looking like the frontline starter the Mets always envisioned when they acquired him from the Giants for Carlos Beltran seven years ago.

After exhibiting flashes in 2017 in his return to the majors following two full seasons on the shelf, Wheeler appears to have really put it all together. He may only be 6-6 with a satisfactory 3.89 ERA, but in his last 14 outings dating back to May 22, he’s turned in 12 quality starts. He’s also logged at least seven strikeouts in eight of those turns on the hill.

Wheeler is also registering just 3.04 BB/9, by far the lowest mark of his career. Command was his biggest weakness, and he’s come a long way.

Those of us on the under should also be pleased with Wheeler’s opponent this evening. That would be the Marlins, whom the 28-year-old has showcased some of his finest work to date against. In fact, he’s produced his lowest ERA (2.08) and WHIP (0.98) against the Fish compared to any opponent that he’s faced more than twice in his career.

Wheeler has faced them nine times, and the under was victorious in six of those games, thanks in large part to the hard-throwing right-hander’s strong pitching. Five of those outings came at tonight’s venue, Marlins Park, where he’s 2-0 with a 1.34 ERA and 0.80 WHIP while picking up 35 K’s in 33.2 innings.

All it can take is one starting pitcher to ruin an under, so what about the other hurler in this series opener between NL East teams? After all, Jose Urena carries an unsightly 3-11 record entering this one.

Beneath the surface, though, the fourth-year righty has actually been better than that. Despite owning a 4.66 ERA, for instance, his FIP (Fielding Independent Pitching) is a serviceable 4.21.

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Additionally, Urena has put up career-best marks with his 7.35 K/9 and 2.62 BB/9. He’s also serving up 1.09 HR/9, his lowest such rate since his rookie season.

And maybe most importantly, he’ll be at home, where he’s been much superior compared to his work outside Miami in his four years in the big leagues. For his career, his ERA is much better at Marlins Park (4.14) than on the road (5.43). Plus, Urena has fared all right in his dates with the Mets, etching a 3.49 ERA and 0.96 WHIP in seven starts (and four relief appearances).

Play: UNDER 7.5 (-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.

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