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Sunday’s MLB Over/Under: Arrieta, Lucchesi Duke It Out At Petco

Credit:

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Jake Arrieta

Betting odds: Philadelphia Phillies at San Diego Padres

  • Over/Under: 7.5
  • First pitch: 3:40 p.m. ET
  • Probable Pitchers: Jake Arrieta (9-6, 3.11 ERA) vs. Joey Lucchesi (5-6, 3.70 ERA)

Zylbert’s 2018 MLB Over/Under Betting Record: 77-49-3, +22.7 units

Yesterday’s Result: Indians-White Sox Under 9, Bauer vs. Shields (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 of his bets.


OK, nice under victory last night to clinch another winning week. For today’s wager, I’ll be entrusting another pitcher I’ve had a lot of success backing this season.

The pitcher I’m talking about, of course, is Jake Arrieta, whom I’m 4-0 with in over/unders (all unders) this season. Not only that, it just makes a lot of sense to lean on a former National League Cy Young Award winner who has been cruising over the last month-and-a-half.

Arrieta enjoyed a terrific July, going a perfect 4-0 with a 2.80 ERA and 1.16 WHIP in six starts spanning 35.1 innings. He allowed just two home runs during that span, which can make things a lot tougher for the Padres, who are tied for the second-fewest dingers in the National League.

The 32-year-old has kept it going thus far into August, firing eight shutout innings opposite the Diamondbacks last Monday in his first assignment of the month (an under we had). As I pointed out leading up to that contest, it’s just always a good idea to back Arrieta when he’s making starts in a pennant race. He’s the ultimate competitor and is very motivated to lead his team’s young pitching staff by example as its elder statesman.

Arrieta figures to also enjoy his place of work this evening, as Petco Park is one of the friendliest venues in baseball for pitchers. His track record at Petco say as much: He enters today’s outing with a 2-1 record, 2.74 ERA, 1.09 WHIP, and .208 batting average against in four career starts in San Diego.

Fortunately, the other starter in this pitching matchup, Joey Lucchesi, also happens to be on a roll as he gets set to make his 18th start of his rookie campaign. The 2016 fourth-round draft pick was off to an excellent start to his career prior to landing on the disabled list in mid-May, and while he exhibited some inconsistency upon his return a little more than a month after, it appears Lucchesi has settled back into form.

In his last turn on the mound, Lucchesi held a tough Cubs lineup to three runs (two earned) in 5.2 innings, but the most important takeaway from that start was his nine strikeouts, which tied the career high he set earlier this season. It was also his first time since his return that he fanned more than six batters, something he had done three times prior to going on the shelf. Lucchesi also didn’t walk anyone, marking just the fourth time he didn’t issue any free passes.


>> All odds as of 1:30 p.m. ET. Download The Action Network App to get real-time MLB odds and track your bets.

Strangely, the 6-foot-5 left-hander actually has better numbers on the road (2.87 ERA, 1.09 WHIP) compared to at home (4.21 ERA, 1.36 WHIP). And most bizarre of all, he’s surrendered 11 home runs at Petco versus only three in his away outings. That’s definitely something I see regressing toward the mean, especially given that the Phillies have cranked out the fourth-fewest home runs in the league against southpaws. They’re also hitting just .232 as a team against lefties, ranking them 26th in all of baseball.

With the way the juice is currently set, you’re best off waiting to see if the over/under line ticks up to 8. Even if that desired movement does not occur, I’ll still be on Under 7.5.

Play: Under 7.5

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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