Friday’s MLB Over/Under: Pitchers’ Duel Brewing in Cardinals-Brewers?
Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports
They don’t really get any better than last night, as our Padres-Giants Under 7.5 play cruised to an easy victory without a sweat.
Zylbert’s 2018 MLB Over/Under Betting Record: 50-30-2, +16.8 units
Yesterday’s Result: Padres-Giants Under 7.5 (WIN)
*Each bet graded as if it were to win 1 unit
St. Louis Cardinals @ Milwaukee Brewers | O/U: 8
8:10 p.m. ET
Probable Pitchers: Jack Flaherty (3-2, 2.66 ERA) vs. Junior Guerra (3-5, 2.89 ERA)
Taking a quick glance at both pitchers’ standout numbers up to this point, you might surmise that at least one of these two hurlers is due for some sort of regression, and while that may be true, I don’t think that’ll happen tonight.
Jack Flaherty, a former first-round draft pick, is really hitting his stride right now in his first full major league season. Not only does he sport an impressive 2.66 ERA and 1.09 WHIP, he’s also limiting opponents to a .218 batting average. The strikeouts have also been there, as Flaherty has posted 9.77 K/9, and it’s not costing him many walks to do it; he’s issued just 14 free passes across 50.2 total innings.
The 22-year-old has also been notably consistent, allowing three or fewer runs in all but one of his nine outings. That includes his lone assignment versus the Brewers, when he yielded just one run in five sharp innings and struck out nine back in his season debut on April 3.
He’s in quite the groove at the moment, allowing just one run in his past two starts. Overall, it’s no surprise to see that Flaherty has helped manufacture a 6-2-1 record for unders when he’s been on the hill.
Milwaukee will counter with fellow right-hander Junior Guerra, who has also been a good friend to under bets in the current campaign (9-3-1).
Guerra has surrendered more than three runs only twice — which he did in back-to-back efforts to kick off his May — and like tonight’s counterpart, he sports a low batting average against (.220).
Above all, the biggest reason for Guerra’s bounce-back season may have to do with how he’s managed to limit the long ball, unlike last year when he was victimized for a whopping 18 homers in just 70.1 total innings. That time was spent shuffling between the rotation and the bullpen. In 2018, he’s given up just eight taters in almost the same exact workload (71.2 IP), all as a starter.
Guerra has faced the Cards twice already this season, and we’d love to garner results this evening that are in line with what he’s done against tonight’s opponent. St. Louis has scored only one run off the 33-year-old in 11.1 innings, with more strikeouts (11) than base-runners (10).
Even if one of these pitchers disappoints, the Brewers have one of the better bullpens in baseball, while the Cardinals have a pretty reliable one, too.
Play: UNDER 8 (+100)
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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.