Monday’s MLB Over/Under: Duffy and Tropeano Go At It In The Big A

Monday’s MLB Over/Under: Duffy and Tropeano Go At It In The Big A article feature image

Jay Biggerstaff, USA Today Sports

Losing an under on a pinch-hit grand slam in the bottom of the fifth can be rough, but that’s the game. Sometimes things break your way and other times they don’t. It’s a new week now, though, so let’s just focus on starting it right.

Zylbert’s 2018 MLB Over/Under Betting Record: 41-21-2, +17.5 units
Yesterday’s Result: Reds-Padres Under 7.5, Castillo vs. Ross (loss)
*Each bet graded as if it were to win 1 unit

Kansas City Royals @ Los Angeles Angels | O/U: 8.5
10:07 p.m. ET
Probable Pitchers: Danny Duffy (2-6, 5.71 ERA) vs. Nick Tropeano (3-3, 3.80 ERA)

There’s no question it can be dangerous grabbing an under bet that involves a struggling Danny Duffy opposite an intimidating lineup like the one he’ll be facing in Anaheim this evening. Fortunately, though, it looks like the Royals left-hander is no longer struggling.

If his last two starts are any indication, Duffy has turned things around, having surrendered just a pair of runs over his last two starts, spanning 13.1 innings. In the process, he’s brought his ERA down more than a full run — from 6.88 to 5.71 — and perhaps most notably, Duffy wasn’t a victim to any homers in those two assignments after being tagged for a whopping 11 long balls in his previous six outings.

The Halos, of course, have some pretty big boppers in their lineup who can deposit one out of the yard on any given at-bat, but that hasn’t translated as effectively with a lefty on the hill. In fact, the Angels are hitting just .223 this season against southpaws — tied for second-worst in baseball — and that’s contributed to them scoring only 51 runs versus left-handers, which has them tied with the White Sox for the fewest.

As important as anything, let’s remember Duffy is a proven starting pitcher at the highest level and has been such for years now. Thus, his recent showing should not come as a surprise and perhaps should be considered more of the norm, as he gets closer to resembling the pitcher we’re used to seeing.

His counterpart tonight, Nick Tropeano, is not as proven at the major league level but is still someone that has exhibited plenty of potential of settling in as a nice mid-rotation force for the Angels for years to come.

Like Duffy, this former fifth-round draft pick has turned in consecutive solid outings entering tonight’s series opener, in which Tropeano allowed only three runs. He also recorded 11 K’s within that stretch, his most strikeouts in back-to-back starts this season, and that can be viewed as a positive sign that the right-hander is starting to pick up more punch-outs again. It’s a strength he’s capable of harnessing, and therefore, we might be able to look for him to improve upon his current 7.40 K/9 mark. Tropeano averaged exactly one strikeout per inning in each of his first two seasons with Los Angeles,

The former Stony Brook product is prone to giving up homers, as he’s served up five dingers in his last three starts. Fortunately for Tropeano, though, Kansas City isn’t known for thier power (they have hit the second-fewest taters) in the American League, and their 41.9 at-bats per homer opposite right-handed pitchers is also second-worst mark in the AL.

The over/under for this game feels like it’s been dancing on the edge of 8.5 literally all day, with the over being juiced since this morning, but still, it has not budged just yet. However, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t wait it out, as we still might get the desired uptick into 9 territory. Either way, the under here is my bet to kick off the new week.

Play: UNDER 8.5