Thursday’s MLB Over/Under: Count on an Astros-Athletics Pitching Duel?

Thursday’s MLB Over/Under: Count on an Astros-Athletics Pitching Duel? article feature image

Denny Medley, USA Today Sports

It’s pretty much like clockwork, as Jacob deGrom once again dazzles all who were watching him in a daytime environment. Combined with a stellar showing from young Mike Soroka, our Mets-Braves Under 8 cashed without a sweat. Now it’s on to Thursday.

Zylbert’s 2018 MLB Over/Under Betting Record: 45-27-2, +15.1 units
Yesterday’s Result: Mets-Braves Under 8, deGrom vs. Soroka (WIN)
*Each bet graded as if it were to win 1 unit

Houston Astros @ Oakland Athletics

3:35 p.m. ET (MLB Network)
Probable Pitchers: Justin Verlander (8-2, 1.45 ERA) vs. Frankie Montas (3-0, 1.25 ERA)

Obviously, when it comes to American League hurlers, Justin Verlander is as good as they come, and the former No. 2 overall draft pick could be in the process of securing his second career Cy Young award.

He’s certainly one of the frontrunners at this point in time, leading the AL in ERA (1.45), WHIP (0.76) and H/9 (4.9). As usual, he’s also been a model of consistency for the defending world champions, having gone six innings or more in all but one of his 14 starts this season. In nine of those outings, he surrendered one run or fewer, which we’d love to get here at the Coliseum.

In fact, there would appear to be a solid chance of that happening once again, as Verlander is 10-6 with a 2.61 ERA for his career against the A’s. That track record is even better (5-4, 2.38 ERA) when he’s working in Oakland. That also doesn’t include his sparkling 4-0 postseason mark versus the Athletics when they used to seemingly meet in the ALDS on an annual basis.

The former AL MVP will take on emerging 25-year-old Frankie Montas, who has been absolutely sensational through three starts, with a 1.62 ERA. Montas, who made his MLB debut with the White Sox in 2015, has also held opponents to just one homer over 21.2 total innings this season.

It’s a tall task to ask a youngster to hold his own against one of the best lineups in baseball. But with the way Montas us rolling right now and the heavy confidence he exuded his last time out, I think we can at least get something serviceable from him. And the beauty of being matched up with someone such as Verlander is that we can still come away with a victory in case he’s not at his sharpest.

Play: UNDER 7.5 (-110)