Thursday’s MLB Over/Under: Breaking Down Max Scherzer’s Last Start Before the Break


Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Max Scherzer

OK, that’s three in a row now to open up the final week heading into the break after last night’s Cardinals-White Sox Under 9.5 bet cashed with ease.

Zylbert’s 2018 MLB Over/Under Betting Record: 61-38-3, +19.05 units

Yesterday’s Result: Cardinals-White Sox Under 9.5 (WIN)

Each bet graded as if it were to win 1 unit

Washington Nationals @ New York Mets | O/U: 7

7:10 p.m. ET
Probable Pitchers: Max Scherzer (11-5, 2.33 ERA) vs. Steven Matz (4-6, 3.31 ERA)

Before I begin, I must note that my colleague Ken Barkley put together an argument for the other side of this game. While Ken makes a stirring case for the over, I disagree with him in this case. Be sure to check out his piece here.

I was definitely surprised when I saw that the books set the over/under at an even 7 for a Max Scherzer start against the Mets. This will be Mad Max’s final start before the All-Star break, meaning he’ll be as motivated as possible to seal up the honors of starting Tuesday’s Midsummer Classic for the National League, which just happens to be taking place at his home park.

As it is, Scherzer has made nine starts at Citi Field in his career, producing a 6-2 record to go along with an incandescent 1.76 ERA, 0.78 WHIP and .154 batting average against (the lowest average of any opponent that he’s started against more than four times) in 61.1 innings. Perhaps most impressive, he’s fanned 90 batters and walked only 16.

Interestingly, Scherzer has not yet faced the division rival Mets in 2018, so he may be salivating at the prospect of finally being able to face the team that currently ranks last in the NL in runs scored.

Making this line even more perplexing, Scherzer will be squaring off with a game opposing hurler. That would be Matz, who has pitched more than respectably over the last two-plus months. In fact, the 27-year-old has allowed three runs or fewer in 10 of his past 12 starts.

Matz has been especially stingy as late, yielding only one earned run combined in his two July starts. He’s also done a better job keeping the ball in the yard, with just two home runs allowed in his last five outings, spanning 31 innings.

The beauty of this bet is that we can afford a so-so showing from Matz, as we’re counting on Scherzer to do most of the heavy lifting. Just make sure you get this under bet in as soon as possible, as I don’t envision it remaining at 7 leading up to first pitch.

Play: UNDER 7 (-110)

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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