Tuesday’s MLB Over/Under: Can Snell Stop the Streaking Astros?

Tuesday’s MLB Over/Under: Can Snell Stop the Streaking Astros? article feature image

Noah K. Murray, USA Today Sports. Pictured: Blake Snell

For one reason or another, I just haven’t been consistent on Mondays this year, as I dropped another total to begin the week with last night’s Diamondbacks-Angels Under 7.5 wager. It’s Tuesday now, though, so let’s see how I can get it back.

Zylbert’s 2018 MLB Over/Under Betting Record: 47-30-2, +13.8 units
Yesterday’s Result: Diamondbacks-Angels Under 7.5, Greinke vs. Barria (loss)
*Each bet graded as if it were to win 1 unit

Tampa Bay Rays @ Houston Astros | O/U: 7
8:10 p.m. ET
Probable Pitchers: Blake Snell (8-4, 2.58 ERA) vs. Justin Verlander (9-2, 1.61 ERA)

As the Astros vie for their 13th straight win, probable American League All-Star teammates will clash Tuesday night at Minute Maid Park when Verlander opposes Snell in the second meeting of this three-game set.

The elephant in the room, of course, is whether or not Snell can handle the defending world champions, who are on fire right now and currently own the majors’ highest team batting average at .268. In addition, they’ve also plated more runs (388) than any other team in baseball.

But the one they call Snellzilla is a unique beast who has exhibited the ability to be an upper-echelon pitcher for a significant period of time. Although he’s coming off a relatively poor outing his last time out that saw him yield four runs, it was a tough assignment, drawing the mighty Yankees on the road, and it was only the third time Snell has allowed more than two runs in his 15 starts.

Overall, the former first-round draft pick has been just sensational in his third season in the big leagues, accumulating a career-high 10 K/9 and career-low 2.99 BB/9. In addition, opposing lineups are hitting just .193 against the 6-foot-4 southpaw.

It’s also been evident in his stuff, as Snell has seen his average fastball sit at 96.3 mph, nearly two full ticks higher than his previous best. In fact, Snell has experienced an uptick in velocity on all of his pitches, including his changeup, slider and curve, too. He figures to also benefit from the exclusion of Jose Altuve from the batting order.

As for who will be representing the champs this evening, there’s really no one better at this current point in time. Verlander is the frontrunner right now to not only start the All-Star Game but also bring home another AL Cy Young award.

The former AL MVP leads the majors in batting average against (.160) and WHIP (0.76). Furthermore, he’s second in MLB in ERA (1.61), tied for the second-most wins (nine), is fifth in fewest BB/9 (1.79) and is 11th in K/9 (10.76).

Verlander will have to contend with the return of outfielder Kevin Kiermaier, who is coming off the disabled list earlier than anticipated and is already back in the leadoff spot. However, he may be a little rusty after such a lengthy absence, and facing Verlander in your first game back is not an ideal situation.

I’m 0-2 on Verlander under bets and 2-0 with Snell unders thus far this season, so something will have to give. Look for both pitchers to live up to their respective 2018 résumés and contribute their usual brand of pitching to help cash this under.

Play: UNDER 7 (-110)

Follow me on Twitter @ MattZylbert