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Saturday’s MLB Over/Under: Is Felix Peña Any Match For Corey Kluber?

Aug 04, 2018 5:56 PM EDT
  • Corey Kluber has been lights out this season when pitching at home -- 7-3 record in 12 starts.
  • Felix Peña, despite a rough recent outing, has shown promise in his young career.

I can’t stress it enough: there’s nothing I love more than an under that concludes with a 1-0 score, so tip of the cap to both Blaine Hardy and Brett Anderson for their magnificent efforts last night. It’s a new day now, though, so let’s get to Saturday.

Zylbert’s 2018 MLB Over/Under Betting Record: 71-47-3, +18.9 units

Yesterday’s Result: Tigers-Athletics under 9, Hardy vs. Anderson (WIN)

*Each bet graded as if it were to win 1 unit


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Los Angeles Angels @ Cleveland Indians | Over/Under: 8.5

7:10 p.m. ET (FS1)

Probable Pitchers: Felix Peña (1-2, 5.23 ERA) vs. Corey Kluber (13-6, 2.79 ERA)

Of course, everybody is already familiar with Indians’ two-time AL Cy Young Corey Kluber. While he doesn’t possess the same dominant numbers this season as he did a year ago in his second award-winning campaign, Kluber is still enjoying another terrific showing in 2018, hence why he was tabbed an All-Star again just last month.

The right-hander otherwise known as Klubot is as dependable as they come, especially when working from his home digs like he is this evening.

For his career, Kluber is nearly a full run better at Progressive Field (2.69 ERA) than he is on the road (3.53 ERA), and it’s a trend that has been very consistent this season. Kluber is 7-3 in 12 home starts with a 2.24 ERA and 0.93 WHIP while registering a shiny 81/11 strikeout/walk ratio. In all but two of those assignments, he gave up three or fewer runs.


Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Corey Kluber.

The 32-year-old faced the Angels once earlier this season, stifling them over seven innings in which he was tagged for two runs on only three hits. Cleveland’s staff ace figures to have an easier time in this particular affair, given that the best player in the game, Mike Trout, is still out with an injury.

Oh, and the Halos will be deploying dead bats such as Kaleb Cowart, Eric Young Jr. and David Fletcher (no relation to Blackjack). Thus, Kluber looks like a solid bet for one of his usual standout performances.

But can Felix Peña be trusted? This could be the bet-deciding question, considering he was absolutely roughed up in his last start — the seventh of his career — for seven runs while retiring just one batter.

In the 28-year-old’s defense, he put in some nice work prior to Sunday’s disaster. In fact, in each of his previous six starts, he had allowed three runs or fewer. Some of those outings came against live lineups, too, like the Dodgers and Diamondbacks.


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Another item that can get Peña back in the right direction is that he’s been very effective on the road, albeit in just two away assignments, but in those 9.1 innings, he’s yielded only a single run. Overall, as a starter, he’s also served up only two homers across 30 frames.

That can aid the youngster in holding off an Indians batting order that can become reliant on the long ball. I also like his underrated strikeout potential, as Peña has been consistent racking up the K’s. In five of his seven starts, he recorded at least five strikeouts.

Again, allow me to place more emphasis on Trout being out for the Angels tonight, which points to Kluber leading the way with his signature home cooking. So long as Peña doesn’t get bombed again, we look all right here on this under. Just wait until first pitch to see if you can get it at 9.

Play: Under 8.5/9

Credit:

Credit: Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Felix Pena (64).

Follow Matt Zylbert on Twitter
@MattZylbert

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