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Saturday’s MLB Over/Under: Can Martin Perez Turn Season Around?

Credit:

Brad Mills, USA Today Sports. Pictured: Martin Perez

Betting odds: Texas Rangers at San Francisco Giants

  • Over/Under: 8.5
  • First Pitch: 4:05 p.m. ET
  • Probable Pitchers: Martin Perez (2-5, 6.93 ERA) vs. Andrew Suarez (4-9, 4.68 ERA)

Zylbert’s 2018 MLB Over/Under Betting Record: 83-56-3, +21 units

Yesterday’s Result: White Sox-Tigers Under 8.5, Lopez vs. Fulmer (“loss”)

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


Really rough bad beat last night.

My White Sox-Tigers Under 8.5 bet was 3-0 in the eighth inning with eight outs to go before Chicago miraculously strung together a six-run rally — all without their best hitter Jose Abreu. Just as puzzling, it was at the expense of the Tigers’ only All-Star and most reliable reliever, Joe Jimenez. Let’s try to put that one behind us right away and get to Saturday.

 

We’ll be working with a couple of combustible pitchers today, as Martin Perez and Andrew Suarez aren’t two guys you’d normally go to for some action on an under.

But in the right spot, both are capable of coming through in helping produce a final score on the lower side, especially one as high as 8.5 and in a pitcher-friendly venue like AT&T Park.

One technique I’ve utilized successfully in recent days, particularly with Jose Quintana and Reynaldo Lopez, is trying to catch someone in a bounce-back spot, based on their track record in similar scenarios. Regarding Perez, it looks like he may be on the verge of an improved performance.

In his last two starts, the 27-year-old southpaw has been touched up for at least six runs in both, but that puts him in a spot in which we can capitalize.

There have been three other instances in his career where Perez surrendered six or more earned runs in back-to-back outings, and in each of his ensuing follow-up turns in the rotation, he was able to spin a quality start and hold the opposition to two runs or fewer. As a Rangers fan, I also get the sense that Perez responds to adversity well.

Even though he was hounded for that many runs in his last couple of assignments, Perez actually was better than the numbers may indicate, as he still survived at least five innings in each. Overall, he’s done a fine job of hanging in there, pitching into the sixth or deeper in all but two of his 12 starts — including all seven of his outings since coming off the disabled list.

Additionally, Perez may also turn in something useful against a lineup that has not performed well opposite left-handed pitching. In fact, the Giants have the third-worst OPS (.683) in the NL versus lefties, and the 39.3 at-bats they’ve logged per home run off southpaws is fourth-from-the-bottom in the league.

Buster Posey being out can make things a little bit more difficult for the rest of the lineup, and being a day game after a night game, some other regulars might be sitting as well.

That sentiment figures to be true for Texas, which will likely be without Joey Gallo and perhaps others. Suarez should get a boost as a result when he toes the rubber for the Giants, but perhaps more important than anything is the fact that he’ll be working in San Francisco this afternoon.

In his first season in the big leagues, the 2015 second-round draft pick has experienced ups and downs, but he’s been most consistent when pitching in front of a home crowd. In 10 starts at AT&T Park, he’s logged a 3.79 ERA, 1.10 WHIP and .247 batting average against. Contrast that to the 5.55 ERA, 1.60 WHIP and .315 BAA he’s posted on the road in just about the same exact number of innings.

He’s been steady in San Francisco, too, notching at least five innings in all of his home assignments. Not only that, Suarez is yet to surrender more than four runs at home as well. Another such outing like that could play a difference in securing this under bet.

Play: UNDER 8.5 (-105)

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