Sunday’s MLB Over/Under: Can Bettors Depend on Bartolo Colon?

Sunday’s MLB Over/Under: Can Bettors Depend on Bartolo Colon? article feature image

Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Barolo Colon.

My latest winning streak came to an anti-climactic end yesterday, as the Orioles-Braves under 8.5 bet fell into a 4-0 hole before Julio Teheran got his first out. Let’s just move on to Sunday, as I try to cement the winning weekend.

Zylbert’s 2018 MLB Over/Under Betting Record: 51-31-2, +16.6 units

Yesterday’s Result: Orioles-Braves Under 8.5, Bundy vs. Teheran (loss)

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

Texas Rangers at Minnesota Twins | O/U: 9

2:10 p.m. ET

Probable Pitchers: Bartolo Colon (4-4, 4.91 ERA) vs. Jose Berrios (7-5, 3.38 ERA)

I didn’t think I’d ever gravitate toward a Bartolo Colon under bet in 2018, but here we are on the final Sunday in June.

Before delving into how the ageless wonder can come through this afternoon in today’s series finale between the Rangers and Twins, let’s first take solace in the fact that we can trust the reliable Jose Berrios, who is in a real nice groove entering his 16th start.

The 24-year-old Puerto Rican native has overcome a tough slump that spanned the end of April and the beginning of May in which he surrendered 18 runs over four starts. Since that point, however, Berrios has allowed more than two runs only once, while recording at least six innings in all seven starts after that rough patch. In the process, he’s chopped his ERA by more than a full run, going from 4.50 to 3.38.

It’s no surprise how well Berrios is pitching right now, as he’s an All-Star caliber hurler. If not for Eddie Rosario’s strong first half, Berrios would be the favorite to serve as Minnesota’s lone representative in this year’s Midsummer Classic.


Even without that nod, there’s no denying that Berrios is a legitimate frontline pitcher. He’s also working from his place of preference in this one, as the right-hander is generally better at home compared to on the road. In his first full season a year ago, he finished with a 2.41 ERA at Target Field, which was actually half his ERA in away assignments (5.17). This year, that trend has once again stood out, with Berrios sporting a 2.93 ERA in nine home outings compared to a 4.06 ERA on the road. He’s capable of a shutdown effort any time he takes the mound, especially in Minnesota.

But can we depend on the 280-pound Colon? At first glance, his numbers might not particularly stick out, being 4-4 with a 4.91 ERA, but the 21-year veteran has actually looked serviceable in his first season with the Rangers. After all, he owns a very respectable 1.19 WHIP, which would actually be the third-lowest of his career if it were to hold. Colon is also limiting opposing batters to a .266 average, his lowest mark since 2013.

His problem has been the long ball, with Colon yielding 19 homers in just 80.2 innings pitched. That amounts to 2.12 HR/9 and a 20.9% HR/FB ratio, which is pretty significant, as both would easily rank as the worst such marks of his career. Those numbers figure to go down, though, evidenced by Colon’s not-so-high 33.5% flyball rate. A good start for that effort would be versus these Twins, who have cranked out the fourth-fewest homers in the American League. Their .237 team batting average also ranks fourth-worst in the league.

With this one, you’re going to want to wait until first pitch to see if you can grab the under at 9.5, as the over right now on 9 is heavily juiced. Even if we don’t get that desired change, this is still my under for today.

Play: Under 9/9.5

Follow me on Twitter @ MattZylbert

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.