Zylbert: Which Version of David Price Shows Up at Fenway Tonight?

Zylbert: Which Version of David Price Shows Up at Fenway Tonight? article feature image

Paul Rutherford, USA Today Sports. Pictured: David Price

Betting odds: Los Angeles Dodgers at Boston Red Sox

  • Over/Under: 8.5
  • First pitch: 8:09 p.m. ET
  • Probable pitchers: Hyun-Jin Ryu (7-3, 1.97 ERA) vs. David Price (16-7, 3.58 ERA)
  • TV channel: FOX

Zylbert’s 2018 MLB Over/Under Betting Record

  • Regular Season: 102-73-4, +21.45 units
  • Postseason: 7-10-1, -4.95 units
  • Yesterday’s Result: Dodgers-Red Sox Under 7.5, Kershaw vs. Sale (loss)

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

Game 1 of the World Series served as a stern reminder that anything can happen in the postseason.

On paper, it was supposed to be a pitchers’ duel, with two of the best left-handers the game has ever seen colliding. Instead, neither Clayton Kershaw nor Chris Sale was able to make it through five innings, and the over cashed with relative ease as a result.

Game 2’s pitching matchup — Price vs. Ryu — pales in comparison to what we saw in the opener, but does that mean more crooked numbers are in store?

You have to be wary of the unexpected in the playoffs, so I’m leaning toward this contest concluding with a lower-scoring tally.

First of all, there’s a lot to like about Price right now. Certainly, he has all the momentum in the world, having dumped the postseason monkey off his back after finally earning his first career playoff victory with a dominant victory over the Astros in Game 5 of the ALCS.

Furthermore, with his team triumphant last night to secure the early 1-0 series lead, the 6-foot-5 left-hander won’t be facing as much pressure.

It’s a similar situation to his last start — when the Red Sox were already up 3-1 in the series — meaning Price can be more relaxed than a typical postseason start. To me, that was the main reason why Price was able to deliver six shutout innings and nine strikeouts.

Postseason nerves out of the way, Price can continue to just pitch his normal game, which would only prove useful for under bettors. After all, let’s not forget that the 2012 AL Cy Young Award winner was coming off his best season since signing with the Red Sox.

Price was also outstanding at Fenway Park this season, going 9-2 in 16 home starts with a 2.98 ERA, 1.08 WHIP and .213 batting average against. That easily bested the 4.31 ERA, 1.22 WHIP and .249 BAA he registered on the road.

Garnering a solid outing from Ryu is shaping up to be the bigger obstacle, but I think he can be decent enough to help this under cash.

There always needs to be extra thought when someone is about to make his first career World Series start, but Ryu’s history in important games could serve him well.

Ryu was very steady this season, allowing three runs or fewer in all 15 of his starts, and I’ll count on him here to resemble that form.

As I covered for last night’s game, the Dodgers and Red Sox simply haven’t been as powerful at the plate against left-handed pitching. Los Angeles hit .240 and struck out frequently against southpaws this season, while the Red Sox slugged the ninth-fewest home runs with a lefty on the hill. With sub-50 temperatures expected, it’s only going to be more difficult to buck those trends.

Based on how the juice is set, it’s very possible the over/under line inflates to 9, so you’re definitely going to want to wait up until first pitch in case that happens.

Play: UNDER 8.5/9