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Cincinnati Reds at Oakland Athletics

Over/Under: 9

First pitch: 12:37 p.m. PT

Probable pitchers: Tanner Roark (2-1, 3.83 ERA) vs. Chris Bassitt (1-0, 2.12 ERA)

Just what is the meaning of this? If you don’t know, it’s pretty rare to see games at the Oakland Coliseum feature an over/under as high as 9, mostly due to the ballpark’s deep outfield and spacious dimensions. This underrated pitching matchup does not deserve such disrespect.

It’s even more puzzling in this case given the very — emphasis on very — important hitters that will be out. Oakland’s clear MVP, Khris Davis, had to depart last night’s contest due to injury and has already been declared out for this series finale. 

Being a day game after a long night affair that went into extra innings (really two straight long night games, actually), we can expect some other regulars to be out.

Joey Votto is one candidate to be on the bench this afternoon. He’s currently mired in a 3-for-30 slump, including 0-for-9 in this series, and even though he’s hitting a shocking .210 on the year, we definitely prefer him out of the lineup. The Reds have been enduring offensive woes as it is.

And of course, it’s the pitchers that can really keep this game from getting out of hand.

There’s Roark, who continues to fly under the radar. Added along with others during the offseason to this newly patched-up Reds pitching staff, the former Washington National has been one of the best acquisitions by the club and is one reason why the rotation — easily one of the season’s biggest surprises — ranks second in all of baseball with a 3.36 ERA.

Roark will be entering today’s assignment coming off arguably his best outing as a Red, one that saw him pitching into the seventh inning for the first time while yielding only two runs and compiling a season-high seven strikeouts. He can continue to be trusted.

So, too, can Bassitt, the lesser-known commodity in this bout but someone who is once again showing signs of finally breaking out. It’s easy to forget but Bassitt was doing the same thing in 2015 before needing Tommy John surgery soon after.

Since returning from the sidelines last year,, Bassitt has slowly but surely been re-emerging. After all, he did register a solid 3.02 ERA in 2018, with opponents managing only a .221 batting average. This year in three starts, he’s logged a 2.12 ERA and 0.94 WHIP, limiting hitters to a paltry .161 average in the process.

The 30-year-old will be in a position here to keep it going, as he’s typically pitched significantly better at the pitcher-friendly Coliseum. For his career, Bassitt has made 13 starts (and four relief appearances) in Oakland, etching a standout 2.58 ERA and 1.16 ERA. He’s also surrendered only six homers across 87.1 innings.

Make sure you get this under in right away. It’s already started deflating a half-run in some places. Play: UNDER 9 (-125)

Yesterday’s Result: Diamondbacks-Rays Under 7.5 (WIN)

Zylbert’s 2019 MLB Over/Under Betting Record*: 21-19-1, -0.25 unit

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

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