Enlisting Castillo’s All-Star fate

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Cincinnati Reds at San Francisco Giants

Over/Under: 7.5

First pitch: 7:15 p.m. PT

Probable pitchers: Luis Castillo (3-1, 1.97 ERA) vs. Dereck Rodriguez (3-4, 5.75 ERA)

As I wrote about yesterday (en route to a winner under bet), one of the biggest surprises this season undoubtedly has been the success of the Reds’ newly patched-up starting pitching rotation, which actually leads the National League with a 3.27 ERA. For comparison’s sake, they were second-from-the-bottom in the league with a 5.02 ERA just a year ago.

Without question, Castillo has been the biggest reason why, assuming the role of staff ace and enjoying an All-Star-caliber campaign thus far. He actually looks like a great bet to represent Cincinnati in the Midsummer Classic.

The 26-year-old right-hander has been so impressive that he ranks in the top-10 among all starting pitchers in ERA (1.97), strikeouts (59) and batting average against (.176). Furthermore, he’s one of only 12 starters with a sub-1.00 WHIP.

Yes, he did finally just get tagged for more than two runs in a start for the first time this season his last time out — and it actually came against these Giants, who scratched out four runs in six innings with Castillo on the rubber. 

Fortunately, though, the man responsible for most of that damage (which came late in the game), Buster Posey, is currently out, and that can only be a negative for an offense that has scored the third-fewest runs per game (3.97) in the league. San Francisco is also dead-last at home in all of baseball with 3.13 runs per game.

So, it looks real good that Castillo will be on his game but we’re also going to need his counterpart, Rodriguez, to not get shelled, something that actually happened in his most recent start, which came against these same Reds.

It boils down to whether or not Rodriguez is capable of bouncing back, as that’s now two outings in a row where he’s given up at least four earned runs. I think he can at least hang in there, and that’s the beauty of this bet with Castillo expected to be doing most of the heavy lifting.

Rodriguez has typically been steadier at home since first coming up last season, yielding more than three earned runs in only three of his career 15 starts at pitcher-friendly Oracle Park. Something around there would be pretty much all under bettors need. Play: UNDER 7.5 (-125)

Yesterday’s Result: Reds-Athletics Under 9 (WIN)

Zylbert’s 2019 MLB Over/Under Betting Record*: 22-19-1, +0.75 unit

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

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