MLB Over/Under Bet: An intriguing series finale in Miami

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San Diego Padres at Miami Marlins

Over/Under: 7.5

First pitch: 9:10 a.m. PT

Probable pitchers: Dinelson Lamet (0-2, 6.30 ERA) vs. Caleb Smith (5-4, 3.46 ERA)

There’s an interesting pitching matchup in South Beach today involving two talented pitchers who recently returned from injury.

Of course, one absence was much longer than the other. It was Lamet who missed all of last season and the first half of this one after undergoing Tommy John surgery. He’s made two starts since coming back, and while his 6.30 ERA might not show it, there have been plenty of signs of Lamet returning to his pre-injury form when he was ringing up 10.94 K/9 and holding opponents to a .210 batting average.

In his first pair of assignments, opposing hitters collectively mustered a .216 batting average against the right-hander. Lamet, who went five innings apiece in each, also recorded 14 strikeouts compared to only four walks, so it looks like his command, which was a problem in the past for him, is under control.

Lamet had an issue with the long ball in the two outings, surrendering three combined, but that may not hurt him here given who he’s facing. The Marlins are last in baseball in team home runs (75) — with less than half of those (35) coming at pitcher-friendly Marlins Park. Miami is also last in the Majors in scoring at home with just 3.63 runs per game.

Smith, meanwhile, is in the midst of an outstanding breakout campaign, even after returning just prior to the All-Star break following a month-long stint on the injured list. Before going down, Smith was containing opposing hitters below the Mendoza Line — .198, to be exact — and had an impressive 1.02 WHIP. In fact, he was probably on track to represent Miami in the Midsummer Classic if not for the injury.

The former New York Yankee farmhand has tossed two quality starts in as many tries since coming back. While San Diego does boast a dangerous lineup, this is still a matchup Smith can handle as long as he remains in this rhythm.

The Padres rank tied for 23rd in team batting average opposite southpaws (.241) and they rack up K’s pretty often against lefties, too, striking out once in every 3.44 at-bats. Against all pitchers, they punch out 9.66 times per game, the most in the National League. That’s figures to only make them more vulnerable with Smith dealing. Play: UNDER 7.5 (-115)

Yesterday’s Result: Astros-Angels Under 9 (loss)

Zylbert’s 2019 MLB Over/Under Betting Record*: 53-46-8, +1.55 units

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

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