Cleveland Indians at Texas Rangers
First pitch: 5:05 p.m. PT
Probable pitchers: Adam Plutko (3-1, 4.63 ERA) vs. Joe Palumbo (0-0, 9.00 ERA)
Normally, I don’t go for overs, let alone any totals involving a starter who has only one career big-league start to his name, but there’s enough here to garner at least one crooked number in the final score.
The inexperienced pitcher at hand, of course, is Palumbo, who was last seen at this level in his debut earlier in the month. It did not go too well, as the 2013 30th-round draft choice lasted only four innings against the Oakland Athletics and surrendered four runs on six hits.
While I do think Palumbo can eventually carve out a useful role for the Rangers, he’s got some growing pains to endure before getting there. And a matchup with the Indians for the left-hander’s second assignment isn’t ideal.
The Tribe struggled mightily opposite southpaws at the beginning of the season but have improved considerably in that area. In fact, since the calendar turned to May, they’re tied for the fifth-most homers (23) in baseball as a team with a left-hander on the hill.
Additionally, the Indians have been heating up as of late. Winners of four of their last five, the offense has been providing plenty of lumber, plating 37 runs over that span.
Another somewhat inexperienced starter, Plutko, gets the nod for the visitors, making his fifth start of the campaign. The first four yielded mixed results, hence his 4.63 ERA, but that’s really what he figures to settle around as his career continues to pan out. At best, he’s a mediocre middle-of-the-rotation option — who wouldn’t even qualify for this Cleveland staff if it were at full health.
He’s got as tough a task as there is in the American League, having to face a dangerous Rangers lineup on the road in hitter-friendly Arlington. Texas even performs significantly better offensively within the comfort of their ballpark, leading the AL with 5.8 runs per game at home. Play: OVER 11 (-105)
Yesterday’s Result: Angels-Blue Jays Under 9.5 (WIN)
Zylbert’s 2019 MLB Over/Under Betting Record*: 40-36-6, -0.2 unit
*Each bet graded as if it were to win 1 unit
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