Los Angeles Angels at Seattle Mariners
First pitch: 4:15 p.m. PT
TV: FOX (in select markets)
Probable pitchers: Andrew Heaney (0-0, 3.60 ERA) vs. Tommy Milone (1-1, 3.38 ERA)
Some may choose to back off this game considering that the two starting pitchers in this Angels-Mariners matchup have only logged a combined three starts between them thus far in 2019. I see that as an opportunity to capitalize before the market adjusts on these two southpaws.
Of course, you should know I absolutely love Heaney, one of my favorite pitchers out there. He’ll be making his second start of the campaign in this one following his return from injury that sidelined him nearly two months.
It looks like he didn’t miss a beat in his season debut, which came against a hard-hitting Texas Rangers lineup last Sunday. Heaney got a no-decision but was very good in his five innings of work, yielding only two runs on a pair of hits — unfortunately, both those knocks were homers, but he also struck out eight compared to one walk.
That is the Heaney I expect to see consistently, as we were seeing last year when he was finally able to stay healthy and notch 30 starts. Heaney finished with desirable results, posting a respectable 4.15 ERA while striking out a batter per inning in 180 frames. He also held opposing hitters to a .248 batting average.
As long as Heaney is healthy, there should be no concerns regarding his outlook the rest of the way and his pitch count will be lifted, too. He really does have everything needed to be an upper echelon starter in the big leagues.
Milone, meanwhile, may not have that same high of a ceiling as his counterpart, being a veteran journeyman, but he’s pitched well enough lately to indicate he’s in a groove and can be trusted.
It’s only been two outings — funny enough, like with Heaney, his only work this year has come against Texas — but they were two good performances. While Milone didn’t pitch beyond the sixth in either effort, he still came out solid, yielding two runs in each. Most impressive of all, he compiled an uncharacteristic 13-2 K/BB ratio in those assignments.
He’s not going to sustain that strikeout rate but Milone can still keep up the success based on the game plan he’s been going with. Being someone with an average fastball velocity in the 88-89 mph range, Milone has figured out to throw his fastball less, going with the “heater” only 39.3 percent of the time, which is by far the lowest frequency of his career. In turn, he’s using his slider (23.6 percent) more than ever, and by a wide margin.
The opponent can also play into the favor of Milone. Despite boasting a few of the most dangerous hitters in the game, the Angels are once again struggling against left-handed pitching. In 2018, they ranked tied-for-last in baseball with a .224 team batting average opposite lefties. This season, the Halos are hitting .228 in that department, ranking them 26th. Play: UNDER 9 (-110)
Yesterday’s Result: Marlins-Padres Under 7 (Push)
Zylbert’s 2019 MLB Over/Under Betting Record*: 32-27-5, +2 units
*Each bet graded as if it were to win 1 unit
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