Minnesota Twins at Cleveland Indians
First pitch: 4:10 p.m. PT
Probable pitchers: Jose Berrios (7-2, 3.27 ERA) vs. Trevor Bauer (4-5, 3.76 ERA)
If this was the start of the year, there’s no way the linesmakers would allow a matchup consisted of these two stud American League Central pitchers to feature an over/under as high as 8.5 — let alone 9 (which is still possible given how the juice is currently lined up, with EV odds for the under).
Totals are ticking up due to increased offense and home runs but this showdown doesn’t merit such a decision. For the road side, Berrios continues to be one of the steadiest pitchers in the game, having pitched into the sixth inning or deeper in all but one of his 12 assignments — nine of those clocked in as quality starts.
Berrios also has a solid history opposite this division rival. Since really hitting his stride as a big-league pitcher a couple of years ago, the 25-year-old has posted a tremendous 2.51 ERA and 0.77 WHIP in five meetings with the Indians.
He’s typically even more dependable in the first half of the campaign, owning an ERA in that timespan that is more than a full run lower (3.87) than it is after the Midsummer Classic (4.93). With the line where it’s at, just another usual quality start from the righty will do.
And then there’s Bauer, the other All-Star pitcher in this anticipated affair. While the former No. 3 overall draft pick was looking uncharacteristically off his game at one point recently, it looks like he’s back in a rhythm if his most recent work is any indication.
For the first time since April — when he had a really outstanding month — Bauer pitched the Tribe into the seventh inning or deeper in three straight starts. Those were his last three turns, too, leading me to believe that the usual, dominant version of Bauer is resurfacing.
Like his counterpart in this one, the Cleveland right-hander seemingly also comes in with an edge based on recent history. Dating back to the beginning of last season, Bauer has faced the Twins four times, notching a shiny 2.16 ERA and 0.96 WHIP in those outings while recording 34 strikeouts in 25 innings.
One of those occurred in the first month of this season, when Bauer limited Minnesota to just one run on a single hit across seven sharp frames (somewhat aided by cold weather). In Berrios’ lone meeting with the Indians, he logged his only game of the year with double-digit strikeouts. Both guys have high ceilings as it is and can both be in regular form tonight to lead a final score to the low side.
Just make sure you wait first for a potential line movement before putting in a bet on the under. There’s a legit chance it gets to 9 leading up to first pitch, which could make all the difference. Make sure you’re following me on Twitter to see when I make my action final. Play: UNDER 8.5/9
Yesterday’s Result: Rockies-Cubs Under 7.5 (loss)
Zylbert’s 2019 MLB Over/Under Betting Record*: 33-30-6, -0.35 unit
*Each bet graded as if it were to win 1 unit
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