Cincinnati Reds at St. Louis Cardinals
First pitch: 11:15 a.m. PT
Probable pitchers: Sonny Gray (0-3, 3.65 ERA) vs. Jack Flaherty (2-1, 5.25 ERA)
Don’t be misled by Gray’s 0-3 record. The former All Star has actually been tremendous thus far in showing off an early-season renaissance following a highly disappointing stint with the New York Yankees, where he said he was mismanaged.
With a fresh slate and in the National League for the first time, Gray has looked much like the pitcher that posted a sub-3.00 ERA his first three years in the majors. While he doesn’t have his first win with the Reds yet, Gray’s still notched an impressive 0.97 WHIP and .200 batting average against in five starts.
Those numbers would go down as career bests if they finished there, as would the eye-opening 11.31 K/9 he’s recorded as well. Gray is clearly pitching with a chip on his shoulder — much like Matt Harvey did in Cincinnati last season — that he can still be an upper echelon pitcher.
Flaherty’s beginnings to his big-league career actually mirrors Gray a bit, in that both burst on the scene with rousing success. The third-year right-hander was simply awesome in 2018 — his first full year with the Cardinals — crafting a 3.34 ERA while collectively holding opposing hitters to a .199 batting average.
It was Flaherty’s strikeout numbers that stood out most, however, punching out 10.85 K/9. So far this year, he’s racking up 12 K/9 to rank among the league leaders, and considering he’s coming off his first double-digit strikeout effort of the campaign, it appears he’s trending back in the right direction. Flaherty has generally been better home at Busch Stadium since first coming up, too.
There’s a chance this over/under goes up to 8, so I’m going to be waiting up until first pitch for that potential line movement. Even if it doesn’t happen, I’ll still have action on this under. Follow me on Twitter to see when I settle on the bet. Play: UNDER 7.5/8
Yesterday’s Result: Cubs-Diamondbacks Under 10 (Push)
Zylbert’s 2019 MLB Over/Under Betting Record*: 15-14-1, -0.9 unit
*Each bet graded as if it were to win 1 unit