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Texas Rangers at Milwaukee Brewers

Over/Under: 9

First pitch: 11:10 a.m. PT

Probable pitchers: Mike Minor (10-6, 3.06 ERA) vs. Jordan Lyles (7-7, 4.97 ERA)

If this were a matchup I spotted years ago — like circa 2013 — I’d probably be leaning over. What a difference several years can make.

Minor always had promise in the beginning of his career during his tenure with the Atlanta Braves but injury would prevent the left-hander from breaking out. Finally harnessing his full potential, he has done so as the ace of the Rangers pitching staff.

The first-time All-Star was recently mired in a surprising rough patch throughout much of July before snapping out of it on Monday. In that assignment against the fearsome new-look Cleveland Indians lineup, Minor registered seven shutout frames, seven K’s and walked only one.

Is it by coincidence that Minor was able to churn out his first quality start in more than a month now that the trade deadline has passed? I think not. 

Minor repeatedly discussed about trying to stick to routine (which is big for a guy like him to excel) amidst all the rumors, and now that his mind is at ease again, he can return to delivering his steady pitching with a normal sense of comfort.

With this series finale being a day game after a night game, we can also anticipate Milwaukee to insert some backups in the batting order. Most notably, reigning National League MVP Award winner Christian Yelich (back) hopefully remains sidelined.

Meanwhile, Minor’s counterpart today, Lyles, was actually someone moved leading up to the deadline, but he seems to be embracing the opportunity. He even called it a “great opportunity for me to regroup,” and that he’s “taking it as a chance for me to have a new season.”

Lyles’ final numbers as a Pittsburgh Pirate weren’t pretty, as he left town with a 5.36 ERA and 1.47 WHIP. However, the veteran right-hander has appeared to revert to early-season form — when he held a 1.97 ERA through mid-May after eight starts — since joining the Brewers.

In each of his first two starts with his new club, Lyles allowed just a single earned run apiece. While the Rangers offense can be dangerous, their ceiling isn’t as high away from hitter-friendly Arlington. On the road, they’re third from the bottom in the American League in team batting average (.239), and their home-run rate is also much lower, cranking out a long ball once every 26.2 at-bats. By comparison, that mark is once every 21.8 at-bats at home. Play: UNDER 9 (-105)

Yesterday’s Result: Royals-Tigers Under 9.5 (WIN)

Zylbert’s 2019 MLB Over/Under Betting Record*: 65-57-9, +1.15 units

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

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