Chicago Cubs at Los Angeles Dodgers
First pitch: 6:10 o.m. PT
TV: MLB Network
Probable pitchers: Yu Darvish (2-3, 4.98 ERA) vs. Walker Buehler (7-1, 3.38 ERA)
When a game is personal for a pitcher, it can be a defining betting angle for the game at hand. As long as said pitcher reacts appropriately and with the mindset to dominate, it can help tip the outcome of the over/under.
For Darvish tonight, this will indeed be personal when he returns to Dodger Stadium for the first time since Game 7 of the 2017 World Series. A rental that year at the trade deadline, Darvish mightily disappointed in the championship-deciding assignment, failing to even make it out of the second inning. Los Angeles would go on to lose to the Houston Astros.
There should be mostly good memories from his Dodger days, however. In nine starts with the club during the regular season, Darvish went 4-3 and crafted together a 3.44 ERA to go along with an impressive 61-13 K/BB ratio in 49.2 total innings. Still, you know he wants to avenge that Game 7 disappointment, and based on how he fared against Jake Arrieta last month in a similarly big storyline, I think he can come through in such spots.
The former Texas Ranger ace was inconsistent out of the gate this year but to be fair, he was coming back from a season-ending injury. Fortunately, Darvish looks more comfortable now and has settled in, showing why the Cubs signed him after his tenure in LA.
In five of Darvish’s last seven starts, the right-hander yielded three runs or fewer, which is the type of outing that would be perfectly acceptable for an under bet as high as 8. Of course, he has the potential for a shutdown performance, too.
His counterpart in this one, Buehler, always has that potential with his regular upper-90’s velocity — perhaps right now as much as ever since first coming up last year based on the excellent work he’s showcased as of late.
After a rocky beginning to the campaign, Buehler has hit his stride again, which was often on display when he was a rookie. The 2015 first-round draft pick has allowed no more than a single earned run in five of his last six starts, even registering a whopping 46-4 K/BB ratio within that stretch, spanning 39 innings.
Simply put, Buehler is in his steady rhythm right now and can be leaned upon as a constant, especially when he’s dealing at Dodger Stadium. In his young career, Buehler has made 17 home starts and pitched the Dodgers inning into the sixth inning or deeper while giving up three runs or fewer in all but two of them.
There’s no way this total goes any higher, so make sure to get in your action as soon as you can. Play: UNDER 8 (-115)
Yesterday’s Result: Angels-Rays Under 7.5 (loss)
Zylbert’s 2019 MLB Over/Under Betting Record*: 37-35-6, -2.05 units
*Each bet graded as if it were to win 1 unit