MLB Over/Under Bet: Gauging Godley’s return to rotation

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San Francisco Giants at Arizona Diamondbacks

Over/Under: 8.5

First pitch: 7:10 p.m. PT

Probable pitchers: Madison Bumgarner (2-4, 4.04 ERA) vs. Zack Godley (1-3, 7.65 ERA)

On the night that the 15th anniversary of Randy Johnson’s perfect game will be celebrated, there will be another upper echelon left-hander in action as Bumgarner starts for the visiting Giants against the Diamondbacks.

If you’re familiar with Bumgarner’s work opposite his divisional rivals throughout his time in the big leagues, you know the former World Series MVP has typically been stellar in his dates with the D-backs. In 32 career starts (and one relief appearance) facing this opponent, Mad Bum holds a cool 2.49 ERA and 1.11 WHIP across 209.2 total innings.

While his overall stats on the year may not show it, Bumgarner has actually been pretty consistent thus far and may be in the midst of entering a real groove. 

He’s notched three consecutive quality starts entering tonight’s assignment, even amassing 23 strikeouts within that span. That’s notable because that’s the most K’s he’s racked up collectively in a three-start span in nearly three years — a sign that indicates the elite version of Bumgarner could be on display this evening.

The biggest key in this matchup, however, may hinge on the outlook of Godley. The five-year veteran was recently demoted from the pitching staff to the bullpen but with Zack Greinke (abdominal tightness) on the sidelines, there’s a clear path back into the rotation. And that’s something alone that has the potential to lead to improved performance.

Although there’s some concern that he may be used as a partial “opener” — like last Sunday when he pitched two solid innings against the Atlanta Braves — manager Torey Lovullo specifically said “we’re going to give him a little more opportunity.” 

In other words, that figures to point to an extended outing, and with his place on the staff seemingly on the line, I believe the righty can step up again.

 For this Saturday night affair, you’re definitely going to want to wait before putting the bet in given the likelihood that the total inflates to 9 at some point. Even if it doesn’t, I’ll still be on this under. Play: UNDER 8.5/9

Yesterday’s Result: Cubs-Nationals Under 8 (loss)

Zylbert’s 2019 MLB Over/Under Betting Record*: 26-22-2, +1.35 units

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

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