Chicago Cubs at Miami Marlins
First pitch: 4:10 p.m. PT
Probable pitchers: Cole Hamels (2-9, 3.79 ERA) vs. Sandy Alcantara (1-1, 4.24 ERA)
The Cubs have seemingly awoken from their dry spell, winners in four of the last five to get them closer back to the .500 mark. Within that span, they’ve averaged more than five runs per game.
Even in light of Chicago’s resurgence, that’s not going to shy me away from Alcantara, the Marlins’ promising 23-year-old right-hander who has shown potential that he can be a No. 1 or No. 2 starter for years to come.
Though Alcantara is coming off his toughest outing of the young season, I think he can get back on track here, as it was really only one inning that did him in during his last effort. And it was against an unforgiving Phillies lineup.
Overall, Alcantara has still looked solid, punching out at least six batters in two of three starts. His command of the zone has also been glaringly better compared to last year and even spring training. With the over/under as high as it is, there’s a little room for error for Alcantara, too.
He’ll square off with Hamels, who is coming off his finest performance of the campaign when he limited the Angels — in heavy Wrigley Field winds that were blowing out, mind you — to just one run and four baserunners in eight sharp innings last Friday. The former World Series MVP looks like he’s in a groove.
The value in this under could be tied most to the potential lack of pop from the two batting orders tonight. Alcantara hasn’t allowed a homer yet this year, continuing a strength he showcased as a freshman starter when he gave up just three long balls in his six 2018 starts.
Hamels, meanwhile, surrendered only six taters in 12 assignments after joining Chicago prior to last year’s trade deadline. This season he’s served up one in each of his starts, but all have been opposite tough lineups. In this matchup, he gets a club who has struggled mightily against lefties.
The Marlins hit the fewest home runs in baseball vs. lefties a year ago and also registered the lowest OPS (.643) in that department. This year they’ve slugged only four homers in 195 at-bats with a southpaw on the hill.
The under currently being even money indicates the total might tick up to 8.5, which I recommend you wait out like I am. Even if there’s no movement, I’ll still be in on this wager. Play: UNDER 8/8.5
Yesterday’s Result: Red Sox-Yankees Under 8.5 (WIN)
Zylbert’s 2019 MLB Over/Under Betting Record*: 10-10, -1.25 units
*Each bet graded as if it were to win 1 unit
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