MLB Over/Under Bet: Handicapping deadline for Minor, Leake

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Texas Rangers at Seattle Mariners

Over/Under: 9

First pitch: 12:40 p.m. PT

Probable pitchers: Mike Minor (8-5, 2.86 ERA) vs. Mike Leake (8-8, 4.27 ERA)

A couple of days ago, I highlighted the psychological variable involving pitchers knowing they’re being talked about in trade rumors leading up to the deadline.

It can be tougher trying to figure out the mindset of those pitchers but fortunately in this case, it’s two starters who are used to these conversations around them.

Minor, a first-time All-Star this season who has displayed notable consistently all year long, mentioned how his name came up in offseason discussions as well and that he “doesn’t want to go anywhere.” I like his emphasis in “staying in the routine and keep on pitching,” as he put it, which can help ensure another quality outing.

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So long as that is the case, Minor has the right matchup to continue his good work. One, the Mariners aren’t good against left-handed pitching, being tied for 26th in team batting average in baseball opposite southpaws (.240). They also strike out once every 3.44 at-bats with a lefty on the mound, something for a guy like Minor who is logging a career-best 9.14 K/9, to capitalize on.

He certainly did in both his clashes with the Mariners earlier this season. Minor was victorious in both, and in dominating fashion. One of those assignments included Minor’s season-high 13-strikeout performance, and altogether, the 31-year-old southpaw amassed 24 K’s in 13 total innings in the two meetings.

Leake’s name is also rumored to be on the move leading up to next week’s trade deadline but it won’t faze the veteran right-hander. He thinks he’s “been talked about being traded for almost a year now,” according to MLB.com, and also said “how it feels “kind of normal right now.”

Regardless, Leake seems to be welcoming of the idea of going to a contender and competing in a playoff race. He actually compared his bid for a perfect game his last time out to battling in a playoff atmosphere, so I’ll buy into Leake building off his near-flawless showing in order to keep his value up.

All of this adds up to a lower-scoring pace that can stay under 9, especially with two of the biggest mashers on both sides, Joey Gallo and Domingo Santana, likely out for this series finale. Play: UNDER 9 (-120)

Yesterday’s Result: Marlins-White Sox Under 9.5 (WIN)

Zylbert’s 2019 MLB Over/Under Betting Record*: 57-47-9, +4.5 units

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

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