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Texas Rangers at Minnesota Twins

Over/Under: 10

First pitch: 11:10 a.m. PT

Probable pitchers: Jesse Chavez (3-3, 2.97 ERA) vs. Michael Pineda (5-4, 4.78 ERA)

Originally in my GT column covering this high-profile series on Wednesday, I was tilted toward the over. But after fully examining this matchup — and given where the total sits — I believe at least one of the two probables can come through with a standout performance and lead a low-scoring pace. 

The rise of Chavez is indeed for real. The 12-year veteran, who is in the first season of his second tenure with the Rangers, has been thriving since being reinserted into a starting rotation after a few years of primarily serving as a reliever.

Overall, Chavez sports some real solid numbers on the campaign but as a starter, he’s been even better. In six starts, he’s notched a shiny 1.42 ERA and 0.68 WHIP, not even walking a single batter across his 19 innings as a starter.

Some of those consisted of Chavez serving as an “opener” but the leash has been loosened significantly, as he’s been allowed to go deeper into games. In fact, Chavez logged six effective innings in each of his last two outings. This is a veteran that has pitched well in flashes before as a starter, and thus, it may not be a fluke. It just looks like he’s in control.

Yes, Chavez will be squaring off with a powerful Twins offense that literally just set the record for most team home runs in history before the All-Star break.

However, he’ll be getting a lineup that is at less than full strength. C.J. Cron just landed on the injured list, and with it being a day game following a night game, there may be more than one of the club’s regular mashers out today.

Pineda, one of my top sleepers entering the season, will do the bidding from the mound for the home side, and while he hasn’t quite lived up to expectations, it still seems like he’s close.

Based on his past few starts, that certainly appears to be the case, as the 30-year-old has yielded just one run in three of his last four outings. His most recent of the trio was his most impressive, when he tied a season-high with eight strikeouts his last time out.

Pineda can still be a quality strikeout artist, and a matchup with a lineup that racks up a lot of K’s can only help his cause. In fact, Texas punches out 9.88 times per game, which is more than anyone in baseball. Play: UNDER 10 (-110)

Yesterday’s Result: Yankees-Rays Under 8.5 (loss)

Zylbert’s 2019 MLB Over/Under Betting Record*: 50-42-7, +2.95 units

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

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