Kansas City Royals at Washington Nationals
First pitch: 10:35 a.m. PT
Probable pitchers: Jakob Junis (4-8, 5.53 ERA) vs. Patrick Corbin (7-5, 3.55 ERA)
When approaching the final slate before the All-Star break, it’s important to try and catch pitchers who aren’t about to check out for the upcoming time off. Doing so can allow you to capitalize on hitters who might not be fully into this series finale as well.
In the case of Corbin, he has the right matchup to keep up his recent surge against a 30-60 ballclub. Kansas City ranks 25th in baseball with a .238 team batting average opposite left-handers, and their .301 on-base percentage and .373 slugging percentage in that department place them last in the American League.
Corbin has simply been outstanding lately, registering exactly seven innings and yielding only one run in each of his last three outings. It’s reminiscent of the excellent stretch the eight-year veteran enjoyed at the onset of the campaign, when he began his Nationals tenure by firing five consecutive quality starts.
Considering that — plus what he’s gone through off the field — and his typically superior pitching when working during the day, Corbin is in a spot to shine. His career ERA in the afternoon (3.67) is considerably lower than what it is at night (4.01). That’s a trend that has been glaringly true this season, as Corbin is 3-0 with a 1.77 ERA and 0.87 WHIP in his five daytime starts.
Of course, the bigger challenge concerning this bet is getting a nice start out of Junis. Luckily, the right-hander will have some room for error given where the total sits, but it may not even come to that if he gets back to trending up.
Although Junis was hit hard by the Cleveland Indians his last turn in the rotation, that’s an opponent whom he’s always had some trouble with — and he was facing them for the second straight assignment, too. Prior to that, Junis was in groove, allowing two earned runs or fewer four times in a five-start stretch.
That’s closer to the version of Junis I anticipate showing up today, and like his counterpart, he’ll benefit from being under the sun as well. Junis’ ERA during the day (4.21) is a lot more respectable than it is in nighttime (4.93).
Wait until first pitch to see if the over/under returns to its opening line of 9.5 like I am. Even if it does not, I’m still on this bet. Follow me on Twitter to see when I make my action official. Play: UNDER 9
Yesterday’s Result: Rangers-Twins Under 10 (loss)
Zylbert’s 2019 MLB Over/Under Betting Record*: 50-43-7, +1.85 units
*Each bet graded as if it were to win 1 unit
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