MLB Over/Under Bet: Lack of fireworks on the South Side?

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Detroit Tigers at Chicago White Sox

Over/Under: 9.5

First pitch: 11:10 a.m. PT

Probable pitchers: Matthew Boyd (5-6, 3.72 ERA) vs. Reynaldo Lopez (4-7, 6.12 ERA)

After the series opener was rained out Tuesday evening, these two American League Central division rivals played a high-scoring doubleheader (that was swept by the White Sox), combining for 27 runs in the two games. Does this 4th of July finale have a similar fate?

With Lopez serving as one of the two starters, the Detroit bats figure to be at least a bit more contained considering their history opposite the fourth-year right-hander. In nine career dates with the Tigers, the former Washington National farmhand has logged a cool 2.86 ERA and 1.13 WHIP across 56.2 innings.

That includes two sensational performances this season in which Lopez held Detroit to just two earned runs in 12 total innings. One of those meetings saw Lopez put together one of his most impressive performances to date when he notched a career-best 14 K’s at the end of April. In the other outing, Lopez registered eight strikeouts.

The 25-year-old’s biggest issue this season, which is largely responsible for his bloated 6.12 ERA, has been the long ball. The 22 home runs he’s served up are tied for the third-most in all of baseball, and Lopez enters this assignment having yielded at least one homer in nine consecutive starts.

Fortunately, a familiar opponent whom he’s had success against can help minimize that. Not only has Lopez always typically handled this rival well, he’s kept the ball in the yard. Detroit has tagged Lopez for only two dingers lifetime.

Boyd has been much better on the season than his counterpart this afternoon, even looking like he’d wind up on the AL All-Star team at one point.

Though he’s allowed at least four runs in each of his last three turns in the rotation, Boyd has actually been really good in 2019, as illustrated by his solid 1.09 WHIP and .234 batting average against, which registers as the 14th-lowest in the league.

But most impressive of all about Boyd’s year has been his excellent strikeout rate. Boyd is easily on pace for a career-high in punch-outs with 129 K’s — which is actually only 30 off his current best already. Boyd’s 11.42 K/9 ranks him fourth in the AL.

Like Lopez, the Tigers southpaw has been giving up too many homers. In fact, Boyd was just touched up for three in each of his last two starts. However, today he draws a foe who that has cranked out the fourth-fewest dingers (22) in the Major Leagues against left-handed pitching. The White Sox offense has hit hit 77.8 percent of their home runs with a right-hander on the hill.

And of course, an under always gets a boost when it’s a day game following a nighttime affair, with at least a couple of regulars expected to sit on both sides. Play: UNDER 9.5 (-115)

Yesterday’s Result: Twins-Athletics Under 9.5 (WIN)

Zylbert’s 2019 MLB Over/Under Betting Record*: 50-40-7, +5.2 units

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

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