MLB Over/Under Bet: Leaning on Fiers’ home cooking

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Minnesota Twins at Oakland Athletics

Over/Under: 9.5

First pitch: 6:07 p.m. PT

Probable pitchers: Kyle Gibson (8-4, 4.21 ERA) vs. Mike Fiers (8-3, 4.01 ERA)

If the season started at the end of April, Fiers would probably be an All-Star. Of course, that’s not how it works but Fiers’ magnificent work since that point in time should not be overlooked.

In his last 12 starts, the 34-year-old has pitched the A’s into at least the sixth inning while allowing three or fewer runs in each outing. Within this stretch — which also includes his second career no-hitter — he’s amassed a 2.61 ERA, and he also comes into this assignment having impressively logged eight consecutive quality starts.

While a matchup with a Twins offense that is on a home-run-hitting historic pace presents a difficult challenge to continue that streak, Fiers may still be in a spot to come through. First off, he’s been stingy against Minnesota throughout his career, being 6-1 in 10 career starts (and one relief appearance) to go with a 2.77 ERA and 1.17 WHIP.

Nelson Cruz, Marwin Gonzalez and Jonathan Schoop (11-for-29 combined) have fared well with Fiers on the hill but the majority of healthy key hitters in this lineup — specifically C.J. Cron, Max Kepler, Jorge Polanco and Miguel Sano — are collectively hitting .151 (8-for-53) off the veteran right-hander (although five of those eight hits went beyond the outfield fence).

Fortunately, Fiers will be working from the Oakland Coliseum tonight, where not only does he not give up many homers (1.03 HR/9), but he’s also been very consistent.

For his career, Fiers’ numbers at home (3.56 ERA, 1.18 WHIP) have been notably better than on the road (4.63 ERA, 1.34 WHIP), and that trend has been more true than ever since being dealt to the Athletics prior to last year’s trade deadline. He’s made 15 starts now at the Coliseum since arriving in Oakland, going 8-2 with a 3.01 ERA and 0.93 WHIP.

The other starter in this affair, Gibson, may not be as steady as his counterpart tonight but he’s still been pretty good, carrying his success from last year when he registered career-best marks in ERA (3.61) and K/9 (8.19). This year, he’s actually averaging a strikeout per inning for the first time in his career.

Gibson has faced Oakland four times previously, pitching to a respectable 4.03 ERA in those meetings. Given where the over/under is at, something in line with that would definitely be helpful for this bet. Play: UNDER 9.5 (-115)

Yesterday’s Result: Giants-Padres Under 8.5 (loss)

Zylbert’s 2019 MLB Over/Under Betting Record*: 49-40-7, +4.2 units

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

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