MLB Over/Under Bet: Smith trying to maintain breakout campaign

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Miami Marlins at Chicago White Sox

Over/Under: 9.5

First pitch: 5:10 p.m. PT

Probable pitchers: Caleb Smith (5-4, 3.47 ERA) vs. Dylan Covey (1-5, 5.83 ERA)

Always nice to have a very steady pitcher like Smith when dealing with a high total like the one presented in tonight’s matchup on the south side of Chicago.

While it’s understandable he doesn’t get the attention he deserves because of who he pitches for, Smith has actually been having an outstanding season. Consistency has been a big part in that, with Smith allowing two runs or fewer in 11 of 15 starts. In two of the other four, he still yielded only three earned runs.

Looking beyond his solid 3.47 ERA, the third-year southpaw has registered a shiny 1.06 WHIP, which would rank seventh among qualified starters in the National League had he not missed all of June due to injury.

Smith is also remarkably just about holding opponents down to the Mendoza Line. In his 15 starts, hitters have managed just a .201 batting average off the left-hander. Again, if he had enough innings to qualify, that mark would place him third in the NL. Smith would be fourth in strikeout rate with 10.95 K/9 as well.

With the White Sox racking up 9.47 punch-outs per game as a team, that last stat could prove to be quite useful in this particular assignment for a strikeout artist like Smith.

The other probable here, Covey, is not so steady, even churning out the shortest start of his career the last time he began a game on the mound. It was two weekends ago in Oakland, where Covey failed to make it out of the first inning and was tagged for six runs. His ERA ballooned almost a full run-and-a-half as a result.

Since then, however, the 27-year-old right-hander has made two harmless relief appearances, perhaps indicating he’s back in gear to operate as a Major League starter. Prior to his disastrous outing against the A’s, Covey was actually faring along decently, notching an acceptable 4.50 ERA in his first seven starts.

Covey could also be headed toward a fine performance based on the site of tonight’s assignment. He’s been much better at home this year (2.20 ERA, 1.29 WHIP) than on the road (8.17 ERA, 1.78 WHIP), and that’s a trend that has been prevalent since Covey first arrived in the bigs. For his career, he’s actually 2-19 (!) with a 7.67 ERA away from Chicago but 4-7 with a 4.13 ERA in front of the home fans. Play: UNDER 9.5 (-115)

Yesterday’s Result: Orioles-Diamondbacks Under 9 (“Push”)

Zylbert’s 2019 MLB Over/Under Betting Record*: 56-47-9, +3.5 units

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

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