Tampa Bay Rays at Detroit Tigers
First pitch: 4:10 p.m. ET
Probable pitchers: Blake Snell (3-4, 3.06 ERA) vs. Ryan Carpenter (0-2, 7.58 ERA)
Seeking out a low-scoring contest that involves a starter with a 7.58 ERA is definitely not ideal, even when the other pitcher in this series opener is the reigning American League Cy Young Award winner.
However, Carpenter is maybe starting to prove that not only can he hang with Major League competition, he’s also worthy of being trusted from a betting standpoint based on his most recent work.
The 2011 seventh-round draft pick has yielded only three combined earned runs across his last two starts, in which he also went five innings apiece. That’s actually at least somewhat significant considering Carpenter had never completed five frames in back-to-back assignments since first coming up last season.
So, can he keep it going? Despite the Rays’ high place in the standings, this is a matchup he’s capable of handling. Tampa Bay has suddenly been slumping as of late, having lost their last three, and injuries to Avisail Garcia (hamstring) and Tommy Pham (leg) have played a role.
The matchup itself can also be beneficial for a lefty like Carpenter. He’s had issues keeping the ball in the yard, surrendering at least one homer in all nine of his career starts. Fortunately, Carpenter will get a batting order here that ranks in the bottom-third of baseball in at-bats per home run (27.04 ABs/HR), and that number is even higher (32.24 ABs/HR) with a southpaw on the hill.
Considering who his counterpart is, Carpenter really just only needs to be satisfactory like he’s been in his last two outings. With that hopefully in place, Snell can take care of the rest. The 26-year-old has been heating up again, churning out five straight starts in which he yielded two runs or fewer; four of those were quality ones.
Snell draws an opponent this evening that can aid him in keeping it going, as Detroit has scored the second-fewest runs in all of baseball. They’re prone to the whiff also, striking out once every 3.38 at-bats against left-handers, which only tilts this more in favor of Snell. And needless to say, the Tigers are severely banged up at the moment, missing Miguel Cabrera (knee), Josh Harrison (hamstring) and Jordy Mercer (quad).
Wait up until first pitch to see if the over/under for this game reaches 9. With the way the juice is currently aligned, it’s a real possibility. Either way, I’ll be on this as my bet for today. Play: UNDER 8.5/9
Yesterday’s Result: Dodgers-Diamondbacks Under 8.5 (WIN)
Zylbert’s 2019 MLB Over/Under Betting Record*: 33-28-6, +2 units
*Each bet graded as if it were to win 1 unit