World Series Game 2
Washington Nationals at Houston Astros
First pitch: 5:07 p.m. PT
Probable pitchers: Stephen Strasburg (18-6, 3.32 ERA) vs. Justin Verlander (21-6, 2.58 ERA)
Oh man, if the two frontline starters in this evening’s next installment of the Fall Classic were aware of the betting details (favorite and price, total, props, etc.) tied to their assignment, they’d feel straight-up disrespected as far as the over/under goes.
I mean, really? A full-run difference between this superb pitching matchup and last night’s similar pairing of sensational starters? One thing is certain: the number probably won’t remain at 7.5 for the duration leading up to first pitch.
It only makes sense to take advantage of that extra hook laying out there. The linesmakers aren’t taking into account Strasburg’s postseason excellence as much as they should, as his magical October work has been well on display since the Wild Card Game when he ended up being one of the heroes with a shutdown three-inning appearance in relief that allowed the Nats to pull off the comeback.
Since then, he’s delivered three key quality starts in as many tries, yielding only four runs total across 19 innings in those outings. In the process, he’s accumulated 29 strikeouts compared to only one walk.
This is just typical postseason Strasburg at work. For his career now, the former No. 1 overall draft pick owns a ridiculous 1.10 ERA and 57/5 K/BB ratio in seven playoff games (six starts), spanning 41 frames.
Don’t be scared by the amount of time Strasburg has had off, either. His lifetime 3.10 ERA on six or more days of rest is right in line with his output on four (3.24 ERA) or five days (3.08 ERA) of rest, so the eight-day layoff shouldn’t affect him.
It may also be worth noting that Strasburg is 12-3 for his career in 22 career starts against interleague opponents while notching a 3.14 ERA and 11.7 K/9.
Verlander, who is more battle-tested and seasoned than his counterpart when it comes to October baseball, has also enjoyed notable success this time of year. Outside of one off-showing in the American League Division Series, Verlander has been mostly very good, as usual, pitching into at least the seventh inning in his three other postseason starts.
The former Detroit Tiger has now gotten the nod for a whopping 28 career playoff assignments (not to mention one relief appearance), pitching to a shiny 3.26 ERA and 1.03 WHIP in those games.
There appears to be an overreaction to the 5-4 final that kicked off this year’s World Series. With Strasburg and Verlander dealing, don’t hesitate the strong starting pitching asserting its control. Play: UNDER 7.5 (-120)
Yesterday’s Result: Nationals-Astros Under 6.5 (loss)
2019 MLB Over/Under Betting Record*
Regular Season: 89-78-12, +1.05 units
Playoffs: 13-5-1, +3.7 units
*Each bet graded as if it were to win 1 unit (playoffs 0.5 unit)