MLB Over/Under Bet: Thor, Buehler battle in LA

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New York Mets at Los Angeles Dodgers

Over/Under: 7.5

First pitch: 7:10 p.m. PT

Probable pitchers: Noah Syndergaard (3-4, 4.93 ERA) vs. Walker Buehler (5-1, 3.58 ERA)

Here we have a matchup that presents a pretty tempting buy-low opportunity involving two normally really good pitchers that wouldn’t normally draw an over/under of higher than 7 in a National League’s pitcher park like Dodger Stadium.

On one side, you have Syndergaard, who is coming off a rare outing that saw him surrender an almost-career-high-tying six runs (he allowed seven once), which was made even more puzzling by the fact that it came against a Detroit Tigers team that had lost nine in a row previously with very little offense going during the streak.

Entering his last start of May, Thor now carries a 3-4 record to go with a very uncharacteristic 4.93 ERA — not to mention career-high marks in WHIP (1.25) and batting average against (.272).

But the 6-foot-6 Texas native is obviously better than that. He’s still racking up a healthy amount of strikeouts (9.35 K/9), and his 3.70 FIP (Fielding Independent Pitching) indicates he’s pitched far superior to his current numbers. He’s also dealt with bad luck, as evident in the .330 batting average on balls put in play against him.

Despite having to face a tough lineup, tonight’s assignment in Los Angeles can actually be a nice bounce-back scenario in leaning on Syndergaard.

Before last Friday’s game, the five-year veteran had been touched up for more than four earned runs in a start only eight times in his career. He’s exhibited a tendency to rebound in his very next turn, collectively producing a stingy 2.77 ERA and 1.03 WHIP in the eight follow-up starts. Thor also accumulated an impressive 49-6 K/BB ratio in those outings as well.

Then there is Buehler, who endured his own struggles earlier in the season. He had logged an ugly 8.25 ERA after his first three starts but has since settled into the terrific form that was often on display a year ago in his rookie campaign.

In each of his last seven starts, the 24-year-old former first-round draft pick has pitched into at least into the sixth inning while yielding three runs or fewer in all. Clearly, this is the ace-like version of Buehler that is coming on again, so banking on him against a banged-up Mets offense that is down two key hitters looks like a fine bet.

Though not likely to move, I would wait up until first pitch based on the allotment of juice right now to see if the total ticks up another half-run before placing this wager. Play: UNDER 7.5/8

Yesterday’s Result: Nationals-Braves Under 9 (Push)

Zylbert’s 2019 MLB Over/Under Betting Record*: 31-26-4, +2.1 units

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

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