MLB Over/Under Bet: Twins try to avoid demise with Odorizzi

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AMERICAN LEAGUE DIVISION SERIES Game 3

New York Yankees at Minnesota Twins

Over/Under: 9

First pitch: 5:40 p.m. PT

TV: FS1

Probable pitchers: Luis Severino (1-1, 1.50 ERA) vs. Jake Odorizzi (15-7, 3.51 ERA)

The linesmakers have made a very curious decision with the over/under of this Game 3 clash, labeling it the same (at least at most books) as its predecessor, which featured an undoubtedly weaker pitching matchup. Not only that, tonight’s contest is emanating from a considerably friendlier park for pitchers in Target Field.

There’s no question Odorizzi, who is coming off his first-ever All-Star campaign, is more dependable than Minnesota’s Game 2 starter, rookie Randy Dobnak, making it all the more baffling that the latter was given that assignment at Yankee Stadium. But it’s also something that benefits Odorizzi’s outlook in this particular affair, too.

One, the former Tampa Bay Ray can be prone to giving up plenty of balls in the air, but he’s used that to his advantage seeing as how he registered the lowest rate of flyballs that went out as home runs (8.8 percent) among all major league starters this season. A lot of that has to do with Odorizzi being able to have half his starts at Target Field, as he’s allowed only 0.96 HR/9 in his 33 career outings in Minnesota, a trait that can help limit the Bronx Bombers’ heavy artillery.

In addition, despite all the time off Odorizzi has had since his last outing (12 days), that’s another key element that could actually lead to a nice showing from the veteran right-hander.

For his career, Odorizzi has typically been at his best when getting six or more days of rest. He’s made 33 such starts under those circumstances, going 14-9 with a pretty 3.25 ERA while putting up 9.3 K/9. On any shorter rest, he’s gone 48-46 with a 4.05 ERA and 8.5 K/9. Additionally, Odorizzi yields only 0.97 HR/9 with the extra time off compared to the 1.25 HR/9 he gives up on regular rest.

Then there’s the other side of the equation. The argument can be made that Severino and the club’s Game 2 starting pitcher, Masahiro Tanaka, are close to equals but I would say Sevy is the distinct stronger of the two. His ceiling is certainly higher for an overpowering performance every time he toes the rubber.

Perhaps it was factored in that Severino missed all but the final few weeks of the season while recovering from injury. But if that’s the case, I’m making a stand that it was weighed too heavily, especially with — most importantly — how the 25-year-old is feeling right now. He literally said going into this start: “I think I am my best.”

And who could blame him for having that mindset? Although he only got to make three starts, Severino shined in all of them. Collectively, he notched 12 nice innings in which he surrendered only two runs and struck out 17. Just as important as anything when going into battle with the Bomba Squad, the right-hander didn’t give up a single homer.

So, this looks like we’re getting Severino in normal form — the one that led him to go 19-8 with a 3.38 ERA a year ago — and that can only be comforting when dealing with a total this high. Play: UNDER 9 (EV)

Yesterday’s Result: Braves-Cardinals Under 8.5 (WIN)

2019 MLB Over/Under Betting Record*

Regular Season: 89-78-12, +1.05 units

Playoffs: 5-1, +2 units

*Each bet graded as if it were to win 1 unit (playoffs 0.5 unit)

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