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Detroit Tigers at Cleveland Indians

Over/Under: 7.5

First pitch: 4:10 p.m. PT

Probable pitchers: Matthew Boyd (5-5, 3.35 ERA) vs. Trevor Bauer (5-6, 3.41 ERA)

Leaning on a pitcher who is facing a team for the second time within a week’s span can be tricky. But there’s no question an exception can be made when it comes to Bauer — and certainly when the immensely-talented right-hander is coming off his first career shutout.

Yes, that was just five days ago when Bauer tamed these Tigers on the road in Detroit, scattering only four hits to go with eight strikeouts and no walks. That’s not far off from Bauer’s norm whenever he faces this division rival these days. Bauer won all four of his starts against the Tigers last year while recording a 1.23 ERA and 0.95 WHIP in the process. Additionally, he limited Detroit hitters to a .211 batting average and notched a brilliant 40-5 K/BB in those meetings.

If you know Bauer, you know he competes as much as anyone and has legit Cy Young aspirations. To me, he’s truly been one of the best pitchers in all of baseball for years now. So, with how he only recently overcame a rough patch that saw his ERA grow from 2.45 at the onset of May to as high as 3.93 only a couple of weeks ago, it’s clear he won’t relinquish his rhythm mentally. Thus, we figure to get Bauer at his best and a likely positive result given his mastery of this opponent.

While Bauer seems to have exceeded his tough stretch, the other starter in this series opener, Boyd, comes in mired in some rare struggles of his own. Prior to June, Boyd was riding high, holding a 2.85 ERA and one of the best batting average against (.218) marks in the league. He was remarkably consistent, too, yielding three earned runs or fewer in all but one of his first 12 starts.

In all three of his June assignments, however, Boyd has surrendered at least three runs in each and 11 total (10 earned). Even so, I still like the fifth-year southpaw to rebound and at least hang in there alongside his imposing counterpart Bauer.

As it is, Cleveland is less effective with a lefty on the hill. Perhaps even more so when Boyd is on the hill, as evident in his 2.90 ERA opposite the Tribe in nine career games (eight starts). In his lone start against them earlier this season, the 28-year-old spun six solid innings of one-run ball, en route to a victory.

For this matchup, you should definitely wait first if your book has 7.5 before putting a bet in on the under. I don’t think it will go any lower and hopefully, it eventually returns to 8, the opening line. Make sure you’re following me on Twitter to see when I post my official wager. Play: UNDER 7.5/8

Yesterday’s Result: Indians-Rangers Under 9 (WIN)

Zylbert’s 2019 MLB Over/Under Betting Record*: 42-36-6, +1.8 units

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

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