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Chicago White Sox at Tampa Bay Rays

Over/Under: 8.5

First pitch: 4:10 p.m. PT

Probable pitchers: Reynaldo Lopez (4-8, 5.97 ERA) vs. Brendan McKay (1-0, 1.69 ERA)

O.K., while he let us down on the Fourth of July when he came apart in the middle innings, I haven’t given up on Lopez, a guy that has shown before he can be a frontline pitcher in the big leagues.

Based on his first start out of the All-Star break five days ago, I’m willing to bet that now is an opportunity to latch onto the fourth-year right-hander as he rebounds from a surprisingly poor first half. In that assignment in Oakland against the A’s, Lopez engineered one of his best performances of the campaign, yielding only an unearned run on three hits in six sharp innings. He also notably struck out seven compared to only a pair of walks.

I think Lopez continues to re-ascend, not just because he has the stuff to get in a nice rhythm again like last September (1.09 ERA in five starts), but also because he’s very passionate about doing so.

After his final outing prior to the break, Lopez vowed through a translator: “Starting today, you’re going to see a different pitcher going forward for the second half of the season.”

Well, he certainly took a good first step in that direction and there’s more where that came from, especially if he can get the right matchup. Tonight he draws a Rays team that returns home on a slide after dropping the last three in their series with the New York Yankees. During that stretch, they totaled only six runs.

Then there’s the rookie sensation, McKay, dealing from the mound for Tampa Bay, looking to continue a very impressive beginning to his Major League career.

The 23-year-old southpaw has allowed only three runs combined in his first three starts, spanning 16 innings. McKay has been nothing short of remarkable in registering a microscopic 0.69 WHIP while collectively holding opponents to a .179 batting average.

It’s recommended you wait up until first pitch like I am before making your action, as there’s a good chance the over/under ticks up a half-run with the way the juice is currently allotted. No matter what, the under is my bet on this Friday slate. Play: UNDER 8.5

Yesterday’s Result: Padres-Marlins Under 7.5 (WIN)

Zylbert’s 2019 MLB Over/Under Betting Record*: 54-46-8, +2.55 units

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

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