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Washington Nationals at Pittsburgh Pirates

Over/Under: 9

First pitch: 4:05 p.m. PT

Probable pitchers: Stephen Strasburg (15-5, 3.82 ERA) vs. Chris Archer (3-9, 5.23 ERA)

Many might be shaken by the thought of betting an under involving Archer these days, given how the former All-Star is mired in the worst campaign of his career.

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But hear me out: Archer may not be what he once was during his time as staff ace of the rotation in Tampa Bay, but he’s not as bad as his uncharacteristic 5.23 ERA suggests.

For one, Archer’s 4.40 xFIP is an indicator that the right-hander has been superior to his overall numbers. He’s also still racking up a high strikeout rate reminiscent of his Rays days, notching 10.69 K/9 in 22 starts.

Another item that can’t be underestimated when determining Archer’s outlook in this spot is that he’ll be working from his pitching-friendly home venue. This season, Archer is 3-4 with a respectable 3.98 ERA in 11 home starts, putting to shame the 0-5 record and 6.44 ERA he’s registered in 11 assignments on the road.

It’s a trend that started as soon as Archer arrived in Pittsburgh last year prior to the trade deadline. From there, he posted a 3.38 ERA in his four starts in “The Burgh.”

With Strasburg serving as the counterpart, just a decent outing from Archer would suffice here. That’s because the Washington right-hander is shooting for a career-best 16th victory (he won 15 three previous times, if you’re wondering), as he continues to craft one of the strongest seasons by any starter this year in the NL.

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Considering Strasburg’s consistency in 2019 and his career 6-2 record and 2.40 ERA against the Pirates, it seems academic that the 10-year veteran — who originally debuted at this park, remember, so there’s that mental attachment as well — clocks in tonight with one of his best performances.

The Buccos, who have plated just four runs in their last four games and are 7-28 since the All-Star break, are simply unlikely to flip the switch back on again opposite an ultra sharp Strasburg. Play: UNDER 9 (-120)

Yesterday’s Result: Rockies-Diamondbacks Under 10 (WIN)

Zylbert’s 2019 MLB Over/Under Betting Record*: 68-61-10, -0.55 unit

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

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