MLB Over/Under Bet: Will duel in Cincy live up to hype?

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New York Mets at Cincinnati Reds

Over/Under: 8

First pitch: 4:10 p.m. PT

Probable pitchers: Jacob deGrom (9-8, 2.61 ERA) vs. Luis Castillo (15-6, 3.22 ERA)

When dealing with stellar starting pitching matchups like this one, the simple phenomenon a bettor is tasked with is figuring out if both hurlers will meet expectations.

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And I think they will. Time in and time out, deGrom always delivers and this is a huge game for the reigning National League Cy Young Award winner in more ways than one. Not only does he have a good shot at nabbing that honor once again, but he’s also still pitching in meaningful games for the Mets as they sit 3.5 games out of the second Wild Card spot with just more than a week remaining in the 2019 season.

deGrom always seems to thrive in these big spots, so looking for him to continue his excellent work the last few months opposite an offense that hasn’t been scoring much lately — and, really, since dealing away Yasiel Puig — isn’t asking too much at all.

The six-year veteran has been scorching following the All-Star Game, being 5-1 with a pristine 1.69 ERA, which is actually nearly half of what he registered (3.27 ERA) in the first half. It’s also second to only Jack Flaherty’s incredible 1.09 ERA for the for this time period, and his 0.89 WHIP and .187 batting average against are both the fifth-lowest marks in the majors.

Unsurprisingly, deGrom has been very consistent en route to accomplishing these impressive numbers, allowing two earned runs or fewer in 10 of his 12 post-All-Star break assignments. He also recorded seven innings in all but two of these outings as well.

So, this is pretty much as tough as it will get for a Reds offense that has plated more than four runs only four times in their 18 September contests. Additionally, they’re averaging only 3.61 runs per game for the month. We’d also be remiss if we didn’t recall that Cincinnati has easily been baseball’s best team for unders this year, cashing such bets at a 60.5 percent clip (89-58-6).

Castillo has certainly played a starring role in several of those during what has been an outstanding breakout campaign. He’s not likely to finish ahead of his counterpart tonight in the Cy Young voting but he’ll still get votes and maybe finish in the top three, which is a testament of how good Castillo’s been.

Unlike deGrom, the third-year right-hander has gone in the opposite direction following the Midsummer Classic, owning a surprising 4.58 ERA through 12 starts. The good news is that he looks like he’s closer to his norm now after yielding three runs or fewer in four of his most recent five turns in the rotation. Castillo also amassed two (of his five this season) double-digit strikeout performances within this stretch.

To better ensure Castillo is on his game tonight, under backers will also like that he’s working from home in this one. Despite Great American Ball Park’s hitter-friendly reputation, Castillo has notched a 2.85 ERA, 0.97 WHIP and .192 BAA in Cincinnati, besting the 3.88 ERA, 1.43 WHIP and .222 BAA he’s contributed on the road by a mile. Play: UNDER 8 (-120)

Yesterday’s Result: Mariners-Pirates Under 9 (loss)

2019 MLB Over/Under Betting Record*: 85-74-11, +1.45 units

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

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