MLB Over/Under Bet: Will Fall Classic commence with duel?

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World Series Game 1

Washington Nationals at Houston Astros

Over/Under: 6.5

First pitch: 5:08 p.m. PT

TV: FOX

Probable pitchers: Max Scherzer (11-7, 2.92 ERA) vs. Gerrit Cole (20-5, 2.50 ERA)

Ah, it looks like the oddsmakers are going a little old-school, dipping back into the 6.5-variety for an over/under. This used to be a lot more commonplace not that long ago, especially in the postseason, but a total below 7 has been far more scarce these days. The monumental jump in balls leaving the yard easily contributed to that.

Nevertheless, no surprise to see this World Series Game 1 draw such a low number. Pitching is expected to dictate how this year’s Fall Classic plays out, and given the two starting pitching staffs, it’d be difficult to make an argument otherwise.

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Cole, as everyone should know by now, was so awesome this year that he’s one of the clear two leading frontrunners (along with teammate Justin Verlander) for this year’s American League Cy Young Award. The scary thing for the Nationals is that Cole is at his peak dominance right now — and has been for more than four months.

In his last 25 starts, Cole is an otherworldly 19-0 with a 1.59 ERA to go along with a whopping 258 Ks in just 169.1 innings during this span. Cole also allowed no more than a pair of earned runs in all but two of those outings.

Scherzer may not be as scorching hot as his counterpart coming into the Series opener but that’s perfectly fine, as the former three-time Cy Young winner can be useful for any under as long as he’s in normal form.

That certainly appears to be the case following his below-average (by his extremely high standards) showing in the National League Wild Card Game. Scherzer has made two starts and one very critical relief appearance since, shining each time out. In those three games, the 35-year-old yielded only a single run across 15 innings combined. He also racked up 21 strikeouts and permitted only 10 total baserunners.

While there might be some concern that the long layoff (nine days) might hinder Scherzer’s performance, bettors should be at ease knowing he’s posted a career 2.98 ERA when starting after six or more days of rest. That actually clocks in lower than when Scherzer is going on regular rest.

The theme of this year’s World Series is just top-quality starting pitching, so look for such to be on display out of the gate with these two aces in rhythm going at it. Wait first like I am before placing your action to see if the over/under inflates to 7 leading up to first pitch. Play: UNDER 6.5/7

Last Result: Yankees-Astros Over 8.5 (WIN)

2019 MLB Over/Under Betting Record*

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

Playoffs: 13-4-1, +4.2 units

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

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