Washington Nationals at Miami Marlins
First pitch: 10:10 a.m. PT
Probable pitchers: Stephen Strasburg (1-1, 5.56 ERA) vs. Trevor Richards (0-2, 3.57 ERA)
There’s no way this version of Strasburg, one that has allowed at least four runs in three of his first four starts while churning out a surprising 5.56 ERA, will continue on much longer, if at all.
To me, the former first overall draft pick is still one of the top pitchers in the league, so it’s only inevitable that he’ll come around. Today’s assignment is ripe with that opportunity, as he gets a familiar foe whom he’s consistently handled well throughout the years.
In fact, Strasburg has faced the Marlins more than any other team, going 17-7 in 31 career starts with a 3.02 ERA, 1.12 WHIP and 182 strikeouts across 173 innings.
Miami’s first five hitters in the batting order this afternoon — Curtis Granderson, Martin Prado, Brian Anderson, Neil Walker and Starlin Castro — have also had considerable difficulty with the Nationals right-hander. Against Strasburg, they are a combined 18-for-100 (.180) with a whopping three runs driven in.
With confidence in Strasburg to go deep into the game and provide a useful performance, that means under bettors would only need something decent out of Richards, which is more than possible.
The second-year hurler is coming off his toughest outing of the campaign but he had spun three quality starts in as many tries just before that. He looks like someone that’s making forward progress, especially when you consider his solid second half last season.
Richards has excelled a bit more at pitcher-friendly Marlins Park since first coming up, so that could certainly be of assistance as well. He’s also notably been better in his afternoon starts compared to at night, interestingly only serving up just a single homer in 10 career assignments during the day. He’s surrendered only one home run total so far through four starts.
Being a day game following a night affair, we also may be able to lean on downgraded lineups to keep it at a low-scoring vibe. Play: UNDER 7 (-120)
Yesterday’s Result: Braves-Indians Game 2 Under (loss)
Zylbert’s 2019 MLB Over/Under Betting Record*: 13-11, +0.6 units
*Each bet graded as if it were to win 1 unit
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