Musgrove, Weaver clash in the desert

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Pittsburgh Pirates at Arizona Diamondbacks

Over/Under: 9

First pitch: 6:40 p.m. PT

Probable pitchers: Joe Musgrove (1-4, 4.20 ERA) vs. Luke Weaver (3-1, 2.98 ERA)

A lot of people thought the Diamondbacks received an underwhelming package when they traded away longtime fan favorite and perennial MVP award contender Paul Goldschmidt to the St. Louis Cardinals this past offseason. I was one of those people. However, the lone veteran (relatively speaking) received in return in the deal has already brought back been immediate gains for the club, providing a reliable arm in for rotation that definitely needed it.

That would be Weaver, the fourth-year right-hander who appears to be on the verge of breaking out. He exhibited such potential a couple of years ago when he finished 7-2 with a 3.88 ERA in 13 games (10 starts), not to mention a nice 72-17 K/BB ratio across 60.1 innings pitched.

In eight starts so far in his new digs, the 25-year-old has showcased his best work yet, etching a 2.98 ERA and 1.06 WHIP while collectively holding opponents to a minimal .224 batting average. All those marks would easily be career bests if they ended up around there.

And for the first time since that aforementioned encouraging 2017 campaign, Weaver is striking out more than a batter per inning again, logging 9.93 K/9. With a pair of seven-inning, three-hit, one-run gems in his last two starts, he’s clearly trending up.

The other pitcher in this contest, Musgrove, has been going in the other direction but don’t look for that last much longer. After a brilliant April that saw him register a 1.64 ERA and 0.94 WHIP in five games (four starts), the former Houston Astro has come crashing back down to earth. He’s given up a whopping 15 runs (13 earned) in his last two assignments, but despite this, I think he can get his year turned back around his next time out.

Arizona is a club that can be overly reliant on the long ball, ranking fourth in the league in home runs, but that’s something that can give an advantage to a guy like Musgrove who doesn’t allow many homers. In fact, he’s been taken yard only once this season in 40.2 innings. He can also be aided by the fact that the D-backs don’t walk much either.

Make sure you get this under in right away, as it’s only likely to go down at some point. Play: UNDER 9 (-120)

Yesterday’s Result: Angels-Twins Under 9 (Push)

Zylbert’s 2019 MLB Over/Under Betting Record*: 24-20-1, +1.6 units

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

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