Pursuing two starters trending up

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San Diego Padres at Los Angeles Dodgers

Over/Under: 8

First pitch: 7:10 p.m. PT

TV: MLB Network

Probable pitchers: Matt Strahm (1-2, 3.00 ERA) vs. Kenta Maeda (4-2, 4.03)

There’s no question the Padres have been one of the pleasant surprise teams in the National League through the early portion of the campaign, playing like a genuine contender for the first time in many years.

Improved production from both their lineup and starting pitching are what has soared San Diego above water. As far as the pitching staff goes, while rookie Chris Paddack has been getting a lot of the attention, his rotation mate, Strahm, has been just as effective in delivering quality work each time out.

In fact, after his rough season debut on April 1, Strahm has just been marvelous, limiting his opponents to two runs or fewer in all six starts since — the last four have clocked in as quality ones.

This is the type of breakout potential Strahm displayed last season in his first year with the Padres, albeit out of the bullpen and also as an “opener” on some occasions. That’s also when the left-hander got his first experience against the Dodgers and held up well, yielding only one run across four appearances spanning six innings. I’m a fan of Strahm and know he can continue to bring it.

Maeda has also been impressive thus far in 2019, even coming off one of the best outings of his four-year major league career. In his last assignment, Maeda held the Washington Nationals scoreless in six innings while allowing just a single hit and a pair of walks on the evening.

That came within the pitcher-friendly confines of Dodger Stadium, which shouldn’t be a surprise with the 31-year-old. During his time in the big leagues — all spent in LA — Maeda has proven to be one of those guys with considerable home-and-road splits. His ERA at home (3.16) is almost a full run-and-a-half lower than it is on the road (4.49).

So long as both starters can simply keep it up, to go with solid bullpen work, that should carry the load for an under wager. Play: UNDER 8 (-120)

Yesterday’s Result: Pirates-Diamondbacks Under 9 (WIN)

Zylbert’s 2019 MLB Over/Under Betting Record*: 25-20-2, +2.6 units

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

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