Thursday’s MLB Over/Under Bet: An Impending O’s Bauer Outage

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Baltimore Orioles at Cleveland Indians
Over/Under: 9
First pitch: 3:10 p.m. PT
Probable pitchers: Dan Straily (1-3, 8.23 ERA) vs. Trevor Bauer (4-2, 3.02 ERA)

Woah, an over/under as high as 9 for a Bauer start? And against a dead-bat offense like the one trotted out every day by Baltimore? OK, oddsmakers, you need to pay here for such a suspect decision.

Bauer, easily one of the most reliable starting pitchers in the game for any under, is also one of the most dominant. He had a couple of uncharacteristic outings recently but that was just a rare blip in what is shaping up to be another sensational campaign for the former third overall draft pick — one that can still realistically conclude with an American League Cy Young Award in his future.

In any case, Bauer was tremendous in his most recent start to indicate he’s back in his regular excellent form. On the road against a solid Oakland Athletics batting order, the 28-year-old scattered only three hits and two walks en route to allowing just a pair of unearned runs in seven sharp innings.

He also accumulated 10 K’s in that start for his third double-digit-strikeout performance on the young campaign. As a result, Bauer now sits sixth in the majors in strikeouts (72). Additionally, he also ranks sixth amongst all qualified starters in batting average against (.188). It can’t be emphasized enough: Bauer is an amazing talent. He’s also more than capable of limiting the last-place O’s to two runs or fewer chance, which would be very welcomed for an under this high.

The one thing that can get the right-hander into trouble is when his command is slightly off, but that’s less likely to be an issue with the Orioles. No team in the AL walks less per game (2.6) than Baltimore, and they strike out a bunch, too, collectively racking up 8.72 K’s per contest. Bauer could easily craft together one of his signature overpowering efforts in this one.

While I’m not worried at all regarding Bauer’s outlook this evening, there should definitely be at least some concern for the other starting hurler in this series opener, Straily. He does carry a very unpleasant 8.23 ERA, after all.

But while the veteran journeyman might be beyond his best days, he’s definitely better than that current mark he’s carved out thus far in his first year with the Orioles. First of all, if you take out his lone relief appearance this season, which was a disaster, his ERA actually sits considerably lower (6.92).

Yes, that’s still bad but the bulk of that damage came with Straily on his home mound at Camden Yards, a hitter’s paradise where he’s posted a disgusting 11.78 ERA and 2.35 WHIP. In his two starts on the road, however, Straily has been tagged for only two runs (one earned) across nine total innings. Of course, that’s not a large sample size, but it’s something Straily is probably aware of and it’s something that can aid him in continuing to at least be game in his away assignments.

Remember, with Bauer expected to do most of the work for this under bet, there should definitely be some sizable room for error for Straily. It’s also refreshing that Baltimore’s bullpen has been much better lately compared to the very beginning of the campaign, registering a 3.86 ERA across the last two weeks.

With the total only having potential to go down, make sure you get your action in on the under as soon as possible. Play: UNDER 9 (-115)

Yesterday’s Result: Padres-Dodgers Under 8 (WIN)
Zylbert’s 2019 MLB Over/Under Betting Record*: 26-20-2, +3.6 units

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

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