Cincinnati Reds at San Francisco Giants
First pitch: 1:05 p.m. PT
Probable pitchers: Tyler Mahle (0-5, 3.69 ERA) vs. Madison Bumgarner (2-4, 3.99 ERA)
For the seventh time in 10 days, the Reds and Giants will hook up on the diamond, this time for their final meeting in 2019. Cincinnati was victorious in four of the previous six, including both this weekend that put them in position to go for a road sweep.
The Reds will have a big obstacle to go through, however, in order to pull it off. Bumgarner, despite his record, is still one of the league’s premier left-handers, continually providing consistency like always. In fact, he’s gone deep into the sixth inning or beyond in all eight of his starts thus far while allowing three earned runs or fewer in six of them.
Bumgarner is actually throwing harder than he has in any of the last three seasons, honing an average velocity of 91.8 mph. It’s helped allow him to get ahead early in the count often, as he’s posted what is easily the highest first-pitch strike percentage (71.9 percent) of his career if it ended there.
In turn, Mad Bum has also maintained a healthy percentage of strikes that were swung at and missed (11.5 percent). Even in his older age and coming off last year’s (injury-riddled) disappointing campaign, this is still an upper-echelon pitcher.
Mahle also sports an undesirable record, being 0-5, but like his counterpart, it’s completely unwarranted. The 24-year-old right-hander has actually been very solid in building off last year’s encouraging first full campaign in the bigs.
In four of his seven starts, Mahle was so impressive that he held his opponent to just one run or fewer. He surrendered four or five in the other three but one sign of progress is that no matter what, he’s hanging in there and has pitched the Reds into the sixth inning or later each time out.
Mahle has looked especially sharp as of late, yielding two runs total in his most recent pair of starts while racking up 15 strikeouts compared to only one walk in those 11 innings.
A big thing that’s enabled Mahle to excel is that most of his work has come on the road, where he’s made all but one of his starts this year. He carries a lifetime 4.19 ERA on the road, easily besting the 4.80 ERA he’s registered at Great American Ball Park, and in his 21 career starts away from home, Mahle has been tagged for only nine homers. By comparison, he’s served up twice that number of long balls in only 13 (!) career starts in Cincinnati.
This season, Mahle’s consistency has fueled the under to a flawless 6-0-1 mark in his starts. Getting to take the mound at one of the friendliest parks in baseball, opposite someone the caliber of Mad Bum, seems like it can add to that perfect unders mark. Just wait first up until first pitch (since it’s not going to 6.5) to see if it ticks up to 7.5; even at 7, I’ll still be on the under. Play: UNDER 7/7.5
Yesterday’s Result: Padres-Rockies Under 10 (WIN)
Zylbert’s 2019 MLB Over/Under Betting Record*: 24-19-1, +2.75 units
*Each bet graded as if it were to win 1 unit
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