St. Louis Cardinals at San Diego Padres
First pitch: 7:10 p.m. PT
Probable pitchers: Michael Wacha (5-3, 5.59 ERA) vs. Eric Lauer (5-7, 4.32 ERA)
Here we have a case of two starting pitchers that have probably performed better than their overall line suggests.
For one, Wacha’s 5.59 ERA is inflated from one really bad relief appearance after he was briefly ousted from the pitching staff. The seven-year veteran has made three starts since returning to the rotation and looked mostly solid, posting a 3.38 ERA in those outings. In two of the assignments, he limited his opponent to no more than a single run.
Wacha made an adjustment during his short time in the bullpen and it’s apparently made a difference in getting the right-hander back on track. Remember, this is someone who was 8-2 with a 3.20 ERA only a year ago before an injury sidelined him the rest of the way.
He gets an opponent tonight that can seemingly help him chug along in the right direction. For his career, Wacha is 3-0 with a 2.21 ERA in six starts against the Padres. One of those assignments came earlier this year back in April, when San Diego mustered only one run in five-plus innings off Wacha.
Lauer, meanwhile, also is gipped by one really small segment in what has otherwise been a good second season in the big leagues. That would be in reference to his two awful starts at Colorado, where he was torched for 13 runs in just 5.2 frames.
Take that pair of Coors Field outings out of the equation and Lauer sports a much more desirable 3.09 ERA.
We may see a similar output from the southpaw tonight considering the spot he’s in. First, Lauer will be pitching from home, which is huge. In his short time in the Majors, the 24-year-old has crafted together an ERA at pitcher-friendly Petco Park (3.42) that is exactly two full runs lower than it is on the road (5.42).
Additionally, Lauer gets an offense that hasn’t fared particularly well opposite left-handed pitching. The Cardinals have the second-lowest team batting average (.229) in baseball with a lefty on the hill.
Definitely wait before placing a bet on the under, as the juice indicates the total may tick up to 9 at some point before first pitch. Even if it does not, this will still be my wager for tonight. Follow me on Twitter to see when I my action official. Play: UNDER 8.5/9
Yesterday’s Result: Braves-Cubs Over 10.5 (WIN)
Zylbert’s 2019 MLB Over/Under Betting Record*: 47-38-6, +4.55 units
*Each bet graded as if it were to win 1 unit