Tyler Anderson O/U 4.5 Strikeouts
Tonight, Tyler Anderson (3-6, 4.52 ERA) and the Pirates will be in Washington to take on the Nationals. In eight of 12 starts this season, Anderson has struck out at least five batters. The problem for him is that he has failed to do so in his last three. The Nationals as a team strike out 20.3% of the time, which is the second-lowest rate in the league. Plus, with MLB cracking down on the use of sticky substances, almost all pitchers are at risk of losing a bit of that extra strikeout punch. I am not one to throw out accusations, but there might be a reason why Anderson has failed to strike out at least five batters in his last three starts. With a tough opponent to strike out tonight in the Nationals, I don’t see him getting to five.
Pick: Tyler Anderson under 4.5 strikeouts (-127, DK)
Padres at Rockies O/U 11.5
Yes, this game will be played in Colorado. And I get it, pitching for the Rockies will be Chi Chi Gonzalez (2-4, 5.74 ERA), who has not been great this season. That said, 11.5 runs is an extremely high total, especially with Yu Darvish (6-2, 2.28 ERA) pitching for the other team. If the over is hit in this game, the Rockies won’t be supplying many runs to help it. Perhaps the Padres end up winning this game 11-1. With my luck picking this season, that is certainly a possibility. I don’t see it though. It’s hard for me to pick an over that high when one of the best starting pitchers is tossing that day.
In one start at Colorado this season, Darvish was not efficient, as he only lasted four innings. In that game though, he did not allow an earned run. Weirdly for Gonzalez, his home ERA this season of 2.95 is much better than his season ERA. In one start against San Diego this season, he pitched six solid innings allowing just two runs. Once again, sticky substances may have played a factor in previous pitching success. That could be what the oddsmakers are banking on with this high of an over/under. To me though, 11.5 is still too high.
Pick: Under 11.5 runs (-113, DK)
Marlins at Cardinals O/U 7.5
Throughout this piece, I have been harping on the possibility of pitchers losing some of their abilities due to MLB cracking down on the use of sticky substances. Because of that, I might as well pick an over, right? With 7.5 total runs being the lowest over/under total of the night, this is where I’ve landed. Trevor Rogers (7-3, 2.02 ERA) goes for the Marlins tonight. To call him anything less than excellent this season would be flat-out wrong. In his last three starts, he’s given up two earned runs in each. For the Cardinals’ offense to be successful tonight, they will need to get to that weak Marlins bullpen as soon as possible. With a total fWAR of -1.4, the Marlins have to worst bullpen in baseball.
Pitching for the Cardinals tonight is Kwang Hyun Kim (1-4, 4.05 ERA). Kim has been okay this season but not great. In all nine starts this season, he has failed to reach six innings. Over his last three starts, he has given up 10 earned runs over 13.2 innings. The Marlins will have opportunities to score. The recipe for the over in this game is simple. The Cardinals make Rogers work, bounce him early, then feast on the Marlins’ weak bullpen. The Marlins scratch across some runs on Kim. Eight total runs is not a lot. I like the over.
Pick: Over 7.5 (-112, DK)
Nathan Hursh Overall Record: (21-38-1)
Net Money (assuming all wagers are $100): –$1,746.19
Featured image by Justin Paradis (@JustParaDesigns on Twitter)