Danny Salazar will look to keep racking up the strikeouts tonight when the Indians and Twins begin a four-game series. He could lead the way for under bettors, too.
Wow, my luck has been so bad this year that yesterday’s Taillon vs Lester Under 8,5 — which was 0-0 in the bottom of the seventh — almost went off the rails, concluding with a 6-1 final for the under victory, as perhaps the betting gods are noticing that I’ve already had worse luck than anyone in the first two weeks. Let’s try and keep it going to kick off the third week.
Zylbert’s 2017 MLB Over/Under Betting Record: 7-8-2, -180
Yesterday’s Result: Taillon vs Lester Under 8.5 (WIN)
Cleveland Indians @ Minnesota Twins
Danny Salazar vs Kyle Gibson
UNDER 8.5 (-115) (via OddsShark)
It can be very advantageous taking an under as high as 8.5 when it features a starting pitcher capable of a complete shutdown performance. In this opener of a four-game set between the Indians and Twins from Target Field, that will be exactly the case with dominant right-hander Danny Salazar on the hill.
Although he currently owns a 4.63 ERA through his first two starts, Salazar has pitched better than that, as evident in his 20 strikeouts in only 11 2/3 innings of work, not to mention a .220 batting average against.
He’s coming off an outing that saw him register a career-high-tying 11 punch-outs, so despite being on the wrong end of a 2-1 defeat in that contest, the 27-year-old will be entering tonight’s assignment with a pretty good amount of momentum, looking to pick up where he left off last Wednesday. Salazar has averaged more than a strikeout per inning in each of his prior four seasons in the big leagues, and his current pace seemingly has him on track to exceed 200 K’s for the first time in his career.
Fellow AL Central starter Kyle Gibson doesn’t nearly have the swing-and-miss potential with his own repertoire of pitches, but he is someone that can lend a steady hand for this under. At first glance, that may not appear so given his 8.00 ERA, but like tonight’s counterpart, he’s pitched better than his numbers indicate.
Looking deeper into Gibson’s first pair of outings and you’ll note that he’s allowed zilch in the first three innings. After that, though, is where issues have arisen, such as when he allowed a grand slam in the fourth inning of his last start, and before that, he wasn’t tagged by the opposing offense until the fifth inning.
In other words, Gibson is getting closer to putting it all together, something he’s shown glimpses of in the past. It certainly looked that way two years ago, when he finished 11-11 with a respectable 3.84 ERA, and although he regressed last year, the right-hander still has potential to solidify himself as a consistent major league starter.
The beauty of the line sitting where it’s currently at is that even if Gibson falters, we can still get by with an overpowering performance from Salazar that could churn out a 7-1/6-2 type of outcome. We’ll see how it plays out in hopefully producing an under in Minnesota.
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