MLB Over/Under Bet of the Day: April 21, Pirates vs Cubs

MLB: Chicago Cubs at Colorado Rockies
Apr 17, 2022; Denver, Colorado, USA; Chicago Cubs right fielder Seiya Suzuki (27) gestures as he rounds the bases on a solo home run in the seventh inning against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

MLB Over/Under Bet of the Day

Pittsburgh Pirates at Chicago Cubs

Over/Under: 8.5

First pitch: 7:40 p.m. ET

Probable pitchers: Bryse Wilson (0-0, 5.40 ERA) vs. Mark Leiter Jr. (0-1, 18.90 ERA)

Apr 10, 2022; St. Louis, Missouri, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates starting pitcher Bryse Wilson (32) pitches against the St. Louis Cardinals during the first inning at Busch Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

Just how long is Mark Leiter Jr. going to last on the Cubs starting pitching staff?

Probably not long at all. Thus, it would be wise to capitalize on this unexpected scenario — Leiter being in a Major League rotation again for the first time in five years — before he inevitably gets the hook. If he even stays up with the big-league club, that is.

When Leiter was a rookie in 2017, he made 11 starts for a bad Phillies club, ultimately producing a very unspectacular 5.19 ERA and 1.38 WHIP in those outings. He didn’t even get a chance to start the next year.

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Leiter missed two seasons due to Tommy John surgery and was toiling in the minor leagues since before getting the nod last weekend for an assignment at Coors Field. Predictably, his return did not fare well.

I’m just looking for similar results here. He surrendered seven runs in that first start, but even just a handful scratched out against the former 22nd-round draft pick would be suffice for an over/under of 8.5.

While the Pirates don’t exactly sport an intimidating offense at first glance, they are sneakily in the middle of the pack in team OPS with a .661 mark. There’s enough artillery to help power an ‘over’ W.

Meanwhile, the other starter in this affair, Bryse Wilson, is merely a bargain-bin bottom-of-the-rotation starter — at best.

Both of Wilson’s first two outings to begin the campaign saw him fail to escape the fifth. While he didn’t give up more than three runs in either one, Wilson still recorded a 1.65 WHIP collectively and he also managed only four strikeouts. Considering he posted just 5.6 K/9 across 16 starts a season ago, this should be the prevailing tendency in that he won’t be able to consistently miss opposing bats.

That means Chicago — a team that actually hasn’t been striking out often — will get their fair share of licks opposite the fifth-year right-hander. We’ll gladly take it, as the Cubs have been one of the surprisingly good teams at the dish so far, being in the top 10 in baseball in runs scored.

The total not being as high as 9 or even 9.5 is surprising, especially when you consider the universal DH. If this same matchup was playing out in Wrigley a year ago (and featuring the same steady wind conditions), there’s no way it would’ve been 8 with pitchers hitting, which is what the linesmakers are implying by this call. Let’s try to make them pay for that error.


2022 MLB Over/Under Betting Record*: 7-4-3, +2.65 units

Yesterday’s Result: Rangers-Mariners Under 8 (WIN)

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