MLB Over/Under Bet of the Day
Texas Rangers at Oakland Athletics
First pitch: 4:07 p.m. ET
Probable pitchers: Martin Perez (0-2, 6.75 ERA) vs. Frankie Montas (2-1, 3.63 ERA)
Wow, this game illustrates as much as any just how much over/unders are changing.
I mean, really? A total of just 7 for this one? Frankie Montas has faced far better pitchers in recent years at home and drawn a considerably higher total than that.
But with the inclusion of Martin Perez, the oddsmakers decided to turn back the clock and dish out a number that might have been attached to such a matchup in the early-2010’s when lower scores ruled.
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Baseball so far in 2022 is fascinatingly seeing drops in offense all across the board, especially homers. And that’s even with the universal DH implemented again.
We’ll call the books’ bluff — they might be trying to draw ‘over’ action, after all — with the thought process that Montas will serve his usual quality home cooking opposite a game Martin Perez, who isn’t horrible and has experience pitching here.
At the very least, we should be able to depend on Montas for a solid showing. Since being inserted into the A’s rotation a few years ago, the burley 255-pounder has made 36 starts (and one relief appearance) at the Oakland… err, “RingCentral” Coliseum, en route to going 16-10 with a 3.25 ERA and 9.58 K/9. Impressively, only 16 balls sailed beyond the outfield fences off Montas as well.
That’s basically a full season’s worth of starts right there and Montas largely shined in those outings. In addition to his pleasant work in front of the home fans (whatever low number of them is there, that is), you can tell Montas has taken to his newfound role as staff ace very well and seeks to lead by example. I don’t see him taking any start for granted donning the green and gold even as his name continues to emerge in trade discussions.
The key to this bet, however, is connected to Perez, who is in his second go-around with the Rangers after spending the past few years in Boston and Minnesota. Though he hasn’t contributed the most positive results thus far, the veteran lefty is still coming off an encouraging start in which he punched out five in four innings. That might not seem like much but Perez only reached or topped that number of strikeouts a handful of times last season.
Plus, he’s getting a lineup that has a hard time facing southpaws. Like last year, the Athletics are registering a minimal team batting average opposite left-handed pitching (.226), and they’re striking out at an unhealthy rate too with lefties dealing.
There’s obviously not much room for error in a total this low but I believe Perez can still come through with something in the neighborhood of a quality start. Paired with the steady constant at home that is Montas, the bats won’t be too loud today.
2022 MLB Over/Under Betting Record*: “8-5-3,” +2.45 units
Yesterday’s Result: White Sox-Twins Under 7.5 (WIN)
*Each bet graded as if it were to win 1 unit