MLB Over/Under Bet of the Day: April 9, Pirates vs Cardinals

MLB: Pittsburgh Pirates at St. Louis Cardinals
Apr 7, 2022; St. Louis, Missouri, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates second baseman Hoy Park (44) is unable to field a throw as St. Louis Cardinals third baseman Nolan Arenado (28) during the fifth inning of Opening Day at Busch Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

MLB Over/Under Bet of the Day

Pittsburgh Pirates at St. Louis Cardinals

Over/Under: 8

First pitch: 2:15 p.m. ET

Probables: Mitch Keller (0-0, -.– ERA) vs. Miles Mikolas 0-0, -.– ERA)

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It’s very telling that the linesmakers deflated the total to 8 from 8.5 during nighttime hours. Some would say that the previous number may have been lowered enough.

After all, one of the starting pitchers in this affair is coming off a year in which he posted a 6.17 ERA and 1.79 WHIP in 23 starts. That would be Keller, of course, but his potential breakout is exactly why the books shifted their decision for this game.

Keller has exhibited enormous potential, albeit in flashes, and that was on display this spring more consistently. He mostly looked sharp in his outings, putting together 12 strikeouts in 12.1 frames. The 26-year-old put in a lot of work this offseason that could certainly lead to finally unleashing his promise. Most notably, Keller is now nearing 100 with velocity, residing in the high-90’s of late.

I’m predicting big things from Keller in the campaign ahead, and he could benefit from working his season debut in a pitcher’s park, like Busch Stadium. He actually has solid numbers against the Cards too, being 2-0 in four lifetime meetings with a 3.38 ERA and 1.08 WHIP. And he’s better now than he’s ever been.

Mikolas could be in a position to pull off a very similar type of rebound. Despite missing all of 2020 due to injury, Mikolas returned in the second half of last year and pitched respectably to a 4.23 ERA.

Aside from owning desirable stats opposite these Buccos in his career, Mikolas had a tremendous spring as well which leads to the belief he’ll be back in old form post-injury. He yielded only three runs combined in his three spring starts. Additionally, we’ll appreciate that he’s at home today, having looked considerably better in St. Louis than on the road since first arriving in the Midwest.

The Pirates wield one of the weakest lineups in baseball and I’m looking for Mikolas to capitalize on that once again like he’s typically done in his 80 previous innings when squaring off with Pittsburgh. Following his day, we can lean on a talented Cardinals bullpen for clean work.

Pick: UNDER 8 (-110)

2022 MLB Over/Under Betting Record*: 1-1, -.15 unit

Yesterday’s Result: Marlins-Giants Under 7.5 (“loss”)

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

Oct 3, 2021; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates starting pitcher Mitch Keller (23) delivers a pitch against the Cincinnati Reds during the first inning at PNC Park. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports