MLB Over/Under Bet of the Day
Houston Astros at Kansas City Royals
First pitch: 4:10 p.m. ET
Probable pitchers: Luis Garcia (3-3, 3.14 ERA) vs. Kris Bubic (0-3, 12.83 ERA)
Games emanating from the K rarely draw a total this high. At the same time, this also involves the MLB return of Kris Bubic.
Not that he was gone long upon being sent down in the first half of May. However, it was sorely needed, as the former Stanford Cardinal was out to a nightmarish 2022 beginning. Just look at that unsightly 12.83 ERA he had through five starts and one outing out of the pen.
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But if you’ve seen Bubic pitch since he debuted a couple of years ago, you know he’s clearly far, far better than what he’s showcased thus far. After all, this is a youngster that fared respectably in stringing together a 4.32 ERA in 10 starts as a rookie before taking on a bigger workload last year and etching a 4.43 ERA
That’s the work of a legitimate Major League starting pitcher. What Bubic churned out during his first stint with the club this season was not MLB-quality work but that’s about to change, even against the mighty Astros batting order.
First of all, while Houston is hovering at the top of the AL West once again, they’ve actually been nothing like their predecessor lineups that used to smash left-handed pitching on a regular basis. In fact, the Astros sported a top-five offense in each of the past four non-shortened seasons (going back to their “championship” in 17) in both team OPS and batting average against southpaws.
This year? Much different story. Houston currently ranks 21st in baseball registering a .664 OPS with a lefty on the mound. They also shockingly sit at the very bottom of the AL in average (.213) as well.
So the opportunity will be there for Bubic to finally settle in — albeit a couple of months later. After a recent pair of fine tuneups in the minors, I believe the 24-year-old can deliver a useful outing here.
That would be wonderful considering who his counterpart is. Though he continues to fly well under the radar, Luis Garcia has to be one of the steadiest pitchers around.
Like his breakout first full campaign a season ago, Garcia just clocks in to provide gem after gem. Interestingly, he’s been even better than last year, when Garcia was 11-8 with a 3.30 ERA and 1.17 WHIP. Currently, he carries a 3.14 ERA and 1.07 WHIP, not to mention while honing the Majors’ 13th-lowest batting average against (.204) among starting pitchers.
To help ensure his brand of steadiness, Garcia figures to enjoy this matchup, too. Not only has he been good against the Royals since first arriving, the right-hander has pretty much owned the entire AL Central. Against these five division residents, Garcia’s notched a 1.73 ERA and held hitters to a puny .206 average.
This bet will largely be decided by the left arm of Bubic. No matter what, though, another quality assignment from Garcia can help shape a desired low final tally.
2022 MLB Over/Under Betting Record*: “28-23-5,” +1.88 units
Yesterday’s Result: Cardinals-Cubs Under 8.5 (loss)
*Each bet graded as if it were to win 1 unit