MLB Over/Under Bet of the Day: May 27, Giants vs Reds

MLB: San Francisco Giants at Cleveland Guardians
Apr 15, 2022; Cleveland, Ohio, USA; San Francisco Giants starting pitcher Carlos Rodon throws a pitch during the first inning against the Cleveland Guardians at Progressive Field. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

MLB Over/Under Bet of the Day

San Francisco Giants at Cincinnati Reds

Over/Under: 8.5

First pitch: 6:40 p.m. ET

Probable pitchers: Carlos Rodon (4-3, 3.43 ERA) vs. Graham Ashcraft* (0-0, 4.15 ERA)

*Not yet official

May 26, 2022; Cincinnati, Ohio, USA; Cincinnati Reds first baseman Joey Votto (19) has words with Chicago Cubs catcher Willson Contreras (40) during the seventh inning at Great American Ball Park. Mandatory Credit: David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports

Uh, the matchup kicking off this Giants-Reds series in Cincy tonight is not yet official. All the speculation, however, leads to optimism that Graham Ashcroft will make his second ever Major League start.

Note that if Ashcraft does not ultimately get the nod, this bet automatically draws a “no action” tag. But we’ll operate under the belief that the 24-year-old will indeed be on the hill starting and if that’s the case, there’s real potential for a low score.

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First, let’s start with the one half of the equation that can be confirmed in Carlos Rodon, who has resumed his awesome work of a year ago even after switching cities. Like last year when he registered 12.55 K/9, Rodon is dominating as usual with 12.49 K/9 to rank in the top three in strikeout rate among starters once again.

That can’t provide a positive outlook for the Reds lineup tonight considering they’re one of the worst in all of baseball when facing a southpaw. In fact, despite their 20-run outburst yesterday (which came with an opposing lefty starting hurler), Cincinnati still sits anchored toward the bottom of all 30 clubs in team OPS (.623) and batting average (.216) against left-handed pitching. Furthermore, the Reds are punching out once every 3.5 at-bats in this department.

Rodon was so good last season that he possibly would have won the American League Cy Young had he not been limited to 24 assignments due to injury. Clearly, he’s still residing in this upper echelon form and Rodon is even throwing harder than ever with an average fastball velocity of 96.4 mph. That’s a sizable jump, too.

But again, that’s the part we can feel comfortable about in making this bet, especially with an over/under this high. The other side still needs clarity, though.

If Ashcraft receives the start, how can we not feel good about his oncoming prospects? It was just during his first start last Sunday, after all, where the former sixth-round draft pick impressed by pitching into the fifth opposite a tough Blue Jays batting order while holding them to two runs. Most notably, Ashcraft was regularly throwing in the upper-90’s — similar to his potential counterpart here.

Ashcraft preceded his arrival in The Show with very pleasant work at Triple-A Louisville, where he was maintaining a 1.65 ERA across 32.2 frames. In addition, Ashcraft didn’t allow more than three earned runs in any of his seven starts.

Again, the total itself also makes this extra tempting, hence why I’m jumping the gun before the pair of probables is even official. With Rodon being counted on for more of his dominant brand, Ashcraft looks like he can provide enough on his end to prevent a crooked tally in the end.

Pick:

2022 MLB Over/Under Betting Record*: “24-19-5,” +2.23 units

Yesterday’s Result: Phillies-Braves Under 8 (WIN)

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

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