MLB Over/Under Bet of the Day
2022 MLB Over/Under Betting Record*: “33-25-5,” +4.58 units
Yesterday’s Result: Diamondbacks-Phillies Under 8.5 (“loss”)
*Each bet graded as if it were to win 1 unit
Arizona Diamondbacks at Philadelphia Phillies
First pitch: 4:05 p.m. ET
Probable pitchers: Madison Bumgarner (2-5, 3.64 ERA) vs. Zack Wheeler (4-3, 3.14 ERA)
OK, not backing down from this series after last night’s fluky “L” with Zac Gallen.
First of all, this is a very generous total being offered by the linesmakers at 8.5 given the two starting pitchers involved. The argument could be made that this particular matchup is superior to its predecessor in the series opener Friday.
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Yet this pair of probables conceals the same over/under. Furthermore, it’s interesting to contrast this with a Zack Wheeler home start a little more than a month ago in which he faced Austin Gomber with a total of 7.5. No disrespect to Gomber, who isn’t bad at all, but he’s not Madison Bumgarner. And this D-backs lineup isn’t as dangerous as Colorado’s.
That is especially the case this afternoon with Arizona electing to rest both of their top hitters, Ketel Marte and Christian Walker. How will an already-meager offense that’s significantly downgraded get any rallying going against Wheeler?
Above the opponent is what the former New York Met has been doing once again in 2022. Wheeler is enjoying another All-Star-caliber campaign, and even more so lately, which makes this extra tempting.
After a tough first three outings to the year (likely due to his injury-initiated delayed season debut), Wheeler has returned to the form that has him recognized as one of the league’s best.
Across his last seven starts, the former first-round draft pick is 4-0 with a shiny 1.61 ERA and 1.03 WHIP. Most notably, he’s notched 11.28 K/9 within this span, recording at least seven strikeouts in each start after failing to gather more than five in each of those first three assignments.
So, we know for sure Wheeler is locked in right now entering this favorable spot. And while Citizens Bank Park has the reputation of being geared more towards hitters, that hasn’t been so in the case of Wheeler since signing in Philly. In fact, he’s taken the rubber 31 times at home now as a member of the Phillies, pitching to a superb 2.27 ERA and 0.94 WHIP. Not only that, Wheeler is allowing only 0.65 HR/9.
But of course, there’s still the most difficult part of this wager to deal with, that being the hot-hitting, talent-oozing Philadelphia lineup. Additionally, they’ve been hitting lefties well this year, having the Majors’ fifth-highest team OPS (.762).
You might think that could be an issue for the veteran southpaw Mad Bum, but enable me to ease those concerns. Bumgarner actually holds very impressive numbers against the potent Philly hitters.
Being around 14 years in the big leagues, the former World Series MVP has plenty of experience facing most who oppose him in the batter’s box. Those seven Phillies regulars in the lineup to worry about — Bryce Harper, Nick Castellanos, Rhys Hoskins, JT Realmuto, Kyle Schwarber, Alec Bohm and Didi Gregorius — are collectively hitting 12-for-69 (.174) off Bumgarner lifetime with 22 punch-outs.
Perhaps this indicates the Arizona left-hander will be the one that quells the Fightin Phils’ recent run. The beauty of this bet, however, is that he doesn’t even have to. Paired with a Wheeler gem, just a satisfactory showing from Bumgarner can be the difference in minimizing the wood.