MLB Over/Under Bet of the Day Texas Rangers at Cleveland Guardians
First pitch: 7:10 p.m. ET
Probable pitchers: Dane Dunning (1-3, 4.11 ERA) vs. Shane Bieber (3-3, 3.12 ERA)
Time to reel in the talents of Shane Bieber.
When pitted against any competent starting pitcher at home, like the scenario involving Bieber for tonight, you’re usually going to see a lower-scoring game script. The former American League Cy Young always seems to be doing his part, especially after false rumors of a demise.
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Many speculated if Bieber was done residing amongst the upper echelon Major League arms after exhibiting a considerable drop in average fastball velocity. Bieber was also carrying an unusual-for-him 4.13 ERA into mid-May.
Since his rare rough outing opposite the hard-hitting Blue Jays a month ago, Bieber appears to be back to normal, having etched a quality start in all four of his turns. Even just as delightful, the UC-Santa Barbara product is collecting the strikeouts more frequently again, illustrated by his 33 K’s within this current stretch, spanning a collective 28 innings.
Bieber is as steady as they come and can be counted on for additional desirable work. Something else that also may his ensure his reliability rings true once more is the fact that Texas barely has any experience facing Bieber, if even any at all. Only two regulars in the Rangers lineup (Mitch Garver and Kole Calhoun) have logged more than three at-bats versus the fifth-year right-hander and they’ve combined to go 4-for-25 (.160) with 13 K’s
Generally, when an offense is seeing a stud on the mound for the first time and there’s no familiarity there, I give the edge to someone the caliber of Bieber to pounce. He’ll be very good this evening.
The other half of this equation that makes the total so tempting is the presence of underrated youngster Dane Dunning. Are people not realizing the former White Sox first-round draft choice is settled in now?
Apparently that’s the case. Dunning is going far deeper into ballgames, pitching the Rangers into the seventh inning in five of his last 10 outings, as a matter of fact — he did that three times all of last year.
Dunning’s also beginning to harness his ability more for retiring batters via the K. All throughout the minor leagues, he was always accumulating double-digit punch-outs per nine innings, and so far this season, he currently has his rate above a single strikeout per inning with 9.24 K/9.
The Guardians may not strike out a bunch but they don’t hit a lot of homers, either. They’re tied for the fifth-fewest long balls (43) as a club and that’s a factor that can play into a pitcher’s successful game plan. Dunning has continued doing a fine job keeping the ball in the park, yielding just 1.03 HR/9, and in the process, his performance has led to an eye-opening 3.31 xFIP, suggesting useful work ahead.
I was buying into Dunning before the season and remain steadfastly on that hill while he’s mostly been rolling along. Bieber working his magic carries us home.
2022 MLB Over/Under Betting Record*: “31-24-5,” +3.63 units
Yesterday’s Result: Mets-Padres Under 8 (WIN)
*Each bet graded as if it were to win 1 unit