MLB Over/Under Bet of the Day
Atlanta Braves at Arizona Diamondbacks
First pitch: 8:10 p.m. ET
Probable pitchers: Spencer Strider (1-1, 2.22 ERA) vs. Zac Gallen (3-0, 2.22 ERA)
A lot of folks will be interested in seeing the very first start of mustached wonder Spencer Strider, even without betting on it.
Meanwhile, everyone should be tuned into any Zac Gallen sighting at the ballpark, making for one really, really interesting series opener in the desert this evening.
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Normally I’d get right to gushing about Gallen and his stingy consistency but let’s get excited for Strider first. The 23-year-old only needed one season of minor league ball to prove he was already a Major League-quality arm, which came last year when he collectively notched a 3.64 ERA and 1.11 WHIP in 22 games (21 starts) across each level he pitched at.
Most strikingly, Strider punched out a whopping 14.6 K/9 (!) in the minors and that penchant for strikeouts has come along with him to The Show, albeit as a reliever. He enters tonight’s first career starting nod having recorded 13.68 K/9.
While his experience in the bullpen may cap how deep Strider can go into this contest, remember that he mostly served as a starter throughout last year. Plus, of his 11 games this season, seven of them were for at least two innings, including one outing where he tossed four shutout innings with eight K’s against the Brewers.
Strider is evidently ready for this opportunity and his psyche should enable the intriguing youngster to be successful, at least as far as this assignment goes. Even if he can’t cover most of the ballgame, we’ll still gladly deploy the services of a bullpen that’s posted a 3.35 ERA to rank in the top 10 in the Majors.
Ah, and then we have Gallen, who somehow continues to fly under the radar as a legit dark horse Cy Young candidate.
Oh well, something for bettors to attempt to capitalize on every time Gallen takes the hill. While the former third-round pick is coming off his first off outing of the campaign, that shouldn’t take away from the remarkable showing Gallen has had thus far. In fact, he yielded two runs or fewer in all seven of his starts prior to last Tuesday’s turn. Though it wasn’t pretty, Gallen did also continue his streak of five-plus innings since his delayed 2022 debut.
The ultimate proof of Gallen’s steadiness can be traced all the way back to his beginning days at this highest level, when he set the Major League record for most consecutive starts allowing no more than three runs to begin a career with 23. Apparently, that foreshadowed greatness.
Gallen showcased some of that greatness in his lone previous meeting opposite the Braves a season ago, and it was a beauty. The fourth-year righty strung together seven terrific shutout innings and scattered three baserunners. Something close to that gem would be valuable here.
Don’t be worried about Gallen’s last day at the office where he got hit a bit for the first time this year. If anything, that can only serve to enflame him even more in getting back to his usual groove. Strider striding in and potentially stealing the show is what will help pace quieter wood.
2022 MLB Over/Under Betting Record*: “25-21-5,” +1.05 units
Yesterday’s Result: Phillies-Mets Under 7.5 (“loss”)
*Each bet graded as if it were to win 1 unit