First pitch: 9:40 p.m. ET
Probable pitchers: Caleb Smith (0-0, 3.00 ERA) vs. Dylan Bundy (5-2, 2.48 ERA)
If not for Shane Bieber (and maybe if the Angels were in contention), LA’s Dylan Bundy would be making loud noise in the American League Cy Young Award race.
The former No. 4 overall draft pick has blossomed in his first campaign as a Halo, this finally years after flashing notable potential on-and-off during his four seasons as a Baltimore Oriole. It goes well beyond his 5-2 record and 2.48 ERA, too.
Bundy ranks fourth amongst his AL contemporaries in both strikeout rate (10.4 K/9) and WHIP (0.90), and he’s also one of just 10 starting pitchers in baseball to be cinching hitters below the Mendoza Line, with a .190 batting average against.
This is the real Dylan Bundy and a type of dominant form he’s capable of sustaining throughout his tenure as an Angel in the foreseeable future, let alone these last few assignments of 2020. Making this more appealing is the opponent, as Bundy draws a D-backs team that has dropped 12 of 16 games while sporting one of the lesser intimidating lineups in the league.
Just look at some of the names being inserted into the Arizona batting order and getting regular playing time: Pavin Smith, Daulton Varsho, Josh Rojas, Tim Locastro, Josh VanMeter, Wyatt Mathisen. I mean, let’s be real. Those are simply dead bats.
Meanwhile, Caleb Smith won’t have the luxury of taking on a light-hitting lineup. But he’s still someone that can do the job opposite a guy like Bundy in a high under.
As dangerous as a Mike Trout-led lineup can be, this is one that is also sluggish opposite left-handed pitching. Smith isn’t just any regular southpaw either, being a probable All-Star last year had it not been for an injury prior to the break. With his new team now and back from COVID-19, Smith seems poised to rise once again.
It’s understandable if you don’t remember the masterpiece of a season Smith was crafting prior to the 2019 Midsummer Classic. Actually, his first-half performance could be compared to what his counterpart this evening is doing now.
The fourth-year lefty was the proud owner of a 1.01 WHIP and .201 BAA, both marks rankling him in the upper echelon of the National League at that point. Additionally, he also compiled one of the highest K rates (11.9 K/9) in the Majors.
Smith is a quality pitcher and appears to be returning to his normal rhythm based on his first start with the Diamondbacks last week. True, he was only limited to three innings but Smith did look sharp. He’ll also be given a higher pitch count after missing time due to the coronavirus.
Bet: UNDER 9 (-112)
MLB Leans - September 16
PIT/CIN Under 8
NYM/PHI Under 7.5
TEX/HOU Over 8.5
CLE/CHC Under 8.5
2020 MLB Over/Under Betting Record*: 14-35-4, -25.74 units
Yesterday’s Result: Rangers-Astros Under 9 (WIN)
*Each bet graded as if it were to win 1 unit