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Sunday’s MLB Over/Under Bet: Coasting with Alcantara back at full strength

Washington Nationals vs. Miami Marlins (Game 1)

Over/Under: 6

First pitch: 1:10 p.m. ET

Probable pitchers: Max Scherzer (4-3, 4.04 ERA) vs. Sandy Alcantara (2-2, 3.45 ERA)

Washington Nationals vs. Miami Marlins Predictions

Doubleheader games have proven to be quite the challenge (for me, at least) but I think I’ve got a beat on the penultimate matchup of this ultra-rare five-game set.

First off, remember, we’re working with seven innings instead of the usual nine. In other words, it’s wise to target starting pitchers who can realistically cover all that ground more times than not. This is easily the case regarding Max Scherzer.

The three-time Cy Young Award winner has made it a habit of going strong into the seventh, once again doing that in the majority of his starts this season. While Scherzer isn’t crafting one of his best campaigns — even flirting with his first finish carrying an ERA above 4.00 since 2011 — he’s still been really good for the most part. Just look no further than his 3.29 FIP, indicating he’s pitched much better than his current earned run average. He’s been saddled with awful luck, too, dealing with a just-plain-unfair .375 batting average on balls put in play.

Scherzer is still maintaining a very desirable strikeout rate, registering 12.77 K/9. If it holds up, that would be the best such mark of his decorated career. This is a favorable matchup for him as well, owning good career numbers opposite Miami. In 11 career starts at Marlins Park, Scherzer is 7-3 to go alongside a pretty 2.66 ERA and 0.92 WHIP. Just as importantly, the veteran right-hander is not one to let up in a meaningless game.

Sandy Alcantara certainly doesn’t possess similar stats against this divisional opponent like his counterpart. In fact, he’s completely on the other end of the spectrum with a 7.66 ERA and losses in all five of his dates opposing the Nats.

But that simply won’t continue. One, this is a bit of a different lineup from the ones Alcantara has faced previously, and he also appears to be in a real groove of his most recent work is any suggestive sign.

I think it is, as Alcantara has notched a trio of consecutive quality starts after a suspect return to the mound following his experience with COVID that sidelined him for weeks. Additionally, being in the daytime, I like this spot for Alcantara to come through here. Since first coming up a few years ago, the former St. Louis Cardinal farmhand holds an afternoon ERA (2.92) that is considerably lower than what he’s manufactured at night (4.20). Look for Alcantara to keep being game.

Bet: UNDER 6 (-119)

MLB Leans - September 20

ATL/NYM Over 9.5

STL/PIT Under 8

MIN/CHC Under 7.5

2020 MLB Over/Under Betting Record*: 16-37-4, -26.01 units

Yesterday’s Result: Royals-Brewers Under 8 (WIN)

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


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