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Matt Zylbert breaks down Thursday's Detroit Tigers vs. Kansas City Royals game

Detroit Tigers vs. Kansas City Royals

Over/Under: 9.5

First pitch: 8:05 p.m. ET


Probable pitchers: Michael Fulmer (0-2, 8.17 ERA) vs. Kris Bubic (1-6, 3.97 ERA)

Detroit Tigers vs. Kansas City Royals Predictions

Do not be fooled by that paltry 1-6 record currently held by Kris Bubic. The rookie southpaw has looked far better than that.

Considering Bubic only allowed two earned runs or fewer in all but one of those six losses, there’s evidently far more than meets the eye regarding the 2018 first-round draft choice. He’s actually been good and based on his most recent work, Bubic figures to close out his successful freshman campaign in style.

Through his last four starts, Bubic quilted a 1.99 ERA while racking up 25 Ks across 22.2 innings, a sign he’s really settled in nicely at the big-league level. His last turn in the rotation saw the 23-year-old limit the Milwaukee Brewers to one total hit (and an unearned run) in five-plus frames.

Aside from my feeling that Bubic will end the season strong, I like the matchup for his final 2020 assignment even though Detroit hits lefties well. Overall, the Tigers sport a not-so-intimidating lineup right now and one that Bubic can keep at bay.

Doing so would give us plenty of room to work with for an over/under of 9.5. Bubic has done that quite plenty, as unders have gone 8-1 in his nine starts. The lack of run support the Royals typically provide for Bubic combined with his solid rhythm on the mound is the main force of that mark.

But will Kansas City’s inability to hit for Bubic continue one more time in the last start? Despite the alarming 8.17 ERA that Michael Fulmer is saddled with, I’m still a believer in the right-hander’s talents. The former Rookie of the Year not only returned from Tommy John this year but he was also inserted in an unfamiliar role.

That would be the task of serving as an “opener” and eating up the first three innings of the ballgame he starts. Fulmer’s been pretty up-and-down but after perhaps his most impressive outing in which he scattered a season-low two baserunners (a hit and a walk apiece) and kept the Cleveland Indians for his third of the contest, I’m good with him shooting for another sharp showing to end the year.

Additionally, I love how Tyler Alexander — who I was a big fan of last year as a rookie — is in line to follow up Fulmer and take on the next handful of innings. Not only is Alexander underrated, he’s also proven effective in this role thus far. Though he throws a few ticks slower than Fulmer, being a left-hander makes it work.

This pairing of Fulmer and Alexander has caught my attention and I will attempt to profit off the pair in their final tag-team match. What better way to do it than opposite a very consistent unders pitcher.

Bet: UNDER 9.5 (-119)

MLB Leans - September 24

NYY/TOR Under 9.5

MIL/STL Under 7.5

2020 MLB Over/Under Betting Record*: “18-39-4,” -26.45 units

Yesterday’s Result: White Sox-Indians Under 7 (WIN)

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


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