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Matt Zylbert is back to give us his pick for Sunday

Minnesota Twins vs. Milwaukee Brewers

Minnesota Twins at Milwaukee Brewers

Over/Under: 8

First pitch: 2:10 p.m. ET

Probable pitchers: Michael Pineda (0-0, -.-- ERA) vs. Adrian Houser (0-0, -.-- ERA)

Minnesota Twins vs. Milwaukee Brewers Predictions

Just shy of his official 10-year anniversary in the big leagues (April 5, 2011), Pineda gets the ball in this series finale looking to pick up from where he left off a year ago.

Pineda was on the sidelines for the majority of the campaign due to a 60-game PEDs suspension but when he returned, it was like he never left. The 6-foot-7, 280-pound behemoth racked up five starts en route to punching an impressive 3.38 ERA across 26.2 innings.

This even despite dealing with an unlucky .321 batting average on balls put in play against him, which has been a real fluky trend for Pineda. In four of his last five seasons, that mark has sat comfortably above .300 — and the one time it didn’t two years ago was still .292. I don’t see that continuing for the veteran.

Most notable from his 2020 showcase was that Pineda didn’t give up a single homer. This has been a real bugaboo during the latter half of his career, as illustrated by his consistently low xFIP tallies relative to his ERA. The new baseballs being used can also factor into Pineda keeping the taters to a minimum.

While I feel we can trust Pineda to do his part in what could be considered an emotional outing (he’s aware of 10-year anniversary date), what about Hauser in his first start following up a down season?

Well first of all, as already emphasized, I think many can be excused for any off showing in 2020, given that it was clouded by the pandemic and introduced a whole smorgasbord of many different conditions.

Thus, let’s call upon the Houser of two years ago when he succeeded in his first season as a starter (at least for most of that year), registering a 3.72 ERA in his 111.1 innings. His K rate was good as well, striking out more than a batter per inning.

Houser’s role, at least for his first start on the slate, is to provide a handful of quality innings and pave the way for a terrific bullpen. Coming off his best outing of spring training, Houser should be game.

Pick: UNDER 8 @ -110

Sunday's MLB Leans

Orioles-Red Sox Over 9.5

Dodgers-Rockies Under 11.5

Diamondbacks-Padres Under 9

2021 MLB Over/Under Betting Record*: 2-1, +0.8 unit

Yesterday’s Result: Rangers-Royals Under 9.5 (loss)

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


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