Arizona Diamondbacks at Cincinnati Reds
First pitch: 6:40 p.m. ET
Probable pitchers: Zac Gallen (0-0, 2.25 ERA) vs. Luis Castillo (1-1, 7.04 ERA)
Wow, the linesmakers were sure quick to pull the rug out on those looking to grab the total of this series opener at 8. It didn’t even survive until midnight of game day.
Despite this unfortunate turn of events, I’m still rolling with the under. The books being so fast to change course only adds to the thought process in believing that this pitching matchup will indeed deliver.
Castillo obviously will not continue pitching to the tune of an ugly 7.04 ERA. That number is only skewed so high because of an awful Opening Day outing.
What was most alarming about Castillo’s performance that afternoon is that the fifth-year right-hander — a noted strikeout artist — didn’t even record a K.
However, Castillo bounced back right away in completely shutting down the Pittsburgh Pirates his next turn in the rotation with seven shutout innings and five punch-outs to only one free pass.
Though the 28-year-old was tagged for four runs in five innings during his most recent assignment, Castillo still looked sharp with no walks and seven strikeouts.
He was just bit by the long ball, something that is more fluke-ish when it involves Castillo considering he generally keeps the ball in the yard. This regular tendency is a big part of how he was able to construct a 3.35 ERA the prior two years.
Matched up against the right opponent — like the Pirates two weeks ago — Castillo can dice them up. The Diamondbacks minus their best hitter, Ketel Marte (hamstring), clock in as such a candidate.
Plus, this will be the preferred setting for Cincinnati’s staff ace. Based on his home-and-road splits, Castillo has typically pitched better throughout his career (3.31 ERA, 1.04 WHIP) in front of the home fans— despite Great American Ball Park’s hitter-friendlier conditions — compared to road assignments (4.21 ERA, 1.34 WHIP).
Limiting the lineup that backs Castillo is arguably the biggest challenge in this affair. Given the starter opposing them, though, that just might be accomplished.
If there’s any hurler that should be recruited for a low-scoring outcome, Gallen is our man. After all, since debuting a couple of years ago, the former Miami Marlin has made 28 starts and seen the under register a ridiculous 19-7-2 record.
A lot of that is related to Gallen’s emergence. Remember (just as I was hyping up at the beginning of last season), the 25-year-old shattered the Major League record for most consecutive starts beginning one’s career allowing three runs or fewer with 24 — the previous mark was Steve Rogers with 18 straight.
Gallen’s 2021 season debut didn’t occur until just a week ago after a quick stay on the injured list, but against a tough Oakland Athletics offense, he showcased the usual like he was never gone. Gallen was in his groove, yielding only one run on three hits across four sharp innings while etching eight strikeouts. He had a pitch count of around 80 and we can expect a significantly longer leash this time around.
MLB Expert Picks
UNDER 7.5 @ -110 (Click to bet)
MLB Free Picks
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Tuesday's MLB Leans
Braves-Yankees Over 8.5
Cardinals-Nationals Over 9.5
Mets-Cubs Under 7.5
Brewers-Padres Under 7
2021 MLB Over/Under Betting Record*: 10-9, -0.07 unit
Yesterday’s Result: Brewers-Padres Under 7 (WIN)
*Each bet graded as if it were to win 1 unit