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Matt Zylbert gives us his play on the total for Kansas City Royals vs. Minnesota Twins on Friday

MLB Picks

Kansas City Royals at Minnesota Twins

Over/Under: 8

First pitch: 8:10 p.m. ET

Probable pitchers: Brady Singer (1-2, 2.95 ERA) vs. Michael Pineda (1-1, 2.42 ERA)

Kansas City Royals vs. Minnesota Twins Picks

How about this recent uprising by Singer? Now everyone is seeing why the former Florida Gator was a first-round draft pick.

When I projected the Royals as my breakout sleeper team entering the campaign, Singer had something to do with that. He impressed last year in his first taste of big-league action — this only three years after being drafted — as the 24-year-old etched a respectable 4.06 ERA and 1.17 WHIP across 12 assignments. Most impressively, Singer held opponents to a .220 batting average.

So far this season, that mark has dipped even further down to .210. Since a troubling first outing, Singer has looked real sharp, yielding only two earned runs in his last three turns. He also notched a 20-3 K/BB ratio along those 18 innings.

There’s a lot to gush about regarding Singer right now and I’ll happily attempt to bank on him for his next trip to the hill. It also helps he draws a quality counterpart.

That would be Pineda, the long-underrated pitcher who just continues to churn out useful work. He didn’t enjoy a usual successful performance his last time against the Pittsburgh Pirates but I’d label that as more fluky than anything else considering how Pineda was looking prior.

In his first three starts of 2021, Pineda went at least five strong while allowing two or fewer runs in all. Furthermore, his strikeout rate (8.87 K/9) is the highest it’s been in five years, lending more evidence that Pineda can be trusted this evening.

For years, I’ve been calling Pineda one of the most underrated pitchers in baseball. Unfortunately, injuries have played a large role in his career and when healthy, Pineda has dealt with major bad luck in the form of an unusually high batting average on balls put in play against him that have held the right-hander back from accomplishing much, much bigger things.

Kansas City, meanwhile, has played favorably toward unders, having an 8-3-1 record for such bets in their last 12 games. Singer and Pineda can add another tally.

Pick: UNDER 8 (-113)

Friday's MLB Leans

Cardinals-Pirates Under 7.5

Mets-Phillies Over 8

Dodgers-Brewers Under 8 (if Jimmy Nelson starts)

Rockies-Diamondbacks Under 8.5

2021 MLB Over/Under Betting Record*: 14-12-2, +0.58 unit

Yesterday’s Result: Phillies-Cardinals Under 7 (“Push”)

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


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