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Do you need to close the week out with a winner? Matt Zylbert brings us his daily MLB pick

MLB Prediction & Picks

Miami Marlins at Pittsburgh Pirates

Over/Under: 8

First pitch: 7:05 p.m. ET

Probable pitchers: Cody Poteet (2-1, 2.95 ERA) vs. Mitch Keller (3-6, 6.54 ERA)

Marlins vs. Pirates Prediction

South Beach is suddenly becoming known as a haven for churning stellar starting pitching out of the woodwork on a dime. The latest emerging sensation is Poteet.

Entering career start No. 5, the former fourth-round draft pick is holding up well in his first taste of Major League action despite a rough outing last time out at Boston. In his prior three assignments, Poteet allowed only two runs total across 17 innings, or good for a brilliant 1.06 ERA.

We’ll consider that more in line with what the right-hander is capable of and issue a mulligan for that performance against the Red Sox, who are a tough road out for any pitcher, let alone a youngster just starting.

That was also Poteet’s first experience with American League rules. Here, he’s back under National League conditions, which is always helpful to have the opposing pitcher in the lineup. Though Pittsburgh’s offense is improving with the return of rookie sensation Ke’Bryan Hayes, Poteet’s exhibited enough that leads me to believe he can keep thriving.

The UCLA product uncorks a solid four-pitch mix that consists of increased usage on his effective changeup. He also throws in the mid-90’s with an ability to touch 97.

But no matter what, this bet is likely going to boil down to the Jekyll-and-Hyde tendencies of the other probable starter.

That would be Keller, who has to be considered one of the most polarizing pitchers in the league right now. Sometimes there are those flashes of greatness that could have the 25-year-old positioned as a top-of-the-rotation arm for years to come. However, there are also other instances where Keller looks like he’ll be a future castoff sooner than later.

It’s quite remarkable, actually. In his last nine starts, Keller has literally alternated good and bad games, where he’ll yield two or fewer runs in one outing, only to see the third-year Pirate get tagged for at least four runs the next. Nine starts now!

Uh oh, Keller is coming off one of those strong showings in his most recent turn, when he blanked the Colorado Rockies for five innings, scattered only four baserunners and punched out six batters.

Do not be alarmed. This streak will end. Instead, Keller continues here on his proper ascension of being a quality pitcher at this level. Poteet does the rest.

MLB Picks

Pick: UNDER 8 (-110)

MLB Leans

Diamondbacks-Brewers Under 8.5

Reds-Cardinals Under 8.5

Mets-Padres Under 7.5

2021 MLB Over/Under Betting Record*: “32-27-3,” +1.36 units

Yesterday’s Result: Rangers-Rockies Under 10.5 (loss)

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


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