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MLB handicapper Matt Zylbert is back, breaking down his Seattle Mariners vs. Tampa Bay Rays

Seattle Mariners vs. Tampa Bay Rays Prediction & Over/Under Bet

Wednesday’s MLB Over/Under Bet: Fleming flourishing in starting role

Seattle Mariners vs. Tampa Bay Rays Prediction

Over/Under: 8

First pitch: 1:10 p.m. ET

Probable pitchers: Logan Gilbert (5-2 4.04 ERA) vs. Josh Fleming (8-5, 4.15 ERA)

Throughout the first half of the campaign, Fleming was being used in multiple roles.

First he began the season as a starter. Then the Rays mixed the way they deployed the 25-year-old, using him often as the “primary pitcher” following an opener to take the middle part of a game.

Now, Fleming is seemingly entrenched in the rotation, having been given the nod for three consecutive assignments for the first time this season. Today will mark his fourth straight and that’s significant for any young pitcher that prefers starting, which he’s on record of declaring such.

The second-year left-hander has been good in either role, carrying a respectable 4.15 ERA into this contest. What’s striking to me, though, is that this will be an outing at The Trop for Fleming, something that can be indicative of how he performs based on distinct home-and-road splits.

In 10 games (four starts) at home, Fleming holds an ERA (2.23) that is nearly one third of what it is when he pitches on the road (6.39). He’s also yielded just two homers across 44.1 innings at Tropicana Field compared to eight taters allowed in 38 innings pitched away from Tampa Bay.

Making matters more encouraging for the lefty is that this will be a date with maybe the worst offense in baseball opposite southpaws the last two years. In 2020, Seattle lagged to the lowest batting average in the Majors against left-handed pitching, registering a putrid .190 mark. This season that numbers sits 30 points higher at .220 but they still rank dead last.

Meanwhile, we will also be looking toward the rock-steady Gilbert, who continues to impress through his freshman campaign.

After 13 starts, Gilbert sports a 4.04 ERA and 1.06 WHIP while notably limiting opponents to a minimal .223/.282/.378 slash line. However, the most glaring item of Gilbert’s quick rise is that he’s maintaining his high strikeout numbers from the minor leagues. Thus far into his MLB journey, he’s punching out 10.54 K/9.

Taming the Rays is obviously not an easy task, let alone for any rookie, but the excellent stuff put on display by Gilbert so far in his outings would seem to have him well-equipped for any challenge. As a result, I’m putting my trust in the rookie.

Pick: UNDER 8 (-110)


Padres-Athletics Under 8

Angels-Rangers Under 8

Giants-Diamondbacks Under 9

2021 MLB Over/Under Betting Record*: “57-50-8”, +0.73 unit

Yesterday’s Result: Twins-Reds Under 9 (“loss”)

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


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