On Tuesday, we dissected Cleveland Indians pitcher Shane Bieber and why the 23-year-old has been performing so well on the road. Today, we're covering the Houston Astros' Wade Miley, a more established arm who's also flying somewhat under the radar heading into Wednesday's clash against the Oakland Athletics.
Line: Astros -101 / Athletics -109
First-five line: Astros +100 / Athletics -120
Total: 9 (Over +105 / Under -125)
Time: 10:05 p.m. ET
Miley's been around the block. He's pitched for six total teams since debuting in 2011. It wasn't surprising to see the Astros to buy low on a veteran pitcher this past winter; they did the same in 2017 with Charlie Morton, who turned in his two best individual seasons with Houston after a peaks-and-valleys career.
Except Miley wasn't exactly a reclamation project for the Astros.
The 32-year-old is neither an inning-eater nor a strikeout artist, but he gets the job done and earned a deal with an AL contender following a surprising 2018 season in which he posted a 2.57 ERA and 1.5 WAR. In fact, coming into Wednesday's start against the Athletics, the southpaw has not given up more than three earned runs in any of his previous 14 starts - a streak that goes back all the way to the start of the 2018 campaign.
|Opponent||IP||H||ER||First 5 W/L|
So, what's the point of all this? Sure, Miley deserves some credit for a veteran pitcher who doesn't put up flashy stats, but the gist is that one of the more unheralded starting pitchers in the game isn't getting bettors' attention.
Over this streak, Miley is 11-3 on the first-five bet - one that takes only the first five innings of a baseball game into account - and has been able to neutralize just about every lineup he's faced since the run started. First-five bets are valuable, giving bettors a chance to take out most of the noise created by bullpens and bench players.
A 32-year-old journeyman with a career K/9 rate of 7.1 wouldn't figure to be someone you'd be rushing to bet on, but here we are. And with the Astros' offense averaging 6.5 runs per game over the previous nine following a slow start to the season, it might just be the perfect storm for yet another first-five winner.
Alex Kolodziej is theScore's betting writer. He's a graduate of Eastern Illinois who has been involved in the sports betting industry for 11 years. He can quote every line from "Rounders" and appreciates franchises that regularly wear alternate jerseys. Find him on Twitter @AlexKoIodziej.