Each day during the MLB Playoffs, LT Profits seek out a total that does not add up and offers the most value that day. Here is their Playoff Total Value Play of the Day for Sunday.
Look for runs to come early Sunday, thus keying an early ‘over’ when right-hander Bud Norris and the Baltimore Orioles (98-66, 46-35 away) pay a visit to southpaw David Price and the Detroit Tigers (90-74, 45-36 home) in Game 3 of their ALDS series from Comerica Park in Detroit, MI at 3:45 ET in a game televised nationally on TBS, with the Orioles having a chance to sweep the series leading 2-0.
The posted 5-inning total at Pinnacle Sports is 3½ for this contest with the current odds on the ‘over’ set at -118.
On Verge of Sweep
The Orioles are already on the verge of advancing to the ALCS after taking advantage of the terrible Detroit bullpen late in each of the first two games, taking those contests in this three-of-five series by scores of 12-3 and 7-6 against Max Scherzer and Justin Verlander. Things do not get any easier today vs. Price, but at least Baltimore has a series stranglehold where it only needs to win one of the next three games to advance.
The Tigers were actually the MLB pick favorite to win this series before it began despite the Orioles having home field advantage, partly because the odds could have been skewed by Detroit being the favorite to win the American League pennant before the season and partly because of their superior starting rotation. However, the good work of Scherzer and Verlander was outdone by a bullpen that has been the Tigers’ Achilles Heel for several years.
Norris Gets the Nod
Shortly after the Orioles took Game 2, they announced Norris as the starter in this game despite him being considered the team’s fourth starter, opting to save their better starters for the next two games if necessary. And with that in mind, we fully expect the Tigers to win this game as we actually feel that Price is the team’s real ace as his numbers over the entire year are better than those of Scherzer and especially Verlander.
However, we are now willing to lay these big odds on the Tigers’ money line, and we think that the five-inning ‘over’ is the best option for this game. That is because we see the most runs being scored in this contest while Norris is in the game because, besides being a back of the rotation starter, he was awful in his two starts vs. the Tigers during the regular season, allowing a total of nine earned runs on 14 hits plus two walks in only 12.2 innings!
We prefer the five-inning ‘over’ to the full-game though because the Orioles do have an excellent bullpen and the Tigers figure to extend Price for as long as they can to avoid dipping into their bullpen if at all possible.
Turn to Ace to Save Season
In fact, do not be surprised if Detroit asks Price to pitch a Complete Game here, which he is certainly capable of doing. After all, all he did for the Rays and Tigers combined this season was go 15-12 with a 3.26 ERA and one of the best strikeout-to-walk ratios in the Major Leagues, as his 271 strikeouts in 248.1 innings equated to 9.82 per nine innings while his 38 walks translated to just 1.38 walks per nine.
With that said, he is facing a hot Baltimore offense that is capable of scratching out a few runs against him to help this five-inning ‘over’ along after pounding out 21 hits in the first two games of this series, and remember that the Orioles did lead the Major Leagues with their 211 home runs during the regular season.
Price Not Great vs. O’s Lately
Finally, Price has had more trouble with Baltimore than with most of the other teams in the league as he has an uncharacteristic 5.14 ERA and 1.90 WHIP in his last four starts against the Orioles since last season while allowing 36 hits in 21 innings.
With all of this in mind, we recommend a play on the five-inning ‘over’ from Detroit in ALDS Game 3 on Sunday.
MLB Pick: Orioles, Tigers ‘over’ 3½ (-118) (5 innings)