A Desert ‘under’ is Your MLB Pick

LT Profits Sports Group

Saturday, August 2, 2014 3:31 PM UTC

Saturday, Aug. 2, 2014 3:31 PM UTC

Each day the LT Profits Sports Group seeks out an MLB total that does not add up and offers the most value that day. Here is their Total Value Play of the Day for Saturday.


There could be a low scoring affair in the desert Saturday night between two hot starting pitchers when Vance Worley and the Pittsburgh Pirates (58-51, 24-30 away) pay a visit to fellow right-hander Chase Anderson and the Arizona Diamondbacks (48-62, 22-34 home) in the third game of a four-game weekend series from Chase Field in Phoenix, AZ at 8:15 ET in a game available on ROOT.

The posted total at Pinnacle Sports is 8½ for this contest with the current odds on the ‘under’ set at -113.

Pirates on the Move
After the Diamondbacks surprised Pittsburgh 7-4 in the series opener Thursday as +118 underdogs, it appeared they were on their way to a second straight upset Friday when they built a 4-0 lead at one point before the Pirates scored eight runs in the last two innings and came away with the 9-4 victory. With that, Pittsburgh leapfrogged St. Louis, which lost at home to the Brewers last night, into second place in the National League Central just 2½ behind Milwaukee.

Arizona has been a poor MLB pick for most of the season with a 48-62 record, but at least the Diamondbacks no longer have the worst record in the National League like they had for most of the season, as they are now 3½ games ahead of the last-place Colorado Rockies while in fourth place in the NL West. Oddly the Snakes have been decent on the road at 26-28 but they are a woeful 22-34 here at home.

Worley Has Been a Godsend
We have never very been high on Worley, not even when he went 11-3 as a rookie for the Philadelphia Phillies in 2011 as his peripheral numbers were not very good. Those peripherals remained poor the last two years, only this time his mainstream numbers converged to them and he was released by the Minnesota Twins after going 1-5 with a horrific 7.21 ERA in 10 starts last year. However, getting some extra seasoning at Triple-A has done Worley some good.

That is because Worley has looked like a different pitcher since getting called up from the minors by the Pirates on June 15th going 4-1 with a nice 2.54 ERA and 1.07 WHIP over seven starts and a good ratio of 30 strikeouts vs. eight walks. His most recent start was his best yet as he tossed a Complete Game four-hit shutout vs. the Giants in San Francisco on Monday, needing only 100 pitches exactly to finish the job.

That means that Worley now has six Quality Starts in his seven outings, and in his only non-quality start, he was still charged with a reasonable four runs. He made one start vs. the Diamondbacks in Pittsburgh this year and allowed three runs on only four hits with six strikeouts in seven innings.

Anderson with Bright Future
The rookie Anderson is showing why he was highly regarded when he was recalled on May 11th as he is 6-4 pitching for a team that is 14 games below .500 with a solid 3.34 ERA and 60 strikeouts vs. 24 walks in 67.1 innings over his first 12 Major League starts while allowing three runs or less in 10 of those efforts!

That now includes four such outings in a row after Chase held the Cincinnati Reds to one run on just three hits in seven innings in the Queen City on Monday, with the lone run allowed coming on a solo home run by Devin Mesoraco. That made Arizona 8-4 as a team in every game that Anderson has started this season, so he has almost always pitched well enough to keep his team in the game.

Anderson has basically cemented his spot in the starting rotation for this year and probably future seasons to come, and once he showed that he could not only handle pitching at the big league level but actually be successful at it, it made veteran Brandon McCarthy expendable and Arizona traded him to the Yankees.

Troubles vs. Righties
Anderson should have continued success here given that the Pirates are batting just .238 vs. right-handed pitchers on the road for the entire season while averaging 3.92 runs per nine innings against them away from Pittsburgh. The Diamondbacks have not exactly been torching right-handers either, batting a weak .218 while averaging 3.28 runs per game against them over the last 10 contests, which should help Worley’s cause.

Therefore look for a relatively low scoring game in the Phoenix desert on Saturday.

MLB Pick: Pirates, Diamondbacks ‘under’ 8½ (-113)

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