Each day the LT Profits Sports Group seeks out a total that simply does not add up and therefore offers the most value that day. Here is their Total Value Play of the Day for Monday.
Despite one of the best pitchers in baseball taking on one of the hottest Monday night, the ‘over’ could still have value when right-hander Matt Shoemaker and the Los Angeles Angels (59-51, 23-28 away) pay a visit to southpaw Chris Sale and the Chicago White Sox (51-58, 26-26 home) in the first game of a three-game series from U.S. Cellular Field in Chicago, IL at 8:10 ET in a game available on Comcast SportsNet - Chicago.
The posted total at Pinnacle Sports is 7 for this contest with the current odds on the ‘over’ set at -108.
Chasing Astros in AL West
The Angels are chasing the young upstart Houston Astros in the American League West, and the combination of the Angels beating the Baltimore Orioles Sunday and the Astros losing to the Oakland A’s for the third straight time leaves the Halos just one-half game back. Los Angeles is also currently three games clear of those Orioles for the second wild card spot.
The White Sox may not have improved this year as much as some experts predicted, as they are seven games under .500 while in fourth place in the American League Central, 14½ games behind the first place Kansas City Royals after getting swept three games in Kansas City over the weekend. However they have still been better MLB picks than last season when they finished 73-89.
Not Smooth Sale-ing
Sale has been one of the best pitchers in the Major Leagues for several years now, but there may be something wrong with the ace southpaw as he has been horrible over his last two starts, first allowing seven earned runs on a career-high 12 hits in just five innings vs. the Boston Red Sox and then allowing an identical seven earned runs in 5.1 innings vs. the Tampa Bay Rays last Tuesday.
It is a testament to Sale’s greatness before that that he still owns a 3.52 ERA and 1.08 WHIP following those two monstrosities and his great ratio of 186 strikeouts vs. 28 walks in 143 innings have helped lead to a 2.51 FIP, 2.49 xFIP and 4.6 WAR that ranks fourth in the majors.
Still, those last two efforts are a cause for concern facing a team still fighting for a division title, and Sale was not all that great the last time he faced the Angels either allowing five runs (four earned) on seven hits in seven innings.
Can Shoemaker Stay Hot?
Meanwhile, it is Shoemaker that has done his best impersonation of, well, Chris Sale over his last three starts, tossing 19 scoreless innings while allowing just 10 hits with 27 strikeouts vs. six walks! Shoemaker had been a disappointment this year though prior to that following his great rookie season last year, and even his unconscious form in those last three starts leaves him only at 5-7 with a 4.01 ERA for the year.
Frankly, Shoemaker outperformed his peripherals while going 16-4 with a 3.04 ERA as a rookie, and he regressed to his normal level to begin this season in relation to his sabremetric numbers. Thus his insane form over the last three starts could be seen as the aberration and it is entirely possible he should start to return to the mediocre pitcher he had been all year, especially since he allowed four runs on nine hits in only five innings his only start vs. the White Sox.
Trending the ‘over’
Finally, the ‘over’ is now 16-5 in the White Sox last 21 games overall as well as 8-0 in their last eight games following a loss. Additionally the ‘over’ is 11-4 in the Angels’ last 15 road games.
Look for those ‘over’ patterns to continue for at least one more game when the Los Angeles Angels visit the Chicago White Sox on Monday.
MLB Pick: Angels, White Sox ‘over’ 7 (-108)