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 Tuesday.
Following a 1-0 game last night, do not expect a sudden rise in run production Tuesday night when Michael Pineda and the New York Yankees (76-73, 38-38 away) pay a visit to fellow right-hander Jake Odorizzi and the Tampa Bay Rays (73-78, 34-42 home) in the second game of a three-game series from Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, FL at 7:10 ET in a game available on Sun Sports.
The posted total at Pinnacle Sports is 6½ for this contest with the current odds on the ‘under’ set at a positive +107.
Playoff Hopes on Life Support
It was the Rays that took the series opener 1-0 last night here at “The Trop”, and that means that the playoff chances of the Yankees are just about dead. Remember that the Yanks had just lost three out of four to the first place Baltimore Orioles, and the loss last night officially eliminated them from the American League East title race and dropped New York a full six games behind the Kansas City Royals for the second and last wild card spot.
The Rays never quite lived up to their preseason billing when they were popular MLB picks to win the division as they were done in by a horrific start that at one point had them 18 games under .500. They did make a tremendous comeback and actually got back to the .500 mark when they beat these Yankees here in Tampa on August 15th. However that run apparently took a lot out of them and they have again dropped back.
Worst Start of the Year
Pineda has been limited to 10 starts in his first season as a Yankee due to a combination of being suspended for doctoring the ball with the rosin bag and a stint in the Disabled List with a back injury. However, he had been great for the most part when he did make it to the mound allowing two runs or less in each of his first nine starts. That is until he faced these Rays last Thursday at Yankees Stadium and had his first bad start of the year.
Pineda allowed four runs on 10 hits in 7.1 innings in an outing where he was forced to go longer than he probably should have after the Yankee bullpen had incredibly worked 8.2 innings the previous night. Given that context, Pineda actually did a yeoman’s job with those 7.1 innings being a season high, and although he was not spectacular, he did at least keep the Yankees in a game that they rallied to win 5-4 on Chris Young’s walk-off three run homer in the ninth.
We expect Pineda to pitch as well as he did in his first nine starts facing the Rays again for the second straight start, especially that he now knows that he will not be asked to work beyond his normal means this time around. After all, he still has a stellar 2.20 ERA and 0.91 WHIP with 36 strikeouts vs. just four walks in 57.1 innings on the year.
Lack of Offense is to Blame
Odorizzi comes off of a shelling by these Yankees last Wednesday when they reached him for six earned runs on five hits plus three walks in 4.1 innings. He had tossed 14.1 scoreless innings in his previous two starts however and had allowed three runs or less on five of his prior six starts including one other scoreless outing, so we expect a nice bounce-back start from him too, especially now getting the Yankees at home where he has a 2.69 ERA and 1.05 WHIP.
And the Yankees are unlikely to match that offensive outburst vs. Odorizzi this time as they have been too few and far between this year, especially with a plethora of offensive injuries. In fact, this lack of offense probably cost the Yankees any chance at a playoff spot, and beginning with that dooming four-game series in Baltimore, New York is batting .175 overall while scoring a total of six runs in those last five games.
Also helping Odorizzi’s cause are the facts that the Yankees are dead last in the American League with their 577 runs scored this year and New York has now been shut out four times in the last 11 games.
Lots of ‘under’ Tendencies
And for all of you trend-lovers, there are plenty of them pointing to the ‘under’ in this contest. The ‘under’ is now 7-2-2 in the last 11 head-to-head meetings following last night’s result, as well as 18-7-1 in the Yankees’ last 26 road games and 17-6-2 in the Rays’ last 25 games as favorites.
Given what we expect from the two starting pitchers tonight, look for those ‘under’ patterns to continue in St. Petersburg on Tuesday.
MLB Pick: Yankees, Rays ‘under’ 6½ (+107)