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 Sunday.
After a couple of low-scoring affairs between these teams the last two days, look for more of the same and another ‘under’ on Sunday when Mike Fiers and the Houston Astros (61-51, 23-33 away) pay a visit to fellow right-hander Chris Bassitt and the Oakland Athletics (50-62, 26-34 home) in the final game of a four-game series from O.co Coliseum in Oakland, CA at 4:05 ET in a game available on ROOT.
The posted total at Pinnacle Sports is 7½ for this contest with the current odds on the ‘under’ set at -110.
Cinderella Fading Away?
The Astros have been one of the most pleasant surprises in baseball while leading the American League West for much of this year, but they have now lost five of their last six games with the lone win coming Thursday 5-4 in the first game of this four-game series. Houston’s lead over the second place Los Angeles Angels is now down to 1½ games, and it is not a given that whoever finishes in second place in the division will even get a wild card berth.
The pressure may be getting to the Astros as they were the losing MLB picks to these last place Athletics the last two days in a couple of low scoring games by scores of 3-1 and 2-1 respectively. Oakland will have its string of consecutive playoff appearances snapped after three straight years, but at least the A’s have continued to show some fight in this spoiler role.
Bassitt Deserves Better
Bassitt is now 2-5 in his brief Major League career since being called up last season including 1-4 this year, but he deserves a much better fate as after getting hit hard in his Major League debut, he has now allowed three runs or less in 10 straight starts at the big league level including all six starts this season, leading to a 2.64 ERA and 1.09 WHIP in 2014 despite the 1-4 mark! He did finally get that win last time out tossing seven scoreless innings vs. Baltimore.
Bassitt has a nice ratio of 34 strikeouts vs. 14 walks and he is making his first career start vs. the Astros, which could make him even tougher to hit. And he could be catching the Houston lineup at the right time as the Astros are batting only .232 overall the last 10 games, and that are only batting .236 overall on the road over the entire season. The Astros have scored three runs or less on all four games that they have lost in their last five games.
Fiers is making his first American League start for Houston after spending his career with the Milwaukee Brewers of the National League before being traded at the trading deadline. Fiers was 5-9 for Milwaukee this year, but that is very deceptive as he had a 3.89 ERA and most Sabremetricians have regarded Fiers as underrated since he first came to the Major Leagues.
That is because Fiers has always been a big strikeout guy that maintains a good enough ratio, and that continued this year for the Brewers as he had 121 strikeouts in 118 innings vs. 43 walks, and he even pitched in some bad luck in allowing a .320 BABIP, so his ERA could have been even better.
Like Bassitt, this will be Fiers’ first ever start vs. his opponent today in Oakland, which would be a tough task for most teams, and he makes his first American League start vs. struggling Athletics’ offense batting .181 and averaging just 2.86 runs vs. right-handed pitchers over the last 10 games.
Finally, O.co Coliseum in Oakland is one of the most pitcher-friendly stadiums in baseball and that has continued this season with the ‘under’ going 18-7-3 in the last 28 games here. Also, the venue has not really mattered for the Athletics lately with the ‘under’ going 10-4 in their last 14 games overall. The ‘under’ is also 12-3-1 in the last 16 Houston road games.
Given the latest results in this series, we really see no reason why today should be any different so go ‘under’ once again when Houston visits Oakland for the series finale Sunday.
MLB Pick: Astros, Athletics ‘under’ 7½ (-110)