Athletics, Angels to go ‘under’ Total is Your MLB Pick

LT Profits Sports Group

Monday, April 20, 2015 4:38 PM UTC

Monday, Apr. 20, 2015 4:38 PM UTC

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.


There could be a low scoring game near Hollywood Monday night when rookie Kendall Graveman and the Oakland Athletics (6-7, 3-3 away) pay a visit to fellow right-hander Matt Shoemaker and the Los Angeles Angels (5-7, 0-3 home) in the first game of a four-game series from Angel Stadium in Anaheim, CA at 10:05 ET in a game available on FOX Sports - West.

The posted total at Pinnacle Sports is 7½ for this contest with the current odds on the ‘under’ set at -105.

Both Teams off to Disappointing Starts
It is a bit surprising that these two playoff teams from last season are both off to disappointing starts this young season. The Angels won the American League West Division last year at 98-64, but they fell to two games under .500 this season at 5-7 by losing two out of three games to the Astros in Houston this past weekend, dropping the final two contests are winning the series opener. The Angels are also still winless at 0-3 here at home in Anaheim.

The Athletics earned a wild card spot after finishing second behind the Angels last year, and they could have prevented the subsequent Cinderella run of the Kansas City Royals if not for blowing several leads while being the losing MLB pick in the American League Wild Card Playoff Game. Oakland does not look like a playoff contender yet this season at one game under .500 at 6-7 after losing two out of three to those same Royals in Kansas City over the weekend.

Not Fluky After All?
The Angels’ starter Shoemaker came out of nowhere last season to go 16-4 with a 3.04 ERA, 1.07 WHIP and a tremendous ratio of 124 strikeouts vs. 24 walks in 136 innings. Lest you think that season was a fluke however, Shoemaker has kept his skeptics quiet for the most part with a 2-0 start this year, although he has allowed three earned runs in each start for a mediocre 4.38 ERA in the early going.

However, the command has been there once again in the early going with 12 strikeouts vs. just one walk in 12.1 innings, rendering the ERA meaningless at this early stage, and he has yet to allow a run in 7.1 career innings vs. the Athletics (one start) allowing just five hits with eight strikeouts and not a single walk. Going back to last season, the Angles have won 10 straight starts that Shoemaker has made with him personally going 9-0 with a 1.92 ERA in those starts.

Improved Second Start in Majors
The rookie Graveman is a converted reliever who had 4.2 innings of experience in the Major Leagues over five appearance with the Toronto Blue Jays last season, over which he allowed two runs on four hits with four strikeouts and not a single walk. Unfortunately, his numbers over his first two Major League starts with the Athletics are not good, as he is 1-1 with an ugly 7.27 ERA and 1.85 WHIP.

That is very deceptive however as he was only lit up in his first start in the majors when the Texas Rangers reached him for eight runs (seven earned) on seven hits plus one walk in only 3.1 innings.

He was then much better in his second start tossing 5.1 scoreless innings and allowing four hits in Houston last Tuesday to earn his first win in the big leagues, so the youngster that is less than two years removed from being taken in the 2013 MLB Draft appears to be progressing nicely. And he now gets to face a slumping Angels’ lineup that is batting just .215 vs. right-handed pitchers this year through the first 12 games.

Series has Trended ‘under’ in Anaheim
These teams are very familiar with each other as division mates in the AL West and they have tended to go ‘under’ when playing at Angel Stadium as the ‘under’ is 27-11-3 in the last 41 head-to-head meetings in Anaheim. Remember also that this is more of a pitcher’s park at night due to the heavy night air.

Look for that ‘under’ pattern to continue for at least one more game when Oakland visits the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim on Monday.

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MLB Pick: Athletics, Angels ‘under’ 7½ (-105)


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