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 Wednesday.
Runs may be hard to come by Wednesday night in an American League East battle north of the border when southpaw Wei-Yin Chen and the first place Baltimore Orioles (64-48, 34-23 away) pay a visit to right-hander Drew Hutchison and the second place Toronto Blue Jays (60-64, 30-24 home) in the second game of a big three-game series from Rogers Centre in Toronto, ON Canada at 7:07 ET in a game available on MASN.
The posted total at Pinnacle Sports is 8½ for this contest with the current odds on the ‘under’ set at +100.
Orioles Open Up Some Daylight
The Orioles extended their lead over the Jays in the AL East to five games with an easy 9-3 road win in the first game of this series pitting the division’s top two teams on Tuesday. Baltimore got to Mark Buehrle for 10 hits in four innings and hit three home runs overall while receiving 5.1 solid innings from Bud Norris for its third straight win vs. three different opponents, as Baltimore had a make-up game vs. the Washington Nationals Monday.
The Blue Jays led the division for a nice chunk of the early season, but they started sliding shortly before the All-Star break and they have now been losing MLB picks four straight games after losing the final three games of a four-game series to the upstart Astros in Houston this past weekend. Toronto holds the second and last wild card position, but that lead has been trimmed to one-half game over the Kansas City Royals and one game over the Yankees and Seattle.
Chen in Ace Form
The Orioles are edging away in their division despite not having a true bona fide ace on their staff, which has been the major criticism of Baltimore for several years now. However, a case can be made that Chen could step up to fill that role, which the O’s big free agent signing Ubaldo Jimenez failed miserably at before landing on the Disabled List, as he has allowed a total of one run and 10 hits in 15.1 innings his last two starts with 11 strikeouts vs. two walks.
That leaves Chen at a sparkling 12-3 for the season with a 3.76 ERA and 90 strikeouts vs. 21 walks in 124.1 innings. He is facing a Toronto lineup that is mostly unfamiliar with his as Chen’s career numbers vs. the Blue Jays are comprised of just five innings in 2012, and he has the support of a hot Baltimore bullpen that has posted a 1.49 ERA and 0.85 WHIP over the last 10 games covering 32 innings.
Hutchison Likes Facing O’s
Hutchison showed some great promise when he first came to the majors in 2012, but he then had Tommy John surgery and missed all of last season. He returned to pitch reasonably well over the first two months of this season posting a 3.45 ERA after his first 10 starts, but it has been mostly downhill since then and “Hutch” now stands at 7-9 with a 4.62 ERA and 1.35 WHIP after a poor outing vs. the Astros last Thursday.
He lasted only three innings that night, laboring through 62 pitches while allowing four runs on six hits. That leaves Hutchison with just one Quality Start in his last four outings, but his history vs. the Orioles would lead you to believe that he could rediscover his early-season form tonight.
Hutchison has faced the Orioles three times already this season and has allowed a grand total of two runs in 19 innings with 17 strikeouts vs. three walks while yielding a .225 batting average, with two of those starts being scoreless outings! If you go back to 2012, Hutch has made five career starts vs. Baltimore and allowed two runs or less on all five occasions including three scoreless outings.
Jays Low Average vs. Lefties
Yes the Blue Jays have one of the most potent offenses in baseball, but they have not fared as well vs. left-handed pitchers batting just .239 against them overall including a dismal .219 here in Canada. Likewise, the Orioles are also potent offensively but they have slumped to just a .222 average vs. right-handers the last 10 games.
Thus, look for Chen to maintain his fine form and for Hutchison to continue his success vs. Baltimore as the teams stay ‘under’ in Toronto on Wednesday.
MLB Pick: Orioles, Blue Jays ‘under’ 8½ (+100)