Each day LT Profits Sports seeks an overlay side that has a better chance of cashing than its spread, offering long term value. Here is their Side Value Play for Wednesday.
Even though the road team is averaging double-digit runs over the last four games, look for an upset in the altitude Wednesday night when right-hander Matt Shoemaker and the Los Angeles Angels (45-38, 20-20 away) pay a visit to southpaw Chris Rusin and the Colorado Rockies (35-48, 17-23 home) in the final game of a brief two-game interleague series from Coors Field in Denver, CO at 8:40 ET in a game available on ROOT.
The posted money line at Pinnacle Sports has Colorado as a home underdog for this contest at current odds of +116.
43 Runs in Four Games
The Angels have won four straight games in dominant fashion with their offense pummeling the opposition for 43 runs in the wins including reaching double-digits the last three games, winning the series opener vs. the Rockies 10-2 here last night. This has pulled the Halos to within 2½ games of the Houston Astros while in second place in the American League West. Still, this recent scoring surge could have Los Angeles overpriced in this contest.
Colorado is in last place in the National League West and the Rockies have been the losing MLB picks in five of their last six games. Still, Colorado is always dangerous at home as it is batting .295 and averaging 5.98 runs per game vs. right-handed pitchers in the altitude, and the Rockies seemingly have a starting pitcher tonight in Rusin that thus far has not been intimidated by pitching at Coors Field.
Nowhere Close to Rookie Form
Shoemaker received Rookie of the Year consideration last year when he finished an amazing 16-4 with a 3.04 ERA, but he far out-performed his peripherals and he is paying the price with some major regression in his sophomore season this year. In fact, he has already nearly doubled his loss total for all of last season as he is 4-7 with a poor 4.91 ERA.
Granted Shoemaker still had an excellent command ratio with 71 strikeouts vs. 19 walks in 84.1 innings, however he is primarily a flyball pitcher with a low 39.1 percent groundball rate, and he has been bitten by the home run ball a lot this year yielding 16 of them, with that home run rate of 1.71 allowed per nine innings being the fourth worst in the Major Leagues among qualified starters.
Obviously, that is not an ideal profile for someone pitching at Coors as he is making his first career start here.
Three Straight Quality Starts
Now, Rusin will never be confused with Cy Young as the southpaw is 3-3 with a 4.27 ERA, but he enters this contest off of three straight Quality Starts over which he posted a 2.95 ERA, and perhaps most importantly he has pitched well in his two starts at Coors allowing a total of five runs in 13 innings with 10 strikeouts vs. two walks.
Furthermore, Rusin has actually been pitching in bad luck yielding a BABIP of .333, so his last three starts could mark the beginning of a convergence to better things, and as hot as the Angels have been the past few games, most of the damage was done vs. right-handed pitching, as they are batting a “human” .254 while averaging 3.93 games vs. southpaws the last five games opposed to an unworldly .377 while averaging an incredulous 12.15 runs vs. righties.
Finally, Shoemaker is burning money at a fairly rapid rate as the Angels are now 1-5 in his last six starts as a favorite. Additionally, they are 1-4 in his last five starts vs. teams with losing records.
The Angels’ surge at the plate in recent games could have them overvalued at this price considering how disappointing Shoemaker has been, so take the underdog value with Colorado at home hosting Los Angeles on Wednesday.
MLB Pick: Rockies +116