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 Tuesday.
There could he a relatively low scoring game out near Disneyland Tuesday night when Jeremy Hellickson and the Arizona Diamondbacks (31-32, 16-16 away) pay a visit to fellow right-hander Garrett Richards and the Los Angeles Angels (32-32, 18-15 home) in the second of two games from Angel Stadium in Anaheim, CA at 10:05 ET in a game televised nationally on MLB Network.
The posted total at Pinnacle Sports is 7½ for this contest with the current odds on the ‘under’ set at -117.
Do not look now but the Diamondbacks have won four straight games and have pulled to within one game of the .500 mark at 31-32 while in third place in the National League West, 5½ games behind the first place Los Angeles Dodgers. Arizona was the worst MLB pick in the Major Leagues last year at 64-98 under former manager Kirk Gibson, but they had a ton of injuries and figured to improve in their first year under Chip Hale, which has been the case.
Conversely the Angels had the best record in baseball at 98-64 one year ago, and yet they have hovered right around the .500 mark they are at right now (32-32) for most of this season, mainly due to a lack of offense outside of Mike Trout and Albert Pujols. Even with those two superstars having 18 home runs each, the Halos are only 22nd in the Major Leagues in scoring with 3.92 runs per game and 26th in batting average at .241.
Richards Back in Form
The pitching has been better, and the staff ace Richards has shown no ill effects from the knee injury that cut his 2014 season short. Richards has made 11 starts and has allowed three earned runs or less in nine of them. Granted his worst outing of the year came two starts back when he got only two outs in the game while allowing six earned runs vs. the Yankees in the Bronx, but he bounced back to allow two runs in seven innings vs. Tampa Bay last Thursday.
That shelling in New York tends to skew a pitcher’s stats, so that must be taken into advisement when looking at Richards’ 3.97 ERA and 1.25 WHIP. In fact, if you simply ignore that one anomalous debacle, Richards is 6-3 with a 3.18 ERA and 1.15 WHIP over his other 10 starts this season!
Richards was also masterful in his only career start vs. the Diamondbacks while tossing eight scoreless innings and allowing only four hits against them
Pitching Has Keyed Arizona Charge
Meanwhile the Arizona four-game winning streak has been fueled by great pitching with the Diamondbacks’ opponents scoring a grand total of five runs in the four victories. Hellickson is now hoping to keep that fine pitching streak alive but will he be able to do so, given his 5.29 ERA and 1.46 WHIP despite a winning 4-3 record?
Well, Hellickson was hit hard by the other Los Angeles team the Dodgers in his last start the Dodgers, allowing five earned runs on six hits plus two walks in 3.2 innings, but he had actually been in good form prior to that allowing three runs or less in each of his previous four starts including allowing two runs in three of those outings.
Also, Hellickson he yet to allow a single run in his two career starts at Angel Stadium, allowing only six hits over those outings in 11.1 scoreless innings with nine strikeouts vs. two walks. He now gets a chance to take advantage of an Angels’ lineup batting a disappointing .239 vs. right-handed pitchers overall this year.
Nice ‘under’ Trends
Finally, for all of you trend-lovers out there, consider that the ‘under’ is 13-5-1 in the Diamondbacks’ last 19 interleague road games vs. right-handed starters and 18-7-1 in their last 26 interleague road games overall, as well as 20-8-1 in the Angels last 29 games vs. the National League West.
Look for more of the same tonight with the teams staying ‘under’ when Hellickson and the Diamondbacks visit Richards and the Angels in Anaheim on Tuesday.
MLB Pick: Diamondbacks, Angels ‘under’ 7½ (-117)