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 Friday.
Two pitchers in good current form could combine to produce an ‘under’ Friday night when southpaw Gio Gonzalez and the Washington Nationals (83-62, 37-34 away) again pay a visit to right-hander Dillon Gee and the New York Mets (71-76, 36-36 home) in the second game of a four-game weekend series from Citi Field in Flushing, NY at 7:10 ET in a game available on SNY.
The posted total at Bet365 is 7 for this contest with the current odds on the ‘under’ set at -120.
Closer to clinching NL East
The Nationals are the favored MLB picks to win the National League East as they now have an 8½-game lead over the second place Atlanta Braves after taking the series opener 6-2 here in New York last night. The Nats lead by nine games in the loss column with 17 games remaining, meaning that their magic number to clinch their second division title in three years now stands at nine.
The Mets had gotten off to a nice start to this home stand by sweeping three games from the Colorado Rockies and they had actually been showing signs of life offensively until Washington came to town and Tanner Roark snapped out of a mini-funk to bring New York back to reality Thursday. The Mets are still a .500 team here at home right now, although they remain in fourth place and 13 games behind the Nationals.
Gio Rediscovering Old Form
Gonzalez has not been as good this season as in his first two years with Washington, which included him getting some Cy Young Award votes his first year in the National League in 2012. However, he seems to be rediscovering that old form over his recent starts, and that could not have been any timelier with the playoffs fast approaching.
Gio is only 8-9 with a 3.78 ERA and 1.26 WHIP overall and his walks have been up a bit this year although he still has a good ratio of 138 strikeouts vs. 53 walks in 138 innings. This season has included two stints on the Disabled List with shoulder issues, and that could have very well led to his slow start this year. However we may be seeing the Gio of old right now as he has a 2.52 ERA and 0.96 WHIP in his last four starts covering 25 innings.
And he now gets to face a Mets lineup that is still struggling vs. left-handed pitchers here at spacious Citi Field, as New York is batting a measly .207 while averaging 3.11 runs per game vs. southpaws at home over the entire season.
Liking Citi Field
As hot as Gonzalez has been, Gee is also in good form and quite capable of keeping the Mets in this game, or more importantly as we are concerned, of keeping this a low scoring game. Gee enters this contest off of three straight Quality Starts after holding the Cincinnati Reds to two runs in seven innings with six strikeouts vs. one walk in an unlucky 2-1 loss on Saturday.
That has lowered Gee’s ERA for the whole season to a very respectable 3.74 despite his 6-7 record, and he has been at his best at Citi Field going 4-3 with a 3.62 ERA and 1.18 WHIP in 11 home starts covering 72 innings. Gee is now facing a Washington lineup batting .222 and averaging 3.87 runs vs. right-handed pitchers on the road this season.
Gee Trending ‘under’
And when you combine Gee’s good pitching with the Mets’ lack of offense for most of this year, he has become somewhat of an ‘under’ machine with it going 11-4-1 in his last 16 starts overall.
Given how hot Gonzalez has been, look for Gee’s ‘under’ pattern to continue for at least one more game on Friday.
MLB Pick: Rays, Yankees ‘under’ 7 (-120)