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.
The ‘under’ might have some sneaky value Wednesday night when Hiroki Kuroda and the New York Yankees (55-51, 30-25 away) pay a visit to fellow right-hander Colby Lewis and the Texas Rangers (42-65, 20-33 home) in the final game of a three-game series from Globe Life Park in Arlington, TX at 8:05 ET in a game available on YES.
The posted total at Pinnacle Sports is 9 for this contest with the current odds on the ‘under’ set at -111.
Lots of Runs Last Night
The ‘over’ was certainly the right MLB pick last night as the Yankees held on to nip the Rangers 12-11 after nearly squandering a 10-4 lead. Unfortunately the first-place Baltimore Orioles also won in extra innings, so New York remains 4½ games back while in third place in the American League East with Toronto splitting those two clubs. The Yankees are also two games behind those Blue Jays for the second and last wild card spot.
This has been a lost season for the Rangers, who have had an injury-marred year that leaves them leading the Major Leagues in manpower games lost to the Disabled List and consequently also owning the worst record in the majors at 42-65, one game behind the team that had the worst record in the league each of the last three years, the Houston Astros, in the American League West.
Kuroda Solid as Usual
Kuroda was arguably the best starting pitcher on the Yankees’ staff last season, but he was off to a bit of a slow start this year and thus currently sits at 7-6 with a 3.99 ERA, although he does have a solid 1.20 WHIP and a very good ratio of 89 strikeouts vs. 26 walks. More importantly Kuroda has seemingly rediscovered his good form from last year recently.
He now has seven Quality Starts in his last 10 outings while allowing two runs or less in six of those efforts, and he even allowed a reasonable four runs in each of the three non-quality appearances. Kuroda has also dominated the Rangers the last four times that he has faced them, allowing a grand total of four earned runs in 29.1 innings with 19 strikeouts vs. four walks, and that was vs. much better offenses than Texas has this season.
The Rangers are averaging just 3.73 runs per game vs. right-handed pitchers over the entire season and that average has only gone up to 3.94 runs when playing here in Arlington.
Can Lewis Continue Improvement?
While you more or less know what to expect from Kuroda, Lewis is probably the biggest key to this ‘under’. Lewis missed all of last season as he is the first known Major Leaguer to return from hip-resurfacing surgery, and after Texas coddled him through his comeback process, he was extremely ineffective to begin this year.
Therefore he sits at 6-8 with a hefty 6.23 ERA and 1.79 WHIP for the season, but he started looking more like his old self over his last two starts, the most recent of which came vs. these Yankees in the Bronx last Thursday, where he allowed only three runs and four hits in 6.1 innings. That came after allowing just two runs in his previous start, but unfortunately Lewis has nothing to show for those good efforts except for taking the loss on each occasion.
That speaks to the struggles of the Texas offense, but the Yankees were not exactly lighting up the scoreboard themselves before last night’s unexpected explosion and they are still batting only .225 while averaging 3.63 runs per game vs. right-handed pitchers over the last 10 games.
Recent Head-to-Head ‘under’ History
Last night also snapped a seven-game ‘under’ streak in this head-to-head series with the ‘under’ still now sitting at 12-3-1 in the last 16 meetings.
Look for a return to that form again here as the teams remain in the single-digits in Arlington on Wednesday.
MLB Pick: Yankees, Rangers ‘under’ 9 (-111)