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 Sunday.
There could be a higher scoring game than the fairly low posted total suggests on Sunday when Odrisamer Despaigne and the San Diego Padres (58-64, 24-37 away) pay a visit to fellow right-hander Adam Wainwright and the St. Louis Cardinals (65-57, 35-26 home) in the final game of a four-game weekend series from Busch Stadium in St. Louis, MO at 2:15 ET.
The posted total at Pinnacle Sports is 7 for this contest with the current odds on the ‘over’ set at a positive +104.
Padres Starting to Score Runs
After the Cardinals took the first two games of this long four-game set, the Padres came back to win 9-5 last night as San Diego continued its recent improvement on offense. Sure the Pads are still dead last in the majors in scoring at just 3.29 runs per game, but that average has risen by a full run to 4.30 runs per game the last 10 games. Besides, getting away from probably the more pitcher-friendly stadium in the National League in Petco Park would help any offense.
That loss on Saturday made the Cardinals a bit of a tougher MLB pick the win the National League Central as the first-place Milwaukee Brewers accomplished the nearly impossible last night by beating Cy Young Award favorite Clayton Kershaw on the road in Los Angeles, leaving St. Louis three games out. The Cardinals do top the wild card race right now, but they have just a 1½-game cushion over their division-mates the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Not the Same Since All-Star Break
Speaking of the Cy Young, Wainwright was considered the main competition to Kershaw a month a ago and even got the starting nod for the National League in the All-Star Game. However “Waino” has been much more hittable as of late as he has just a 5.59 ERA and 1.50 WHIP over his last three starts.
Remember that the Cardinals gave Wainwright 10 days off in the period sandwiching the All-Star break and that may have done him more harm than good. That is because he is only 2-3 with a 4.65 ERA and 1.52 WHIP since the break and has noticeably not been as sharp as when he dominated over the first half of the season, even walking 13 batters in 31 innings in this time after walking just 27 in 138 innings before the break!
Descent to Earth Has Begun
The Cuban defector Despaigne was a bit of a surprising call-up by the Padres on June 23rd considering his poor numbers in the minor leagues that had him with a 6.03 ERA and 1.85 WHIP at Double-A and Triple-A combined since his signing this year, but yet he has surprised many by posting a 2.72 ERA while going 3-3 over his first nine Major League starts.
However, note that Despaigne had an unrealistically hot start that left him with a 1.66 ERA after six starts. He has since started to regress however with a 4.91 ERA and 1.53 WHIP in his last three starts, and that regression began against these Cardinals when they roughed up Despaigne for six earned runs on nine hits in 5.2 innings at pitcher-friendly Petco in San Diego.
The 27-year-old is a certified soft-tosser that would have trouble breaking a plane of glass with his fastball, and his 3.98 FIP and especially his 4.49 xFIP are truer indications of his pitching ability.
Waino Dominance vs. Padres to End?
Now granted, Wainwright has dominated the Padres throughout his career with a lifetime 2.41 ERA and 1.02 WHIP against them while holding San Diego batters to a .216 average, but none of those starts came this year and thus came vs. weaker hitting Padre teams than this one. And that is not to mention he is simply not as sharp right now as he was entering most of those previous starts.
Then again, if the Cardinals get to Despaigne like they did in San Diego, Wainwright may not even need to allow that much to push this game ‘over’ the total. Thus, look for a relatively high-scoring game in relation to the low posted total in St. Louis on Sunday.
MLB Pick: Padres, Cardinals ‘over’ 7 (+104)