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.
Following three low scoring games to begin this series, look for another one Sunday when Miguel Gonzalez and the Baltimore Orioles (57-46, 31-23 away) pay a visit to fellow right-hander Roenis Elias and the Seattle Mariners (54-50, 26-30 home) in the final game of a four-game weekend series from Safeco Field in Seattle, WA at 4:10 ET in a game available on ROOT.
The posted total at Pinnacle Sports is 7½ for this contest with the current odds on the ‘under’ set at -108.
Two ‘under’ Machines Lately
A small fortune could have been made recently but simply taking the ‘under’ on the MLB picks in games involving these teams as both enter this contest on six-game ‘under’ streaks with the last three being against each other. Going back a bit more, the ‘under’ is now 11-2 the last 13 Seattle games. The Orioles took the first two games of this series by scores of 4-0 and then 2-1 in 10 innings before the Mariners held on to win 4-3 yesterday, nearly blowing a 4-0 lead.
Saturday’s Seattle win snapped a four-game losing streak and marked just the Mariners’ third win in the last 10 games. Nonetheless, they are very much alive in the playoff race as while they trail the first-place Oakland Athletics by 10½ games in the American League West, the M’s are just one-half game behind the New York Yankees and Toronto Blue Jays, who are tied for the second and last wild card spot.
The Orioles meanwhile missed a chance to extend their first place lead in the American League East on Saturday, as they still lead the Yankees and Blue Jays by three games.
Gonzalez Not Pretty But Effective
Gonzalez may not pass the eye test at times on the mound for Baltimore as he has sometimes struggled with his control while walking 3.35 batters per nine innings, but ever since getting blasted for seven earned runs in 3.1 innings in his first start of the year way back in April, he has now allowed three earned runs or less in 14 of his last 15 starts after limiting the Los Angeles Angels to two runs and just three hits in 7.2 innings last time out.
Furthermore Gonzalez allowed only four runs in the other start so he has managed to pitch around his 1.41 WHIP and terrible 5.23 FIP and 4.58 xFIP for the most part. Those numbers make Gonzalez precisely the type of pitcher that we like to fade, but the problem here is that the Mariners have been putrid offensively vs. right-handed pitchers in their spacious home ballpark, batting a measly .218 and averaging 3.24 runs per nine innings against them in the Emerald City.
So while we would never recommend a play on Gonzalez as a favorite given his expected regression, we still do not feel that the Mariners will score as many runs off of him as other teams with just half-decent offenses could.
Orioles Have Stopped Hitting
Now the Orioles rank sixth in the Major Leagues in batting at .259 and ninth in runs scored with 4.25 per game overall, but they are doing their best impersonation of, well, the Mariners right now. That is because Baltimore has slumped to a pathetic .201 batting average overall in the last 10 games with its scoring average dipping to 3.60 runs during this time.
That could make things easier for Elias, who had a nice start to this season before hitting a rut recently, leaving him at 8-8 with a 4.41 ERA, although he does still have a respectable 1.27 WHIP and 104 strikeouts in 118.1 innings. More importantly he may have turned a corner in his last start, rediscovering his early-season form while holding the New York Mets to one run on five hits with eight strikeouts vs. two walks.
Also do not forget that regardless of the pitchers, Safeco Field is one of the most pitcher-friendly stadiums in baseball with games here averaging just a combined 6.64 runs per game this year with the ‘under’ going 34-18.
Finally this is the first start ever for both of these pitchers vs. their respective opponents today, which could make both harder to hit, so look for the ‘under’ to finish at a perfect 4-0 in this series from Seattle on Sunday.
MLB Pick: Orioles, Mariners ‘under’ 7½ (-108)