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 Thursday.
There could be a rather surprising pitching duel Thursday night when the resurgent Chris Young and the Seattle Mariners (55-52, 29-21 away) pay a visit to fellow right-hander Zach McAllister and the Cleveland Indians (53-54, 30-20 home) in the final game of a three-game series from Progressive Field in Cleveland, OH at 7:05 ET in a game available on ROOT.
The posted total at Pinnacle Sports is 8½ for this contest with the current odds on the ‘under’ set at -108.
Still in the Playoff Hunt
Both of these teams are very much alive in the playoff race after splitting the first two games of this series, with the Mariners taking the opener 5-2 and the Indians coming back to win last night 2-0 with Corey Kluber besting Felix Hernandez in a classic pitching duel. Neither team has been able to build much momentum lately though with Cleveland just 3-7 over the last six games and Seattle only 2-6 over the last eight.
Despite those mini-slides, do not count either of these teams out of the playoffs with your MLB picks as the Mariners are tied with the New York Yankees at three games behind the Toronto Blue Jays for the second and final American League wild card spot, while the Indians trail the Detroit Tigers by 6½ games in the American League Central race and are five games out of a wild card.
Young Looking for 10th Win
Young has not posted double-digit wins since going 11-5 with the Padres back in 2006, as the 6-foot-10 giant has been beset by various injuries since then that limited him to exactly four starts in each of the 2010 and 2011 seasons and that forced him to miss all of last season entirely with neck and shoulder injuries. He had surgery last November to correct a nerve problem that put pressure on his shoulder, and the operation was a success based in Young’s 2014 results!
Young is one win away from cracking double-digit wins at 9-6, and he has an accompanying 3.04 ERA, 1.10 WHIP and a .212 batting average allowed. Young was never a hard-thrower, which is somewhat surprising for someone his size, but further evidence that the nerve correction surgery was a success is that the 85.4 MPH he is averaging on his fastball this season is actually an increase over the 84.6 he averaged when he last pitched in the majors in 2012.
Young has faced the Indians once in 2014 and he did well allowing one run and four hits, although he was pulled after only five innings with 91 pitches. He has the support of a Seattle bullpen that leads the entire Major Leagues with a 2.36 ERA, and that is thus a key reason for the playoff push by a team that has been an AL West doormat the least several years.
McAllister Looks to Bounce Back
McAllister has been bouncing up and down between the Indians and Triple-A this year, but he may now be a permanent member of the Tribe rotation this year after Cleveland traded Justin Masterson to the St. Louis Cardinals yesterday. McAllister comes off of a bad outing vs. the Kansas City Royals Saturday where he allowed six runs (five earned) on eight hits in just four innings, but he had pitched well in his previous two starts since his latest recall.
He allowed a total of four runs and only seven hits in 12.1 innings in those two starts and he is very capable of bouncing back from Saturday’s stinker and regaining that kind of form here. Of course it helps to be facing a Seattle offense batting just .237 vs. right-handed pitchers over the entire season including batting a mere .217 while averaging a scant 2.56 runs per game against them over the last 10 games.
The Cleveland bullpen has also fared well this year ranking third in the American League with a 2.96 ERA on the season, an ERA that has dropped to 2.12 along with a sparkling 0.91 WHIP over the last 10 contests.
5-0 ‘under’ Run Last Five Meetings
With the first two games of this series both going ‘under’, it is now a perfect 5-0 in the five head-to-head meetings between these teams this season with the seven combined runs on Tuesday being the only one of those meetings to exceed five total runs!
Look for that pattern to continue for at least one more game tonight given the quality of the pitching, so go ‘under’ again in Cleveland on Thursday.
MLB Pick: Mariners, Indians ‘under’ 8½ (-108)