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.
Despite playing one mile above sea level, expect a relatively low scoring affair Thursday night when right-hander Alfredo Simon and the Cincinnati Reds (60-60, 28-31 away) pay a visit to southpaw Jorge De La Rosa and the Colorado Rockies (46-74, 28-30 home) in the first game of a four-game series from Coors Field in Denver, CO at 8:40 ET in a game available on ROOT.
The posted total at Pinnacle Sports is 9½ for this contest with the current odds on the ‘under’ set at a positive +101.
Reds Starting to Slip
The Reds are still in the playoff hunt as they trail the division leading Milwaukee Brewers by 5½ games in the National League Central and are only 3½ games behind their division mates the St. Louis Cardinals for the second wild card spot. However, All-Stars Brandon Phillips and Joey Votto remain on the Disabled List and Cincinnati is starting to slip without its stars, losing four of its last five games including the last two to the last-place Boston Red Sox at home.
The Rockies are not only in last place in the National League West, but they are also now the worst MLB pick in all of baseball this year at 46-74, one game worse than the Texas Rangers of the American League. The Rockies have lost 11 of their last 13 games overall.
De La Rosa Likes it Home
De La Rosa as an anomaly in that he has always done his best pitching here in the altitude. The Colorado ace is just 11-8 with a 4.34 ERA overall and he comes off of two mediocre road outings where he allowed exactly four earned runs and six hits on each occasion, first in 6.2 innings vs. the Detroit Tigers and then most recently in six innings vs. the Arizona Diamondbacks on Friday.
However, De La Rosa is 7-2 with a 3.23 ERA here at Coors, and as mentioned, that is par for the course for a pitcher that is now an unbelievable 42-14 at home in his career as a member of the Rockies!
Perhaps the fact that De La Rosa was born in Monterrey, Mexico allowed him to get acclimated to altitude at a young age and has led to him performing well in Denver where other pitchers have failed. Monterrey is not a mile high like Coors Field, but is still about 2000 feet above sea level.
Regardless of the reason for his home success, De La Rosa is 4-0 in his last four starts in Colorado. He recorded a Quality Start the last time he faced the Reds here last season allowing three runs in six innings.
Simon Still Surprising
Simon has regressed since an amazing first half of this season that earned him his first ever All-Star Game berth, and he is now 12-7 after going 0-4 over his last five starts (all of them Cincinnati team losses), although he does still have a fine 3.08 ERA and 1.15 WHIP. But really, has he regressed all that much?
Consider that while he is winless in five starts, he really only had one bad outing in this time when he allowed five runs in five innings vs. the Indians in Cleveland, as he still allowed three runs or less in the other four starts. And he is facing a Colorado lineup that is batting .231 while averaging 3.11 runs vs. right-handed pitchers over the last 10 games and that just learned that Troy Tulowitzki is now gone for the year after opting for season-ending hip surgery.
Bruce Now Questionable Too
You might be able to add another bat to the missing in the Reds’ lineup today as Jay Bruce was scratched vs. the Red Sox Wednesday due to an illness and is currently questionable for this start. And even if he does start, pitchers have been able to be very careful with him lately as basically the best legitimate hitter left in the lineup and not much support.
So regardless whether Bruce can go or not, we like the teams to stay in the single-digits in any event in Denver on Thursday.
MLB Pick: Reds, Rockies ‘under’ 9½ (+101)