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 neither starting pitcher having impressive numbers, there could still be a relatively low scoring game in our nation’s capital on Thursday when Wade Miley and the Arizona Diamondbacks (53-74, 28-35 away) pay a visit to fellow southpaw Gio Gonzalez and the Washington Nationals (72-53, 40-24 home) in the final game of a four-game series from Nationals Park in Washington, DC at 4:05 ET in a game available on MASN.
The posted total at Pinnacle Sports is 7½ for this contest with the current odds on the ‘under’ set at -110.
Going for a Perfect 10
The Nationals have opened up what was once a close race in the National League East by winning nine straight games including beating the Diamondbacks here the last three nights, increasing Washington’s lead over the second place Atlanta Braves to seven games. It certainly helps that the Nationals have done an excellent job of defending their turf, as they own the best home record in the National League at 40-24 while looking to make it 10 straight.
On the flipside, the Diamondbacks have been the second worst MLB picks in the National League overall this year at 53-74, and with the Colorado Rockies winning last night, Arizona is now just 2½ games ahead of the team with the worst record in all of baseball while in fourth place in the National League West.
Gio Facing Lineup He Can Handle
Gonzalez was one of the best southpaws in the National League in his first two seasons in Washington, even garnering some Cy Young Award votes in his first year with the Nationals when he went 21-8 with a 2.89 ERA and 207 strikeouts in 198.1 innings in 2012. However, he is a disappointing 6-9 with a 4.06 ERA and 1.33 WHIP this season, a year interrupted by a one-month stint on the Disabled List with a shoulder injury.
Still, Gonzalez showed some signs of coming around while allowing a total of five runs in his last two starts with 15 strikeouts, and let us face it, facing the Diamondbacks right now in their current offensive state could work wonders for just about any pitcher. Arizona has scored three runs or less in eight of their last 10 games and scored only four runs on each of the other two occasions.
Gio has not faced the Diamondbacks this season, but he has allowed just three runs in two career starts against them with the most recent coming last season, with 11 strikeouts in 13.1 innings.
Miley with Skewed Recent Stats
Miley is just 7-9 with a 4.46 ERA and 1.29 WHIP, making him one of the reasons this has been such a disappointing season for the team as a whole as Arizona was counting on him as a key piece of the rotation. Still, he has been much better as of late, although you would not know it from his start three outings ago vs. the Kansas City Royals where he was lit up for 10 earned runs in 4.2 innings.
However, that looks like an outlier that is skewing his recent stats based on the fact that start was one of just two occasions in Miley’s last nine outings where he allowed more than three runs! And he showed great resiliency bouncing back off of that effort as he has allowed just four runs and nine hits in 13 innings over his two outings since then with 17 strikeouts vs. three walks.
This is also Miley’s first start vs. Washington this year after pitching well in his two starts vs. the Nationals last season, allowing three earned runs in 14 innings.
Neither Team Hitting Lefties Lately
Moreover, neither of these teams have hit lefties particularly well lately. The Diamondbacks in fact has been downright atrocious while batting .157 vs. southpaw and averaging just 2.31 runs per nine innings against them over the last 10 games. The Nationals may be red-hot, but even they are batting only .225 and averaging 2.67 runs vs. lefties during this same 10-game span.
Therefore, despite the overall numbers of the starters, look for a rather sneaky ‘under’ in Washington, DC on Thursday.
MLB Pick: Diamondbacks, Nationals ‘under’ 7½ (-110)