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 Friday.
It looks like a very low posted total Friday night in a game that has the potential to be relatively high scoring when young Anthony Ranaudo and the Boston Red Sox (58-75, 29-35 away) again pay a visit to fellow right-hander Chris Archer and the Tampa Bay Rays (65-69, 29-36 home) in the first game of a four-game holiday weekend series from Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, FL at 7:10 ET in a game available on NESN.
The posted total at Pinnacle Sports is 7½ for this contest with the current odds on the ‘over’ set at a positive +104.
It Was a Nice Run
The Rays had a great run after being 18 games under .500 at one point during the first half of he season, as they reached the .500 mark a couple of weeks ago and got themselves back into the playoff hunt, but they may be a bit demoralized right now after losing three out of four games in Baltimore to the first place Orioles. That now leaves Tampa Bay eight games out of the second wild card spot with five teams ahead of them for that honor.
The defending World Champion Red Sox have gone from first to worst on the MLB picks, so they put aside any thought of making the playoffs a long time ago as they are in last place in the American League East, 6½ games behind the fourth place Rays and 18½ out of first. With that being said, they has a five-game road winning streak snapped when they lost 5-2 to the Toronto Blue Jays in Canada on Wednesday.
Undeserved 2-0 Record
Now with an eye on the future, the Red Sox brought up Ranaudo to make his Major League debut on August 1st vs. the New York Yankees, and the youngster has proceeded to go 2-0 in his first two starts in the big leagues. At least that is the good news, but the bad news is that the record is probably undeserved because, in all honesty, the youngster has not pitched well.
You see, Ranaudo has allowed six earned runs on 12 hits in 12 innings through two starts while exhibiting terrible command, as he has five walks vs. just three strikeouts. Furthermore, he has already been tagged for three home runs while pitching the equivalent of one and one-third games, which is rather concerning. Yes it is a brief 12-inning sampling, but Ranaudo’s FIP currently stands at 7.13!
Trouble with the Last Place Red Sox
Now granted, Archer is the very reason this posted total is as low as it is, as he has allowed exactly one earned run in each of his last four starts for the Rays to lower his ERA for the season to 3.09. However, this total is low enough where Archer may not even need to allow many runs to push this contest ‘over’ unless Ranaudo shows marked improvement in his third Major League start.
Also, as good as Archer has been vs. most of the rest of the league and as bad as Boston has been all year, he has continued to have problems with the Red Sox as he has a 4.32 ERA and 1.44 WHIP while going 0-1 in three starts against them this year, leaving him 1-3 with a 4.75 ERA and 1.68 WHIP in six career starts against the Red Sox all since 2012!
Bullpens Not Great
And once these two bullpens get involved, there is always the possibility of a couple of tack-on runs that often blow up low totals like this one. The Tampa Bay bullpen has a high 4.01 ERA over the last 10 games, and while the Boston bullpen ERA is at 3.63 over that same 10-game span, it has not really been that good with a rather high 1.36 WHIP over 31 innings during this period.
Therefore, let us go ‘over’ this rather low total in St. Petersburg on Friday.
MLB Pick: Red Sox, Rays ‘over’ 7½ (+104)