Each day during the MLB Playoffs, LT Profits seek out a total that does not add up and offers the most value that day. Here is their Playoff Total Value Play of the Day for Tuesday.
After two high-scoring games in the first two games of this series, look for the pitchers to do a better job of limiting the damage Tuesday night when southpaw Wei-Yin Chen and the Baltimore Orioles (99-68, 47-35 away) pay a visit to right-hander Jeremy Guthrie and the Kansas City Royals (95-73, 44-39 home) in Game 3 of the ALCS from Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City, MO at 8:07 ET in a game televised nationally on TBS. The Royals lead the series 2-0.
The posted total at Bet365 is 7½ for this contest with the current odds on the ‘under’ set at -115.
Late Inning Heroics
The Royals have made a habit of late-inning heroics throughout these playoffs, beginning with an extra innings win in the American League Wild Card Playoff Game vs. the Oakland Athletics, followed by two extra inning wins in Anaheim en route to a three-game sweep of the Los Angeles Angels, then followed by this series where Kansas City won Game 1 in extra innings 8-6 and won Game 2 by scoring two runs in the ninth inning to break a tie in the 6-4 win!
The Orioles were the favored MLB picks to win this series before it began after sweeping the Detroit Tigers in three games in their ALDS while beating Max Scherzer, Justin Verlander and David Price in the process, but Baltimore had put itself in an extremely treacherous spot by losing the first two games at home and this series could be all but over with another loss tonight, as an 0-3 hole would seem insurmountable the way the Royals are playing.
Success vs. the Royals
At least the Orioles could have the right man on the bump as they try and save their season in the 16-6 Chen. Granted Chen was not good in Game 2 of the ALDS vs. the Tigers when he was roughed up for five earned runs in 3.2 innings by a team that typically hits him well. That contest actually started in promising fashion for Chen when he allowed just one baserunner in the first three innings before the Tiger bats got to him in the fourth.
However, he figures to have better success for longer today, as in six career starts vs. the Royals all since 2012, Chen has allowed three runs or less in five of them including two stars this season where he allowed a grand total of three runs in 12.1 innings. Furthermore, Chen closed out the regular season with a very hot September where he allowed two earned runs or less in all five of his starts during that calendar month while posting a 2.05 ERA.
That makes a nice bounce-back start today vs. a team that he had had more success against seem more likely, as does the fact that Chen is well rested with that ALDS start vs. Detroit having come 11 days ago.
Better in Last Three Starts
Now as we said in our 5-Inning side selection on this contest, we do expect the Orioles to scratch out some runs off of Guthrie, as he may be the weakest link of the Kansas City rotation after going 13-11 with a 4.13 ERA and 1.30 WHIP during the season with very weak sabremetric numbers that saw him finish with a poor 4.32 FIP and 4.33 xFIP, both ranking among the worst in the majors for qualifying starting pitchers.
However, giving credit where credit is due, Guthrie did have three terrific starts to end the season where he allowed a mere one earned run on 12 hits in 20.1 innings leading to a 0.44 ERA and 0.79 WHIP in that span, so although we feel that the Orioles will still get to him enough to get an early lead, we do not feel that it will be a scoring barrage that ruins the ‘under’ here.
Top Two Post-Season Bullpens
And then, despite the late Kansas City heroics through these playoffs, we do not expect a plethora of runs against these two bullpen either. Among the five American League playoff teams this year, the Royals lead those clubs in post-season bullpen ERA thus far at 2.30 and the Orioles are second despite the first two ALCS games with a 3.22 pen ERA.
Thus, look for late tack-on runs to be kept to a minimum for the most part and for Game 3 of the ALCS to stay ‘under’ the total in Kansas City Monday evening.
MLB Pick: Orioles, Royals ‘under’ 7½ (-115)