Each day the LT Profits Sports Group seeks out a total that simply does not add up and therefore offers the most value that day. Here is their Total Value Play of the Day for Thursday.
A deflated total for what looks like a good pitching duel on paper could produce a sneaky ‘over’ Thursday night when Garrett Richards and the Los Angeles Angels (46-38, 21-20 away) pay a visit to fellow right-hander and annual Cy Young Award contender Felix Hernandez and the Seattle Mariners (39-46, 18-25 home) in the first game of a weekend four-game series from Safeco Field in Seattle, WA at 10:10 ET in a game available on ROOT.
The posted total at Pinnacle Sports is 7 for this contest with the current odds on the ‘over’ set at -103.
Hot Angels Making Their Move
The Angels enter this game riding a five-game winning streak that has allowed them to catch the Houston Astros in the loss column in the American League West, although the Halos still trail by 1½ games due to Houston having three more wins. And Los Angeles has made this charge thanks to an incredibly hot offense, especially vs. right-handed pitchers.
The Mariners were picked by many to win this division before this season after adding defending home run champion Nelson Cruz to a lineup that was otherwise unchanged from the team that won 87 games last year, but instead Seattle has gone seven games under .500 as an MLB pick and is fourth in the division, nine games behind the Astros. The Mariners just lost two out of three here at home to the Detroit Tigers, losing the series finale 5-4 yesterday.
Felix Not Himself?
Hernandez is seemingly always in the Cy Young hunt and he may even be in the conversation again this season as he is currently 10-5 with a 3.02 ERA, 1.07 WHIP and a terrific ratio of 106 strikeouts vs. 33 walks in 110.1 innings. However, even though Felix has a 2.75 ERA over his last three starts he has not really been as sharp as that ERA wound indicate.
You see, Hernandez has an ordinary 1.32 WHIP over those last three outings because he has been more hittable that he usually is allowing at least nine hits in two of the starts. Most recently he allowed 10 hits in seven innings vs. the Oakland A’s last time out on Saturday despite escaping with allowing two runs, although that was enough for him to take the 2-0 loss.
Now he must contend with what is probably the hottest offense in baseball vs. right-handed pitchers. The Angles had scored 43 runs in their previous four games with three straight double-digit run outputs before a 3-2 win in Colorado last night, but that was vs. a southpaw starter in Chris Rusin. Los Angeles is posting video-game numbers vs. right-handers over the last five games, batting an obscene .409 and averaging a ridiculous 14.69 runs against them!
Not as Sharp as Last Year
Richards was having a breakthrough season last year before having his year cut short by a severe knee injury sustained while covering first base on a play in Boston on August 20th. Richards still finished 2014 at 13-4 with a sparkling 2.61 ERA, 1.04 WHIP and 164 strikeouts in 168.2 innings vs. only 51 walks.
Now, Richards has come back to post good surface numbers this year as he is 9-5 with a 3.35 ERA and 1.21 WHIP with the Angels going 10-5 as a team in the games that he has started. However, while those numbers are good, note the increase in the ERA and WHIP compared to last year and those are not the only areas where Richards has not been as sharp.
That is because his strikeouts rate is way down while his walk rate is up a tad, as he has only 74 strikeouts vs. 34 walks in 94 innings, helping result in a rather pedestrian 3.92 xFIP. And that is with Richards being rather lucky in allowing a low .265 BABIP.
Trending ‘over’ Lately
Finally, as you might expect the way the Angels are pummeling righties, the ‘over’ is 4-1 in their last four games vs. right-handed starters. Also even the Mariners are currently on a 3-0 ‘over’ run.
Despite this pitching matchup, look for those ‘over’ patterns to continue given the low posted total when the Los Angeles Angels visit Seattle on Thursday.
MLB Pick: Angels, Mariners ‘over’ 7 (-103)