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 Wednesday.
Runs may come at a premium on the west coast Wednesday night when southpaw Alex Wood and the Atlanta Braves (22-23, 10-13 away) pay a visit to right-hander Zack Greinke and the Los Angeles Dodgers (28-17, 21-6 home) for the final game of a three-game series from Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, CA at 10:10 ET in a game available on Sports South.
The posted total at Pinnacle Sports is 6½ for this contest with the current odds on the ‘under’ set at -105.
Dodgers Going for Sweep
At 28-17, the Dodgers have the second best record in the National League behind only the 30-16 St. Louis Cardinals as they try to complete a three-game sweep tonight after winning the series opener 6-3 Monday and then shutting out the Braves 8-0 last night behind seven strong innings from Clayton Kershaw for just his third win of the season. The Dodgers lead the second place World Champion San Francisco Giants by two games in the National League West.
This was supposed to be a rebuilding year for the Braves so they surprised many observers with a hot start this season. They have settled down since then as MLB picks though and have now dropped to one game below .500 at 22-23. Still, Atlanta continues to hang around while in third place in the National League East at only 4½ games behind the first place Washington Nationals.
Best Second Starter in Baseball?
You would be hard-pressed to find a better 1-2 combination in the Major Leagues than Kershaw and Greinke, as the latter would be an ace on most other teams! Greinke is 5-1 with a miniscule 1.48 ERA, 0.87 WHIP and a .187 batting average allowed. He also has a great ratio of 49 strikeouts vs. 12 walks in 61 innings and he has allowed exactly one run in each of his last four starts.
With that being said, Greinke has not had much luck going 0-1 with two no-decisions over the last three starts despite his outstanding pitching, although the Dodgers subsequently went on to win both of the no-decisions. He has yet to face the Braves this season but he was outstanding in his only start against them last year, allowing one run and five hits with 13 strikeouts in eight innings.
He now gets to face a slumping Atlanta offense batting just .228 while averaging 3.45 runs overall in the last 10 games, and he has the support of what has been a solid Los Angeles bullpen that is ranked fourth in the Major Leagues with a 2.52 pen ERA.
Wood Tough Matchup for Los Angeles
Still, Greinke may again suffer from a lack of run support here with the southpaw Wood on the bump for the Braves. Wood may not yet be a household name due to having a .500 record every year in the Major Leagues, but he has deserved much better as he posted a 3.13 ERA with 77 strikeouts in 77.2 innings while going 3-3 as a rookie in 2013 and then topped that with a 2.78 ERA and 170 strikeouts in 171.2 innings despite finishing 11-11 last year.
Wood is 2-2 with a 3.83 ERA this year but that ERA is deceptive as he has allowed more than three runs just once in his eight starts and he comes off of another fine outing where he held the Marlins to one earned run in seven innings. Wood also pitched very well in his only career start vs. the Dodgers last season allowing just one run on six hits in seven innings with eight strikeouts.
Besides Wood’s obvious ability, he is facing a Dodgers’ lineup that has had much more trouble with left-handed pitchers than with right-handers, batting just .236 vs. southpaws here at home for the season and a poor .158 against them regardless of the venue over the past 10 games.
Bucking ‘over’ Tendencies
Yes both of these teams have played relatively high scoring games this year with the ‘over’ going 27-16-2 in all Atlanta games and 26-17-2 in all Dodger contests, but this pitching matchup seems like a favorable spot to buck those records and it is the ‘under’ after all that is 10-3-1 in Wood’s last 14 starts vs. teams with winning records.
Look for Wood to duplicate his last fine start vs. Los Angeles and for Greinke to just pitch his normal game, resulting in an ‘under’ when Atlanta visits the Dodgers for the third straight night on Wednesday.
MLB Pick: Braves, Dodgers ‘under’ 6½ (-105)