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.
Although it may not be obvious by looking at the ERA of each starting pitcher, the ‘under’ may be the play on Getaway Day Thursday in a battle of last place teams when Matt Garza and the Milwaukee Brewers (32-48, 17-22 away) pay a visit to fellow right-hander Chad Billingsley and the Philadelphia Phillies (27-53, 18-24 home) in the final game of a four-game series from Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia, PA at 6:35 ET on FOX Sports - Wisconsin.
The posted total at Bet365 is 8½ for this contest with the current odds on the ‘under’ set at -120.
Going for Four-Game Sweep
This series pits the two teams with the two worst records in the Major Leagues against each other, but the Brewers have now put some distance between themselves and the league worst Phillies by winning the first three games of this series as they go for the seemingly improbable four-game sweep tonight. Milwaukee still trails the first place St. Louis Cardinals by 20½ games in the National League Central, currently the largest division deficit in baseball.
The Phillies are now firmly entrenched as the doormats of baseball at 27-53 as they are currently 1-5 on this home stand that concludes today and they have been the losing MLB picks in six of their last seven games overall. Believe it or not Philadelphia was actually just two games below .500 at home when this home stand began, but now their difficulties on the road (9-29) have also spread to the City of Brotherly Love.
Garza Has Had Success vs. Phillies
Garza had a nice first season with Milwaukee last season as he had a 3.64 ERA, 1.18 WHIP and a .233 batting average allowed, but this second season with the Brewers has been a struggle with Garza at 4-10 with a 5.52 ERA and 1.53 WHIP while allowing a .290 average. Furthermore he has a bloated 8.50 ERA and 1.89 WHIP over his last three starts while taking the loss on all three occasions.
Still, after allowing double-digit hit totals in back-to-back starts vs. a couple of good hitting teams in the Royals in the Rockies (at Colorado), Garza was actually better in a home start vs. the Twins on Saturday allowing only five hits in six innings, but unfortunately two of those hits were home runs resulting in four runs allowed in a 5-2 loss.
Garza now gets to a chance to build on that improvement though vs. a last-place team that he has always had success against. In fact he has recorded Quality Starts in his last seven career outings vs. the Phillies including both starts last year, and he has a great lifetime 1.86 ERA and 0.97 WHIP against them while limiting Philadelphia batters to a .184 average!
And most of those starts were vs. better hitting Phillies’ teams that this one, which ranks dead last in the Major Leagues in both scoring with 3.35 runs per game and team OPS at .652, as well as second to last in home runs with 49 in 80 games.
Fresh Arm in Billingsley
Now, Billingsley also has an ugly 6.75 ERA and 1.62 WHIP, but that is meaningless as it is over only three starts and his last start was a good one as he allowed only two runs on seven hits in six innings. Unfortunately that outing was on May 15th as he was placed in the Disabled List with a shoulder injury shortly afterwards.
Billingsley had not pitched in the Major Leagues since 2013 before this season, but he is feeling healthy after three mediocre rehab starts and he has a chance to build in his last good start in the majors vs. a Milwaukee lineup that is ranked 24th in the league in runs scored with 3.79 per game, 25th in OPS at .680 and 21st in batting at .244.
Moreover, the current Milwaukee lineup is mostly unfamiliar with Billingsley as he has not faced the Brewers since 2012.
Trending the ‘under’
Finally, the ‘under’ is now 12-4-1 in the Brewers’ last 16 games following a win and 3-1-1 in their last five games after allowing five runs or more in their previous game.
When you add in the being a Getaway Day night game with both teams anxious to move on to their next destinations with both clubs playing tomorrow, look for those ‘under’ patterns to continue when Milwaukee visits Philadelphia on Thursday.
MLB Pick: Brewers, Phillies ‘under’ 8½ (-120)