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 Saturday.
Runs may be scarce with two hot southpaws on the hill Saturday night when Jaime Garcia and the team with the best record in baseball the St. Louis Cardinals (37-18, 15-11 away) pay a visit to three-time Cy Young winner Clayton Kershaw and the Los Angeles Dodgers (31-24, 21-9 home) in the third game of a four-game series from Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, CA at 10:10 ET in a game televised nationally on MLB Network.
The posted total at Pinnacle Sports is 6 for this contest with the current odds on the ‘under’ set at a positive +104.
Cardinals Have Taken First Two
These are the teams with the two best records in the National League, but at 37-18 the Cardinals have distanced themselves a bit from the 31-24 Dodgers by taking the first two games of this series in Los Angeles, first in a 7-1 rout in the opener on Thursday and then in a 2-1 pitchers’ duel last night with Carlos Martinez barely getting the best of Brett Anderson. Thus the Cardinals now have a 6½ game lead on the second place Pirates in the National League Central.
The Dodgers meanwhile have now seen their lead over the defending World Champion Giants shrink to just one-half game in the National League West as Los Angeles has been the losing MLB pick in four of its last five games, and even returning home to Dodger Stadium has not stopped that slide although the Dodgers remain 21-9 at home even after losing in Chavez Ravine the last two nights.
On the Way Back to Cy Young Form
Now the two-time reigning Cy Young winner and three-time winner of the award overall Kershaw is not having a typical season for him at 4-3 with a 3.73 ERA, but the vintage Kershaw has started to emerge that last two starts while allowing a grand total of two runs and nine hits in 14 innings with a phenomenal 17 strikeouts vs. one walk, which is bad news for the rest of the National League!
Yes we are very well aware that the Cardinals have given Kershaw more trouble than any other team in baseball as he has a 5.69 ERA over his last nine starts against them including post-season, but this will be his first appearance against them this year and he is catching a St. Louis lineup batting .214 vs. left-handed pitchers the last 10 games.
In fact, the Cardinals have not hit left-handed pitching well for several years now, making their past success vs. Kershaw that much more difficult to comprehend. That general ineffectiveness vs. southpaws though makes us feel better about chalking up that success vs. Kershaw as simple variance, so look for Clayton to continue to work his way toward peak form tonight as he has seemingly begun to do in his last two outings.
Garcia Has Also Impressed
Garcia missed nearly an entire calendar year following surgery on his left throwing shoulder, but some would say he has pitched surprisingly well since making his return vs. the New York Mets May 21st, going a perfect three for three in Quality Starts while posting a 2.70 ERA and 1.05 WHIP.
Garcia was a very unlucky loser vs. the Milwaukee Brewers on Monday despite surrendering only one run and just three hits in seven innings of a 1-0 defeat while throwing 86 pitches, as the shoulder seems to be holding up just fine. He now gets to face a Los Angeles lineup whose worst batting split this season has been vs. left-handed pitchers at home, as the Dodgers are batting .241 and averaging a measly 2.59 runs per game in this circumstance.
And remember that should Jaime be in need of relief, the Cardinals lead the National League in bullpen ERA at 2.09, ranking second in the Major Leagues in that category behind only the other team from Missouri, the Kansas City Royals.
An ‘under’ Dominated Series
Finally, these teams have become extremely accustomed to playing low scoring games against each other, as following the 2-1 win by St. Louis here last night the ‘under’ is now 19-7 in the last 26 head-to-head meetings overall including playoffs!
With Kershaw expected to be back in vintage form in no time and Garcia not seemingly being affected by the shoulder injury that kept him our for almost a year, look for that ‘under’ pattern to continue as the St. Louis Cardinals invade Dodger Stadium on Saturday.
MLB Pick: Cardinals, Dodgers ‘under’ 6 (+104)