MLB Pick on Indians, White Sox ‘under’ as Kluber Faces Sale

LT Profits Sports Group

Monday, May 18, 2015 4:15 PM UTC

Monday, May. 18, 2015 4:15 PM UTC

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 Monday.


There could be a good old fashioned pitchers’ duel in the Windy City Monday night when right-handed reigning Cy Young Award winner Corey Kluber and the Cleveland Indians (14-22, 8-10 away) pay a visit to elite southpaw Chris Sale and the Chicago White Sox (17-17, 10-5 home) in the first game of a four-game series from U.S Cellular Field in Chicago, IL at 8:10 ET in a game available on Comcast SportsNet - Chicago.

The posted total at Bet365 is 7 for this contest with the current odds on the ‘under’ set at +100.

White Sox Making a Run
The White Sox were expected to be markedly improved this year and to make a run at the American League Central title, and after a bit of a slow start they have come on with five straight wins including a three-game road sweep of the Athletics in Oakland this past weekend. In fact the five-game win streak has come entirely on the road to leave the White Sox at .500 at 17-17 and in fourth place but only five games behind the first place Kansas City Royals.

And the only team trailing the White Sox in the Central Division right now is the last place Indians, who are mired nine games out of first place and four games behind Chicago despite being the winning MLB picks in two of their three games in Texas vs. the Rangers over the weekend, taking the first two games before losing the series finale on Sunday. These teams have met five times this year with the White Sox leading the season series by a slim 3-2 margin.

Best Start of Career?
Now both of these pitchers have great reputations but poor numbers years-to-date, but both studs appear to have turned the corner in their last start, so both could be poised for a return to normal form, which is terrible news for both offenses tonight. Kluber in fact comes off of one of the best pitched games in Major League history, as he had 18 strikeouts and not a single walk in eight innings while allowing only one hit with two outs in the seventh inning!

Kluber did not get a chance to record 20 strikeouts as he was pulled after those eight frames despite being at a reasonable 113 pitches, 74 of which were strikes. That outing was better than any start Kluber had during his excellent Cy Young season of a year ago, and it came after entering the contest 0-5 with a 5.04 ERA!

Still, Kluber’s peripherals are fine as he has an excellent 64 strikeouts in 52.2 innings vs. just 11 walks, and he still has a 2.56 FIP and 2.64 xFIP. The lofty ERA is hindered by yielding an unlucky .353 BABIP, so it was just a matter of time before the 2014 form would resurface with his peripherals not varying much from last year. Thus that last start may be the start of big things the rest of the way.

Sale Turning Things Around Too
Sale is a perennial All-Star that remains one of the best left-handers in the American League even if his stat line does not reflect that yet at 3-1 but with a 5.09 ERA, 1.36 WHIP and a .270 batting average allowed. But like Kluber, he too looked more like his usual self last time out holding the Milwaukee Brewers to two runs and just three hits in eight innings with 11 strikeouts against one walk!

Besides, Sale has really had only one horrendous outing where he allowed nine runs (eight earned) in three innings vs. the Minnesota Twins, a kind of outing that can skew stats greatly at this still early stage of the season. In fact, if you take away that one stinker, Sale is 3-0 with a 3.34 ERA over his other five starts. He too is still averaging better than a strikeout per inning with 37 of them in 35.1 innings vs. 11 walks and he has also been hurt by a .340 BABIP.

In other words, Sale should be just fine and soon regress to the pitcher that has a career 2.88 ERA and 1.08 WHIP with 774 strikeouts in 710 Major League innings vs. only 184 walks.

Extreme ‘under’ Series
Finally, this has been an extreme ‘under’ series with it going a remarkable 18-3 in the last 21 head-to-head meetings!

Given this pitching matchup and the directions we see these pitchers going in, look for that amazing ‘under’ trend to continue when Cleveland and Kluber visit the Chicago White Sox and Sale on Monday.

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MLB Pick: Indians, White Sox ‘under’ 7 (+100)

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