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 Tuesday.
One of the best rookie pitchers in baseball and a struggling veteran that should start seeing positive regression could combine for an ‘under’ Tuesday night when rookie phenom Noah Syndergaard and the New York Mets (29-23, 8-15 away) pay a visit to veteran fellow right-hander Ian Kennedy and the San Diego Padres (25-28, 13-15 home) for the second game of a three-game series from Petco Park in San Diego, CA at 10:10 ET in a game televised nationally on MLB Network.
The posted total at Pinnacle Sports is 6½ for this contest with the current odds on the ‘under’ set at -123.
Mets Drew First Blood
The Mets opened up this series with a 7-0 shutout victory thanks to eight brilliant innings from reigning National League Rookie of the Year Jacob deGrom, who allowed just two hits while striking out eight and not allowing a single walk. That victory propelled the Mets into a first place tie in the National League East with the Washington Nationals, who had their game vs. Toronto Monday rained out.
The Padres hoped to be the team leading their division the National League West before this year after uncharacteristically spending a ton of money during the off-season, but they have disappointed going 25-28 so far and management cannot be happy about being two games under .500 here at home. The Padres have been the losing MLB picks in eight of their last 11 games at Petco Park and are rather fortunate to still be trailing the first place Dodgers by only 6½ games.
Back-to-Back Rookie of the Year Awards?
Can the Mets now be boasting the Rookie of the Year for the second straight season after deGrom took home that hardware last year? Well they may very well might, considering how the previously well hyped Syndergaard has looked over his first four Major League starts. Syndergaard has yet to allow more than three earned runs in any game and most recently tossed 7.1 scoreless innings with six strikeouts and no walks vs. the Philadelphia Phillies Wednesday.
That leaves Syndergaard at 2-2 but with a stellar 1.82 ERA and 1.05 WHIP thus far with 22 strikeouts in 24.2 innings with a blazing fastball averaging 96.7 MPH on the radar gun, topping out at 99.7 MPH until now suggesting 100 MPH is within reach. And given that Syndergaard is 6-foot-6 with a release point closer to home plate than many other pitchers, he can seem downright unhittable at times.
That is especially true for teams that have never faced him before like the Padres, so the youngster should be lethal his first time through the National League, especially when you factor in his impeccable control that has seen him issue only one walk over 19.1 innings in his last three starts after walking three batters in his Major League debut vs. the Cubs in Chicago.
Kennedy Plagued by Long Ball
As for Kennedy, it was not really all that long ago that he was in the Cy Young Award conversation, as in fact it was 2011 when he finished 21-4 with a 2.88 ERA for the Arizona Diamondbacks. The now 30-year-old has not had a season close to that since then, but by the same token his stats have never been as bad as that have been so far this year either as he stands at 2-5 with a very unsightly 7.15 ERA.
And Kennedy may be coming off of his worst start yet as he was lit up by the Pittsburgh Pirates for seven earned in just 3.2 innings last Thursday, primarily due to allowing three home runs. And those long balls have really been the story of this season for Kennedy, as he could be on a record pace with 12 home runs allowed already in 39 innings!
However, if you overlook those homers, Kennedy actually has a good ratio of 37 strikeouts vs. 14 walks and although his 4.01 xFIP is nothing to write home about, it is still more than an unheard of three full runs lower than his ERA! That should mean that there is room for positive regression for Kennedy and he is simply too good a pitcher to get shelled as continually as he has.
As long as he can keep the ball in the ballpark, which admittedly has been a problem so far this year, Kennedy should be able to keep his Padres in the game while simultaneously keeping this score down.
Mets ‘under’ Pattern after Scoring 5+ Runs
Finally, the 7-0 win by the Mets Monday may actually be a bad omen for them offensively tonight as the ‘under’ is 7-2-1 in their last 10 games after scoring five runs or more their previous game.
Look for that trend to continue with Syndergaard continuing to shine and Kennedy showing improvement, so go ‘under’ when the New York Mets visit San Diego for the second game of this series on Tuesday.
MLB Pick: Mets, Padres ‘under’ 6½ (-123)