Each day the LT Profits Sports Group seeks out an MLB total that does not add up and offers the most value that day. Here is their Total Value Play of the Day for Thursday.
A couple of talented southpaws could produce a low scoring game Thursday night in the Big Apple when Mike Minor and the Atlanta Braves (69-64, 32-36 away) again pay a visit to Jonathan Niese and the New York Mets (62-71, 31-33 home) in the final game of a three-game series from Citi Field in Flushing, NY at 7:10 ET in a game available on SNY.
The posted total at Pinnacle Sports is 7 for this contest with the current odds on the ‘under’ set at +100.
An ‘under’ Head-to-Head Series
The second place Braves are trying not to lose touch with the Washington Nationals in the National League East as they trail by 6½ games, but they are also viable MLB picks to claim a wild card as they trail the San Francisco Giants by just 1½ for the last playoff spot. The Mets have been reduced to spoilers while in fourth place in the division and 13½ out of first, and they played that spoiler role well in the series opener before the Braves evened the series Wednesday.
Both of those games resulted on 3-2 scores that stayed easily ‘under’ the total, and that is becoming a common occurrence whenever these teams square off as the ‘under’ is now 4-0 in the last four meetings and 6-1 in the last seven encounters! Furthermore, while one of those ‘unders’ saw seven combined runs scored, the other five produced no more then five total runs, just like in the last two nights.
Niese Consistent All Year
In what has been another lost season for the Mets, Niese has been a bright spot despite his unlucky 7-9 record. Granted he allowed five runs in 6.2 innings vs. the Los Angeles Dodgers in his last start last Friday, but only two of those runs were earned, thus leaving him with a still solid 3.47 ERA for the season.
Niese has had success vs. the Braves too allowing three runs or less in seven of his eight starts against them since 2012, including his only start vs. Atlanta this season when he allowed one run on just four hits in six innings with seven strikeouts right here at home. While has a 3.42 ERA and 1.33 WHIP overall in those last eight starts vs. Atlanta, if you take away the one bad outing where he surrendered seven runs, he has a 2.28 ERA and 1.15 WHIP the other seven starts.
Minor Back in Form
Minor has a belated start to this season as he began the year on the Disabled List while recovered from shoulder surgery, and it took him a while to get back to pitching to his full potential as he is still just 5-8 with a 4.90 ERA and 1.47 WHIP overall. However, he has started to look like his old self again while posting Quality Starts in each of his last three outings, posting a 2.53 ERA and a tiny 0.94 WHIP over those three outings with 19 strikeouts in 21.1 innings.
Minor’s last start may have his best of the season when he held the Cincinnati Reds to one run on just one hit in 7.2 innings with five strikeouts on Friday. He also pitched well the last time he faced the Mets with that start again coming in this stadium, where he allowed two runs on only two hits in seven innings.
He now gets to face a Met lineup that has been struggling mightily vs. left-hander pitchers, hitting .234 against them overall this season, .216 here at home and a dismal .167 against them in the last 10 games while averaging 2.08 runs vs. southpaws in this time.
Pronounced Pitcher’s Ballpark
Part of that problem has to do with spacious City Field, which is becoming one of the more pronounced pitcher’s parks in the National League. Games in Flushing have averaged just a combined 7.09 runs this season.
With that in mind and with these two pitchers on the bump, we see no reason why there cannot be a third ‘under’ in as many nights in this series from New York on Thursday.
MLB Pick: Braves, Mets ‘under’ 7 (+100)