MLB Pick on Not Much Scoring in D.C.

LT Profits Sports Group

Monday, August 18, 2014 1:55 PM GMT

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 Monday.

 

One of the best pitchers in the National League and another pitcher that has been effective since coming over from the American League should translate to relatively little scoring Monday night when southpaw Vidal Nuno and the Arizona Diamondbacks (53-71, 28-32 away) pay a visit to right-hander Jordan Zimmermann and the Washington Nationals (69-53, 37-24 home) in the first game of a four-game series from Nationals Park in Washington, DC at 7:05 ET.

The posted total at Pinnacle Sports is 7 for this contest with the current odds on the ‘under’ set at -102.


Red-Hot Nationals
The Nationals are a hot ballclub right now that has won six straight games after sweeping three games from the Pittsburgh Pirates here at home over the weekend, allowing the division leaders to maintain a six-game lead over the second place Atlanta Braves in the National League East, as the Braves kept some pressure on by sweeping the Oakland A’s this past weekend. Washington’s 37-24 record here in DC is the best home mark in the National League.

The Diamondbacks in the meantime have been disappointing MLB picks this year in fourth place in the National League West, and they actually have the second worst record in the National League although they are four games clear of the last place Colorado Rockies. They enter this contest having lost three of their four games to the Marlins in Miami over the weekend.


Zimmermann Coming into His Own
With Gio Gonzalez not having a good year and Stephen Strasburg seemingly not pitching to his full potential, Zimmermann should probably now be considered the ace of the Nationals’ staff and deservedly so. In fact, Zimmermann is up to eighth on our latest FIP Leaderboard at 2.66, thanks to his great ratio of 130 strikeouts vs. 21 walks and only nine home runs allowed in 144.2 innings.

Jordan has an excellent 2.92 ERA and 1.15 WHIP overall this year and is in great current form, having allowed a grand total of five earned runs and 21 hits in his last four starts covering 26.2 innings with 23 strikeouts vs. just one lonely walk!

And not that he needs much help given his raging current form, but Zimmermann also has the support of a great Washington bullpen that ranks third in the National League with a 2.83 pen ERA overall and that has seen that ERA shrink to 1.80 along with a 0.91 WHIP in the last 10 games.


Nuno Effective in the National League
With that being said, Nuno has what we think is a good chance of keeping the Diamondbacks in this game, or at the very least of keeping the scoring down. Nuno came over from the New York Yankees as part of the Brandon McCarthy deal after he went 2-5 with a 5.42 ERA and 1.44 WHIP in the Bronx, but he has seemingly adapted to life in the National League nicely.

Granted Nuno is still looking for his first Arizona victory at 0-3, but he has a 3.92 ERA and a good 1.13 WHIP, and even that ERA is a bit deceptive as he has actually allowed three earned runs or less in five of his seven National League starts while yielding only a .237 batting average. He comes off of another solid outing vs. the Cleveland Indians in interleague play where he allowed two runs and six hits with six strikeouts and not a single walk in 5.2 innings.

That leaves Nuno with 31 strikeouts vs. just eight walks in 39 innings in an Arizona uniform, and his command numbers were actually passable for the Yankees also as he had 60 strikeouts vs. 26 walks in 78 innings in the tougher hitting American League.


Struggling vs. Lefties Lately
Nuno has a chance for continued success here as while the Nationals have hit southpaws well on the season, they are slumping right now despite the winning streak batting only .217 while averaging a mere 2.95 runs per nine innings vs. left-handed pitchers the last 10 games.

With all of this in mind let us go ‘under’ the total in our nation’s capital on Monday.

MLB Pick: Diamondbacks, Nationals ‘under’ 7 (-102)