MLB Pick on Padres, Diamondbacks ‘under’ for Father’s Day

LT Profits Sports Group

Sunday, June 21, 2015 1:40 PM UTC

Sunday, Jun. 21, 2015 1:40 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 Sunday.

There could be a somewhat surprising ‘under’ on Sunday in a matchup of two pitchers that are not as bad as their records when Andrew Cashner and the San Diego Padres (34-37, 18-18 away) pay a visit to fellow right-hander Jeremy Hellickson and the Arizona Diamondbacks (33-35, 17-18 home) in the final game of a three-game series from Chase Field in Phoenix, AZ at 4:10 ET in a game available on FOX Sports - Arizona.

The posted total at Pinnacle Sports is 8½ for this contest with the current odds on the ‘under’ set at -115.

This is the Rubber Game
This is the rubber game of this three-game set, as the Diamondback took the series opener 4-2 on Friday and the Padres then came back to even things up 8-1 last night thanks to a Complete Game by Tyson Ross, who was dominant allowing just four hits with nine strikeouts against one walk. That leaves the Padres in fourth place in the National League West but only five games behind the first place Los Angeles Dodgers despite being three games under .500.

The Diamondbacks are now one-half game ahead of the Padres in third place 4½ game behind Los Angeles, which is a stark improvement after finishing with the worst record in the Major Leagues last season. However, Arizona simply refuses to reach the .500 mark as it has now been one game under .500 nine times this year, and incredibly it was the losing MLB pick on all nine occasions with last night being the latest opportunity to even its record.

Mystifying Struggles for Cashner
Cashner has the raw stuff to be one of the nastiest pitchers in baseball when he is on top of his game, which makes his 2-8 record, 4.45 ERA and 1.45 WHIP quite puzzling. In fact, Cashner has now gone four straight outings without posting a Quality Start, recording a ghastly 8.59 ERA in 22 innings over those four starts.

However, there is ample reason to believe that Cashner can regress to the excellent pitcher he has always been throughout his career very soon. For starters, he command numbers are still good with 8.26 strikeouts vs. 2.86 walks per nine innings, which in turn has helps lead to a decent 3.68 xFIP that is runner more than one-half run ahead of his ERA, which is usually a good sign. And luck has not been on Cashner’s side either in surrendering a .328 BABIP.

But perhaps most noteworthy of all is that Cashner has been at his best in his two starts vs. the Diamondback this season, allowing a total of two earned runs in 13 innings with 15 strikeouts vs. one walk!

Hellickson Back on Track?
Now, Hellickson has always been very streaky and that has been the case again this year, although in the end the “bad” Hellickson has won out so far on the stat sheet as he has an ugly 5.10 ERA and 1.41 WHIP despite managing to go 4-4.

However, the “good” Hellickson is starting to emerge as he has now allowed three runs or less in five of his last six starts including allowing two runs in four of them after holding the Angels to two runs on four hits in six innings with six strikeouts vs. one walk in his last start on Tuesday despite taking a 4-1 loss.

He has a good enough ratio of 55 strikeouts vs. 24 walks overall, which he has steadily improved on thanks to 27 strikeouts vs. just nine walks during his current six-game hot stretch. And perhaps the best news of all is that Hellickson now gets to face a San Diego lineup that is batting an anemic .207 vs. right-handed pitchers over the last 10 games while averaging 3.15 runs against them in this span.

Trending the ‘under’
Finally, the ‘under’ is 4-0 in Cashner’s last four starts inside the National League West. The ‘under’ is also 4-1 in the Diamondbacks’ last five games overall, and that could easily be 5-0. That is because the Padres led 4-1 in the ninth inning here last night before scoring four runs to sneak the contest ‘over’ 8 and ending the 4-0 Arizona ‘under’ run.

Although it may not be obvious with a quick glance at each pitcher’s record, look for them to prove capable enough to continue those ‘under’ patterns when San Diego visits Arizona in Phoenix on Sunday.

MLB Pick: Padres, Diamondbacks ‘under’ 8½ (-115)

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