MLB Pick on Pitching Duel at The Trop

LT Profits Sports Group

Friday, September 5, 2014 4:08 PM UTC

Friday, Sep. 5, 2014 4:08 PM UTC

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 Friday.

There could be a nice pitching duel Friday night in a game featuring one of the hottest pitchers in baseball right now when southpaw Wei-Yin Chen and the first place Baltimore Orioles (82-57, 39-29 away) pay a visit to the hot right-hander Alex Cobb and those Tampa Bay Rays (67-74, 31-41 home) in the opening game of a three-game weekend series from Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, FL at 7:10 ET in a game available on MASN2.

The posted total at Pinnacle Sports is 7 for this contest with the current odds on the ‘under’ set at -123.

Nearly Blew 6-0 Lead to AAA Lineup
In a game that played out nowhere near to what we expected, the Orioles appeared to be on their way to an easy win when they quickly opened up a 6-0 lead last night on a Cincinnati Reds’ team that sat down its stars and played a primarily Triple-A lineup, only to see that lineup rally to tie the game at 7-7 before the O’s prevailed 9-7! Nonetheless, Baltimore is now a season-high 25 games over .500 and owns a seemingly insurmountable 9½-game lead in the AL East.

It is easy to forget that the Rays were very popular MLB picks to win the division before this season began, but they have had a yo-yo year that saw them have a miserable start that at one point had them 18 games under .500, followed by a prolonged hot streak that saw them reach .500 and get back into the playoff hunt, then followed by their current 6-13 run that has killed their chances, leaving them 16 games behind the Orioles and 10½ games out of a wild card.

Cobb as Hot as Anyone
The Rays may be floundering, but Cobb has simply been on fire since coming back from a six-week stint on the Disabled List with an oblique injury as he has now allowed two runs or less in 10 straight starts while posting a 1.55 ERA and 1.07 WHIP with 67 strikeouts in 63.2 innings vs. just 17 walks during this span!

Most recently Cobb allowed one earned run in 6.1 innings vs. the Boston Red Sox here at home on Sunday, but he took the loss in a 3-0 defeat. That lack of Tampa Bay offense has plagued the Rays’ pitchers for most of the season and Cobb has been no exception as he is only 9-7 despite possessing a 2.98 ERA and 128 strikeouts vs. 39 walks in 133 innings. As you may suspect however, Cobb has been a prime ‘under’ pitcher with it going 14-7 in all of his starts.

Chen Fine When Not Allowing Homers
Chen is a fine 14-4 record for the Orioles, although his ERA is a bit higher that you would like at 3.83. He does have good command numbers with 116 strikeouts vs. 28 walks and he also has a decent enough WHIP at 1.25. The problem has been that he has allowed 22 home runs this season, although the 14-4 mark is an indication that he has successfully been able to pitch around them.

If not for those dingers, Chen would have better numbers across the board and he still has a 3.66 xFIP and 1.9 WAR even while being prone to the long ball. He may have no such concerns here however, as besides being just 26th in the Major Leagues with an even 100 home runs the Rays have hit an alarmingly low 29 home runs off of left-handed pitchers all year!

Chen has allowed three runs or less on three of his four starts vs. the Rays this season and he has a 3,25 ERA with a reasonable four home runs allowed in six career starts at Tropicana Field.

Rays Go ‘under’ When Expected to Win
When the Rays are expected to win, it is almost always because of their pitching and it therefore makes quite a bit of sense that the ‘under’ has gone a lucrative 21-8-2 the last 31 times that they have been favored, as they are tonight.

Expect that pattern to continue for at least one more game with these teams staying ‘under’ the total in St. Petersburg on Friday.

MLB Pick: Orioles, Rays ‘under’ 7 (-123)

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