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 Monday.
There could be a higher scoring game than the low total implies out on the West Coast Monday night when Alex Colome and the Tampa Bay Rays (26-25, 13-11 away) pay a visit to fellow right-hander Garrett Richards and the Los Angeles Angels (27-24, 15-11 home) for the first game of a three-game series from Angel Stadium in Anaheim, CA at 10:05 ET in a game available on Sun Sports.
The posted total at Pinnacle Sports is 7 for this contest with the current odds on the ‘over’ set at -101.
Both Teams in Playoff Positions
Despite both of these teams hovering around the .500 mark, both are in playoff positions right now in an American League where it is not yet apparent if there is a dominant team that will be able to open up daylight in its division by season’s end. In fact, at just one game over .500 at 26-25, the Rays are actually in a first place tie with the New York Yankees in the American League East after taking two out of three games in Baltimore over the weekend.
The Rays had lost six straight games overall before getting back on track by beating the Orioles the last two days on the road.
The Angles are now three games over .500 after being the winning MLB picks the last four nights over the Detroit Tigers, completing the sweep by beating Tiger ace David Price last night. That rather modest 27-24 record is good enough for second place in the American League West, four games behind the surprising first place Houston Astros.
Richards Off His Form
Richards was having a career year last season, but it was cut short when he suffered a serious knee injury while covering first base in Boston on August 20th, as he finished the year 13-4 with a 2.61 ERA and 164 strikeouts vs. 51 walks in 168.2 innings. He has seemingly had a nice bounce-back season this year so far at 4-3 with a 3.12 ERA, but he has not been nearly as dominant, especially while posting a 4.43 ERA and 1.33 WHIP in his last three starts.
Richards command ratio is not as good as last season as of yet as he has 43 strikeouts vs. 21 walks in 52.0 innings, he has actually benefitted from yielding a low .253 BABIP, meaning the 3.12 ERA is probably better than it should be, and his xFIP currently stands at 4.18, more than a whole run higher than his final 3.15 xFIP last year.
He is now facing a Tampa Bay offense that has been a bit better as of late thanks to a fresh infusion by a couple of rookies. Steven Souza Jr. homered for the third straight game in the 9-5 win in Baltimore yesterday for his 10th of the season, enabling him to reach double-digit homers in only 46 games, and fellow rookie Joey Butler went 4-for-5 to raise his batting average to .342 in 23 games since his May 3rd call-up.
Not Much Stamina for Colome
Colome had made a total of eight appearances including six starts for the Rays over the last two years in his first two cups of coffee at the Major League level, but he was pressed into the rotation early this season due to injuries, and although he is 3-1 while allowing three earned runs or less on five of his six starts, he has managed to go six full innings in only one of them resulting in a 4.55 ERA.
Colome could probably stand to get a bit more seasoning at Triple-A as his peripherals are nothing special, particularly his 6.67 strikeouts and 1.21 home runs allowed per nine innings. And it does not help his cause that the Angels are starting to heat up offensively vs. right-handed pitchers, batting .276 while averaging a whopping 5.62 runs per game against them in the last 10 contests.
Late Tack-On Runs
Colome’s lack of stamina should mean an early call to the Tampa Bay bullpen tonight, and that unit has certainly had issues over that same 10-game span with a collective 5.22 ERA and 1.53 WHIP. And should Richards be in need of relief, the Angels’ pen has been just as bad over this same period with a 5.40 ERA and 1.56 WHIP.
Those probable late tack-on runs are probably icing on the cake considering how seemingly low this posted total is, so go ‘over’ when Tampa Bay visits the Los Angeles Angels in Anaheim on Monday.
MLB Pick: Rays, Angels ‘over’ 7 (-101)