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 appears to be a light total in the City of Brotherly Love Monday night in interleague play when recent returning southpaw Matt Moore and the Tampa Bay Rays (47-47, 24-22 away) pay a visit to right-hander David Buchanan and the Philadelphia Phillies (32-62, 21-25 home) in the first game of a three-game series from Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia, PA at 7:05 ET in a game available on Sun Sports.
The posted total at Pinnacle Sports is 8 for this contest with the current odds on the ‘over’ set at -120.
Break Up the Phillies!
The Phillies own the worst record in the Major Leagues by a fairly wide margin at 32-62, but they come off of a three-game sweep of the Miami Marlins over the weekend, leaving Philadelphia a semi-respectable four games under .500 here at home as opposed to a dreadful 11-37 road mark. Then again, that sweep came over a Miami team that has the second worst record in baseball.
The Phils are stepping up in class here vs. a Rays’ team that is in third place in the American League East at 4½ games behind the first place New York Yankees. The Rays should also be in an ornery mood after being the losing MLB picks in two of their three games north of the border vs. the Toronto Blue Jays this past weekend.
Tough Road Back for Moore
Moore recently returned following Tommy John surgery, and frankly his initial comeback starts have not gone as smoothly as some others that have returned this year following that same procedure. And that is despite the Rays showing great patience with him as he did not make his 2015 debut until July 2nd vs. the Cleveland Indians.
Moore was on the verge of becoming one of the top left-handers in the American League as he was an All-Star in 2013 when he finished 17-4 with a 3.29 ERA and 143 strikeouts in 150.1 innings, although his bouts with wildness prevented him from entering elite status as he also had a disturbing 76 walks. Then he tore the UCL in his throwing elbow in his second start of 2014 last April and was unseen at the Major League level until three weeks ago.
And it has been a tough go of it for Moore over his first three starts as he has an ugly 7.07 ERA and 1.93 WHIP despite his 1-0 record. He also has just eight strikeouts vs. seven walks in 14 innings with two home runs allowed, helping translate to a 5.70 FIP and 5.83 xFIP, so it appears we still have a long way to go until we see the vintage Moore form.
It is also discouraging that the average velocity on Moore’s fastball dropped to 91.1 MPH his last time out after it had averaged 92.4 MPH in his previous start.
Not Major League Caliber
Buchanan went 6-8 with a respectable 3.75 ERA in 20 starts as a rookie last year, but the league has now figured him out and he has hardly resembled a Major League pitcher this season. In fact, Buchanan is 0-5 personally with a bloated 7.58 ERA and 1.85 WHIP, with the Phillies as a team going 0-6 in the games that he has started.
That is what happens when you have as many strikeouts as walks like he has, with 15 apiece in 29.2 innings, which equates to equally poor rates of 4.55 per nine innings. Yes, Buchanan allowed just one run in five innings vs. the Giants last time out, but he was also lucky while pitching around allowing eight hits in the process in a game the Phillies went on to lose 8-5.
Poor Pitching Leads to Many ‘overs’
Finally, because the Philadelphia pitching has been so awful with the Phillies ranking second to last in the Major Leagues in team ERA at 4.78 and dead last in team WHIP at 1.49, the ‘over’ a lucrative 50-37-7 in all of their games overall including 25-18-3, 58.1 percent here at home.
Given the current form of these starting pitchers, look for that ‘over’ pattern to continue when Tampa Bay invades Philadelphia on Monday.
MLB Pick: Rays, Phillies ‘over’ 8 (-120)