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 Wednesday.
Two pitchers that have out-performed their peripherals to this point could lead to an ‘over’ in the Twin Cities Wednesday night when Edinson Volquez and the Kansas City Royals (33-23, 14-12 away) pay a visit to fellow right-hander Kyle Gibson and the Minnesota Twins (33-25, 20-11 home) for the last game of a three-game series from Target Field in Minneapolis, MN at 8:10 ET in a game available on FOX Sports - North.
The posted total at Pinnacle Sports is 8 for this contest with the current odds on the ‘over’ set at -101.
Reclaimed AL Central Division Lead
The Royals advanced to the World Series last season in their first playoff appearance since winning the 1985 World Series, but that was as a wild card so they are still seeking their first division title in 30 years. And they have taken the lead in the American League Central by one game over the surprising second place Twins after winning the first two games of this series in Minneapolis, taking the series opener 3-1 on Monday and then winning 2-0 last night.
The Twins were last in the division last year and things look bleak to begin this season when they started 1-6, but they have been the winning MLB picks in 32 of their 51 games since then to enter title contention, although that contention could be short-lived as Minnesota may now be beginning its descent back to earth.
Regression May Have Begun for Gibson…
And after two low-scoring games to begin this series, can we expect more of the same today with two pitchers having fine seasons on the surface? Well, we actually think not and expect more runs to be scored than the last two nights as neither hurler has great peripheral numbers to support their mainstream success. And regression may already be under way, as Gibson had one of his worst starts of the season on Friday.
Gibson had allowed three earned runs or less in nine straight starts before the Milwaukee Brewers reached him for five earned runs in seven innings with the help of three home runs, and there is plenty of room for more regression as that outing still leaves Gibson at 4-3 with a 3.00 ERA a 1.25 WHIP.
This is from a pitcher that has poor command numbers with just 5.09 strikeouts vs. 2.74 walks per nine innings and that has benefitted from yielding a .265 BABIP and from an 82.5 percent strand rate, neither of which figures to continue. Gibson is now facing a Kansas City lineup that is fourth in the Major Leagues in batting at .270 and eighth in runs scored at 4.32 per game.
…and for Volquez Too
Volquez is in an almost identical situation for the Royals as he still has a 3.26 ERA and 1.13 WHIP following a sub-par outing where he allowed four earned runs in 5.1 innings on six hits plus three walks vs. the Texas Rangers, and he too appears to be in the midst of a correction after an unrealistic start. Friday’s outing marked just the second time in his 11 starts that Volquez has allowed more than three earned runs.
Granted Volquez often flashed potential during his career with the Cincinnati Reds, but he was maddeningly inconsistent and is more than likely ready to begin one of his cold spells right about now. And he has key sabremetric numbers that support his expected regression as he has been aided by a .247 BABIP and his 4.07 xFIP is noticeably worse than the ERA.
He is facing a Minnesota lineup that has hit much better at home than on the road, batting .272 overall while averaging 5.14 runs per game at Target Field.
Going ‘over’ at Target Field
Finally, Gibson is no stranger to being involved in relatively high scoring games at home, with the ‘over’ going 10-3 in his last 13 starts at Target Field. The ‘over’ is also 22-8 in the Twins’ last 30 home games vs. teams with winning records.
With both of these starting pitchers seemingly in regression mode, look for those ‘over’ patterns to continue when Volquez and Kansas City visit Gibson and Minnesota on Wednesday.
MLB Pick: Royals, Twins ‘over’ 8 (-101)