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 Tuesday.
Despite what looks like a nice pitching duel on paper Tuesday night, the ‘over’ could hold value at this low posted total when southpaw Madison Bumgarner and the San Francisco Giants (85-71, 43-36 away) pay a visit to right-hander Zack Greinke and the Los Angeles Dodgers (89-68, 40-36 home) in the second game of a three-game series from Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, CA at 10:10 ET in a game televised nationally on ESPN.
The posted total at Pinnacle Sports is 6½ for this contest with the current odds on the ‘over’ set at -102.
Staying Alive in Division…For Now
The Dodgers would have been in position to clinch the National League West title if they would have won the series opener on Monday, but the Giants proved resilient in a 13-inning affair winning 5-2. Still, the Dodgers are the probable MLB picks to win the division as they still hold a 3½ games lead on the Giants (three in the loss column) and their magic number to clinch the division is four with Los Angeles having five games left and San Francisco having six.
But while the Giants will probably not win the division, they are almost certainly heading for a Wild Card Playoff Game vs. the Pittsburgh Pirates with those two teams tied for the two wild card spots and five games clear of the Milwaukee Brewers, whose magic number to get eliminated from playoff contention is two. Thus, just about the only thing left to be determined is which team will host the Wild Card Playoff, with the Pirates holding the tiebreaker.
Greinke Not Himself Last Time
Now, the Dodgers’ Greinke would certainly be an ace just about any other pitching staff in baseball that did not include some guy named Kershaw, as Zack is 15-8 with a 2.76 ERA, 1.17 WHIP and a fabulous ratio of 196 strikeouts vs. 42 walks in 189.1 innings. With that being said, those 189.1 innings are the most that Greinke has worked in a season since going a whopping 220 innings back in 2010.
That may or may not have been a factor last time out when Greinke struggled vs. the lowly Chicago Cubs, surrendering four earned runs on nine hits plus one walk while lasting just five innings and laboring through 112 pitchers in a no-decision. The Dodgers eventually won that contest 8-4, but Greinke was clearly not himself.
Remember that the Dodgers are in good shape to win the division almost regardless of tonight’s result, so their first priority here may be to keep Greinke sharp with the playoffs coming up next week, and if that means cutting this outing short at the first hint of trouble, so be it. And the introduction of the Los Angeles bullpen into the equation is a bad thing for ‘under’ players at this low total because that unit has an ugly 5.24 ERA over 41 innings in the last 10 games.
Bumgarner Very Studly
The Giants should be in good hands here with their starter Bumgarner, who has been one of the best southpaws in the National League this year at 18-9 with a 2.91 ERA, 1.10 WHIP and 214 strikeouts vs. 43 walks in 210 innings. However, those 210 innings are a professional career high for Bumgarner for one season at any level, and it is something the Giants may want to keep an eye on.
Now granted San Francisco may be willing to extend Bumgarner a tad more than the Dodgers probably would Greinke, but we still do not foresee a Complete Game here. And while the San Francisco bullpen is ranked third in the National League with a 2.98 ERA for the season, it has slumped to a 4.24 ERA in the last 10 game covering 31 innings, including six innings from four relievers in the win last night.
Finally, the Dodgers are on a lucrative 20-6-2 ‘over’ run in their last 28 games overall, and the ‘over’ is also 8-1-2 in the Giants’ last 11 games as underdogs like they are here.
Given the low posted total of this game and the real likelihood of the bullpens from both teams allowing some late tack-on runs, look for those ‘over’ trends to continue from Dodger Stadium on Tuesday.
MLB Pick: Giants, Dodgers ‘over’ 6½ (-102)