MLB Pick: Total Value Play of the Day Friday

LT Profits Sports Group

Friday, April 18, 2014 4:00 AM GMT

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 an inflated total in the Heart of Texas Friday night when Felipe Paulino and the Chicago White Sox (8-8, 2-4 away) pay a visit to Martin Perez and the Texas Rangers (9-7, 7-3 home) at Globe Life Park in Arlington, TX at 8:05 ET.

The posted total at Pinnacle Sports is 9½ for this contest with the current odds on the ‘under’ set at -105.

The Rangers have always had a reputation for being an offensive team, but it was actually the ‘under’ that went 90-64-9 in all Texas games last season and the ‘under’ is off to another fine start this year at 11-5 including 7-3 here at newly named Globe Life Park. The Rangers are averaging just 3.88 runs per game while simultaneously posting an identical 3.88 team ERA, a combination quite conducive to a bunch of ‘unders’.

The White Sox may be surpassing preseason expectations early on at 8-8, but they may be starting to come back to earth as they lost the last two games to the Boston Red Sox and they have scored a grand total of seven runs over the last three games. Yes Chicago is batting a surprising .262 overall as a team, but that average had dipped to a dismal .215 over the last five games including .172 vs. left-handed pitchers.

That is good news for the Texas southpaw Perez, who had a nice rookie season last year going 10-6 with a 3.62 ERA and has developed nicely this season, going 2-0 in three starts with a 2.70 ERA. Perez has been at his best here in Arlington so far where he has allowed just two runs in two starts covering 13.2 innings with nine strikeouts vs. three walks.

Furthermore, Perez’s lone road start was better than it looked on the line score as he was charged with four runs in 6.1 innings vs. the Boston Red Sox, but he only allowed one of those runs while he was in the game before being pulled after loading the bases in the seventh inning, and all three of those runners were let in by the bullpen. So in actuality, Perez could easily be three for three in Quality Stars so far, and facing the light-hitting White Sox does not hurt either.

Granted, Paulino has been awful in his last two starts allowed six runs on each occasion after pitching very well in his 2014 debut vs. the Minnesota Twins. Remember that Paulino missed all of last season following elbow surgery so a slow start this year should have been expected. Yes he raised some hopes by allowing one earned run in 5.1 innings vs. Minnesota his first start back, but some patience should still be required as his pitches himself back to game shape.

With that being said, the Ranger are batting a modest .242 vs. right-handed pitchers while averaging just 3.11 runs per nine innings against them, so this could be a good spot to rediscover the form that Paulino had when he last faced Texas two seasons ago when he allowed two earned runs in six innings vs. the Rangers while with the Astros.

Besides, Paulino knows he will have to improve after Manage Robin Ventura said he may demote him if he does not improve soon, either to the bullpen or more likely to AAA where he can get his work in, so look for Paulino to take that to heart and put forth his best effort.

With this in mind, look for both starters to pitch well enough to keep this game in the single-digits.

[gameodds]3/262229/?r-1=238-92-43-349-192/us[/gameodds]

MLB Pick: White Sox, Rangers ‘under’ 9½ (-105)