MLB Pick: Total Value Play of the Day Friday

LT Profits Sports Group

Friday, May 16, 2014 4:00 AM UTC

Friday, May. 16, 2014 4:00 AM UTC

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.

After a low scoring affair in the opening game of a four-game series last night, look for more runs to be put on the board Friday night when Chris Tillman and the Baltimore Orioles (21-18, 12-8 away) pay a visit to Jeremy Guthrie and the Kansas City Royals (20-20, 10-8 home) at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City, MO at 8:10 ET.

The posted total at Pinnacle Sports is 8 for this contest with the current odds on the ‘over’ set at a positive +106.

We actually played the ‘over’ as our Play of the Day in this same matchup Thursday with bad results as the O’s prevailed 2-1 with Wei-Yin Chen out-dueling Yordano Ventura. Undaunted, we are coming right back with the ‘over’ again in what we feel is a matchup of two overrated pitchers.

The first place Orioles maintained their one-half game lead in the American League East over the New York Yankees with the win last night as the Bronx Bombers also won vs. the New York Mets. The Royals meanwhile remained in second place in the American League Central despite the loss on Thursday, although they fell six games behind the prohibitive favorites on the MLB odds to win the division prior to the season in the Detroit Tigers.

Tillman was named to the American League All-Star team last season in a year where he finished 16-7 with a 3.71 ERA and 1.22 WHIP. That earned him the opening day start this year despite the signing of Ubaldo Jimenez during the off-season, but Tillman has been much more hittable this season than he was last year and we thought he was a bit overrated to begin with!

Tillman is 3-2 but with a very ordinary 3.97 ERA and 1.36 WHIP, and his sabremetric profile is not any prettier. You see, Tillman does not have a great command ratio with 40 strikeouts but 19 walks in 47.2 innings, grading out to 3.59 walks per nine innings, and he has been a pronounced flyball pitcher with a groundball rate of just 39.3 percent, helping lead to a 4.58 FIP and 4.32 xFIP.

He is facing a Kansas City lineup that is starting to come around after a slow start, as the Royals are batting .264 while averaging 4.10 runs per game in the last 10 games, and he has not fared well in his four career starts vs. the Royals going 1-2 with a 9.00 ERA and 1.75 WHIP while allowing Kansas City batters to hit a rousing .337 off of him!

Guthrie had the distinction of topping out list of the most overrated pitchers in baseball earlier this year, and he is making us look rather smart right now! Guthrie is 2-2 but with a 4.80 ERA and a .268 batting average allowed and he has just 25 strikeouts vs. 11 walks in 50 innings. Toss in a distressing 11 home runs allowed already and a 41.0 percent groundball rate and you end up with a 5.82 FIP that is second worst in the Major Leagues among qualified starters.

And this is after posting the worst FIP in the majors last season at 4.79 for the whole year despite winning a career-high 15 games, which was why we put him on top of our overrated list for 2014. Guthrie has been especially brutal over his last three starts, going 0-1 with a disgusting 5.79 ERA during this time with just eight strikeouts in 18.2 innings. He is facing a Baltimore lineup batting a solid .267 vs. right-handers this year while averaging 4.11 runs per nine innings against them.

Thus, look for both offenses to shake off the cobwebs from last night and go ‘over’ the total in Kansas City on Friday.


MLB Pick: Orioles, Royals ‘over’ 8 (+106)

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