MLB Pick: Total Value Play of the Day Friday

LT Profits Sports Group

Friday, June 27, 2014 4:00 AM GMT

Friday, Jun. 27, 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.

It could be one of the best pitching duels in the Major Leagues this season Friday night when right-hander Johnny Cueto and the Cincinnati Reds (40-38, 21-20 away) pay a visit to southpaw Madison Bumgarner and the San Francisco Giants (46-33, 24-18 home) in the second game of a four-game series from AT&T Park on San Francisco, CA at 10:15 ET.

The posted total at Pinnacle Sports is 6 for this contest with the current odds on the ‘under’ set at -109.

The Reds took the series opener 3-1 here last night with Mike Leake out-dueling Ryan Vogelsong, continuing a Giants’ tailspin that has them at 4-12 the last 16 games after having the best record in all of baseball before that. Not even the no-hitter by Tim Lincecum Wednesday could change San Francisco’s fortunes as the Giants were unable to piece two wins together, and their lead over the second place Dodgers in the NL West is down to two games.

The Reds have been playing better baseball lately following a slow start this year as they have now gone 11-4 in their last 15 contests including winning five of their last six games. That has pushed Cincinnati to two games over .500 while in third place in the NL Central, 7½ games behind the surprising first place Milwaukee Brewers and just two games out of a wild card spot.

Cueto may have the most deceptive 7-5 record you will ever see as the reality is that he has been one of the best pitchers in the National League this season. You see, Cueto leads the entire Major Leagues with his spiffy 1.86 ERA to go along with a miniscule 0.84 WHIP, and he is second behind only Stephen Strasburg in the National League with his 119 strikeouts while walking only 27 batters in 116 innings!

Cueto has maintained that great form nicely as he has allowed a grand total of only three earned runs in 20 innings over his last three starts with 22 strikeouts vs. five walks, and he could be facing San Francisco at the right time as the Giants are batting only .230 vs. right-handed pitchers over the last 10 games.

Granted the Cincinnati bullpen has been a concern with a 4.16 ERA overall this season, but remember that closer Aroldis Chapman is now back and pitching well after getting hit in the head by a line drive during spring training, and Cueto has been pitching deep enough into games to segue right into Chapman and take the shaky middle relief out of the equation.

Meanwhile, Bumgarner has been one of the better southpaws in baseball this year, in fact leading all National League left-handed pitchers with his 2.63 ERA. That is accompanied by a very good 1.14 WHIP and a nice ratio of 111 strikeouts vs. 25 walks in 102.2 innings.

Bumgarner is also doing a great job of maintaining his form as he held the Arizona Diamondbacks to just one unearned run and two measly hits in eight innings with seven strikeouts in his last start on Sunday, and he also pitched extremely well in his only start vs. the Reds in Cincinnati this year, allowing one run and only three hits in eight innings of a 6-1 victory.

Then again, it should not come as a surprise that an excellent southpaw like Bumgarner would shut down a Cincinnati offense that is batting a meager .223 vs. left-handed pitchers this season. Also, in case Bumgarner is in need of relief the San Francisco bullpen is ranked fourth in the Major Leagues with a 2.70 ERA.

Therefore, look for the pitchers to dominate this contest from start to finish in an extremely low scoring game in San Francisco late Friday night.

MLB Pick: Reds, Giants ‘under’ 6 (-109)

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