MLB Pick: Total Value Play of the Day Monday

LT Profits Sports Group

Monday, May 27, 2013 4:00 AM GMT

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 Monday.

One of the MLB Rivalry Week games on Monday night has the potential to become a good old fashioned pitching duel when Jeff Samardzija and the Chicago Cubs (19-30, 9-16 away) pay a visit to Jose Quintana and the Chicago White Sox (24-24, 13-10 home) in the first game of a two-game series from U.S Cellular Field in Chicago, IL that is effectively a four-game series as it will be followed by two games at Wrigley Field.. The first pitch Monday is at 7:10 ET.

The posted total at Pinnacle Spots is 7½ for this contest with the current odds on the ‘under’ set at -126.

This is the first year that Major League Baseball has set aside a week just for rivalry series as all teams are playing home-and-home series with two games at each venue. While that could lead to some excitement among the fans, this Windy City Series may be lacking in excitement on the field as far as scoring goes and two good starting pitchers has us liking the ‘under’ quite a bit in the opener.

The White Sox come in on a bit of a roll as they have won five of the first six games this home stand to reach the .500 mark for the season, although to be fair they did get to feast on the worst team in baseball when they swept three games from the Miami Marlins over the weekend. Even with their recent success, the White Sox are still third from the bottom in the American League with a .242 batting average and they are dead last in the AL in runs scored at 3.69 per game.

The flip side though is that they have remained competitive by ranking second in the American League with a 3.57 team ERA and Quintana has been a big part of that pitching success. The 24-year-old from Columbia is 3-1 with a 3.48 ERA, 1.18 WHIP and a nice ratio of 39 strikeouts against 15 walks in 51.2 innings. The youngster has allowed three runs or less in six of his last eight starts and he allowed a manageable four runs in the other two outings.

Quintana is coming off of another sharp outing vs. the Boston Red Sox last Tuesday where he allowed only three hits over 6.1 scoreless innings with five strikeouts. Furthermore, the southpaw is making his first ever appearance against the Cubs, which should make him doubly tough to hit.

The Cubs just dropped two out of three to the Reds in Cincinnati over the weekend, in fact snapping a six-game losing streak by winning the series finale 5-4 on Sunday. Just as it has been for the White Sox, hitting has also been an issue for the Cubs as they are batting .246 as a team while averaging only 3.88 runs per game.

The starting pitchers for the Cubs have pitched reasonably well however with a collective 3.70 ERA, and that includes the former Notre Dame wide receiver Samardzija, who has pitched considerably better than his 2-6 record. You see, Samardzija has a 3.25 ERA, 1.13 WHIP and 72 strikeouts in 63.2 innings against only 22 walks while yielding just a .211 opponents’ batting average.

The problem for Samardzija, just as for the entire Cubs’ pitching staff, has been run support and that does not figure to change tonight with the Cubs batting .227 vs. left-handed pitchers overall this season including .223 while averaging a measly 2.32 runs per nine innings against them on the road.

At the end of the day, expect both pitchers to be cursing their run support as this Windy City Battle stays ‘under’ on Monday.

[gameodds]3/228094/238-92-43-349-192/us[/gameodds]

MLB Pick: Cubs, White Sox ‘under’ 7½ (-126)