MLB Pick: Total Value Play of the Day Monday

LT Profits Sports Group

Monday, June 24, 2013 4:00 AM UTC

Monday, Jun. 24, 2013 4:00 AM UTC

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.

A couple of currently undervalued pitchers could result in an ‘under’ on Monday night when Esmil Rogers and the red-hot Toronto Blue Jays (38-36, 16-19 away) pay a visit to Jeremy Hellickson and the Tampa Bay Rays (39-37, 21-16 home) in the opening game of a three-game series from Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, FL at 7:10 ET.

The posted total at Pinnacle Spots is 8½ for this contest with the current odds on the ‘under’ set at -119.

The Blue Jays are the hottest team in baseball having won 11 games in a row and 14 of their last 16, and while the preseason favorites to win the American League East are still tied for last place with their opponents tonight the Rays, they are now only five games behind the first place Boston Red Sox in a division where all five teams are over .500.

The Rays salvaged a split of their four-game series vs. the New York Yankees by taking the series finale on Sunday, and they may have the kryptonite returning home from a seven-game road trip to slow down the sizzling Blue Jays in Hellickson, who has always pitched well against Toronto.

Hellickson does not have a pretty ERA this season at 5.50 ERA, but he has pitched better than that for the most part while going 5-3 with a much better 1.25 WHIP and 70 strikeouts against only 19 walks in 91.2 innings. He also continued his fine pitching vs. the Blue Jays on May 22nd when he allowed only two runs and four hits in eight innings before the bullpen blew the lead and he received no decision in a 4-3 Tampa Bay loss.

Hellickson has now faced Toronto eight times in his career all within the last three years and he has yet to allow more than three earned runs in any of those starts including two this season, resulting in a 3.04 ERA and 1.21 WHIP in 50.1 innings.

His current form is skewed by one awful outing vs. Kansas City two starts back where he allowed eight runs in 5.2 innings, as in actuality he has allowed three runs or less in three of his last four starts including holding the first place Red Sox to two runs in six innings of a 6-2 victory at Fenway Park in his last start Wednesday.

Rogers is taking the rotation spot of Brandon Morrow, who unfortunately suffered a setback recently. That setback give Rogers a chance to stay in the rotation for a while and he has been surprisingly effective while not yet allowing more than two earned runs in any of his four starts.

Granted he went less than five innings in his first two starts, but Rogers held the Texas Rangers to one run on five hits in seven innings two starts ago and followed that up by going 6.2 innings while limiting the Colorado Rockies to two earned runs on only four hits last Tuesday.

While we readily admit that Rogers is in an up-cycle right now that probably will not last, he still has a chance for at least one more effective start vs. a Tampa Bay offense that is averaging only 3.60 runs per game over its last 10 contests.

Look for both pitchers to be effective enough to give this ‘under’ some sneaky value on Monday.


MLB Pick: Blue Jays, Rays ‘under’ 8½ (-119)

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