MLB Pick: Total Value Play of the Day Monday

LT Profits Sports Group

Monday, July 22, 2013 4:00 AM UTC

Monday, Jul. 22, 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.

There could be a nice pitching matchup on national television Monday night when Ivan Nova and the New York Yankees (52-46, 24-23 away) pay a visit to Yu Darvish and the Texas Rangers (54-44, 27-22 home) in the first game of a long four-game series from Rangers Ballpark in Arlington, TX at 7:05 ET in a game televised nationally on ESPN.

The posted total at Pinnacle Spots is 8½ for this contest with the current odds on the ‘under’ set at -111.

You may recall that the Rangers were our choice to win the World Series at +1150 on the MLB Future odds early in the year because of their improved pitching, but we did not count on their offense going in the tank! Texas was just swept in a three-game series here at home by the Baltimore Orioles while scoring a total of seven runs in the series, and the Rangers are a dismal 1-7 in their last eight games overall while scoring a scant 11 runs in the seven losses.

Texas is far from out of it though at just three games behind the Oakland Athletics while in second place in the American League West, although the Rangers; playoff chances took a mild hit this weekend as they went from having a 1½-game lead over the Orioles for the final wild card spot to now being 1½ back on the outside looking in.

At least the Rangers still have that pitching to keep them competitive, and Darvish is coming off of the Disabled List to take this start, a DL sting that probably cost him a spot in the All-Star Game. Darvish is 8-4 with a fine 3.02 ERA and 1.05 WHIP while limiting batters to a .194 batting average, and he is tied with Matt Harvey for the Major League lead in strikeouts with 157 in only 119.1 innings against 41 walks.

Darvish was not at his best when he faced the Yankees on June 25th as he allowed three earned runs on seven hits in 5.1 innings that day, apparently bothered by the back strain which disabled him soon thereafter. The Yankees have only faced Darvish in good health once, and he was brilliant in that start last season tossing 8.1 scoreless innings while allowing seven hits with 10 strikeouts, and that came vs. a stronger New York lineup too.

The current Yankees have only one superstar in their everyday lineup in Robinson Cano, and as a result they are only 12th in the American League in batting average while averaging a un-Yankee-like 3.95 runs per game. Thus, Darvish has a good chance at success in his first game back.

However, Texas’s offensive problems may also continue vs. a red-hot Nova, who now has a 2.28 ERA and 0.89 WHIP over his last three starts with an impressive 24 strikeouts against six walks after most recently limiting the Kansas City Royals to one run on just five hits in eight innings. That leaves Nova at 4-2 with a 3.63 ERA and a nice ratio of 54 strikeouts vs. 16 walks in 52 innings over the entire season, which includes a DL stint of his own early on.

The current state of the Texas lineup also helps Nova’s cause, as does a Yankee bullpen that has a 2.30 ERA over the last 10 games. Speaking of bullpens, the Rangers’ bullpen has been almost unhittable over that same span with a nearly non-existent 0.30 ERA, so go ‘under’ in Texas on Monday.


MLB Pick: Yankees, Rangers ‘under’ 8½ (-111)

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