MLB Pick: Total Value Play of the Day Monday

LT Profits Sports Group

Monday, September 2, 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.

Two wild card hopefuls that have stopped hitting and two capable pitchers should equate to a relatively low scoring contest on Labor Day Monday when Bud Norris and the Baltimore Orioles (72-63, 34-34 away) pay a visit to Justin Masterson and the Cleveland Indians (72-64, 40-26 home) in the first game of a potentially big three-game series from Progressive Field in Cleveland, OH at 4:05 ET in a game televised regionally on MLB Network.

The posted total at Pinnacle Spots is 8 for this contest with the current odds on the ‘under’ set at -105.

The Indians avoided an 0-6 road trip by salvaging a win in the final game vs. the Detroit Tigers 4-0 on Sunday, leaving them 7½ games behind Detroit while in second place in the American League Central. The Indians are much closer in the wild card race though, where they are tied with the New York Yankees at 3½ games behind the Tampa Bay Rays for the final playoff spot, with these Orioles also just one-half game ahead of them.

The Orioles have not gotten off to a good start on this road trip as they hurt their playoff chances by losing two out of three to both the Yankees and the Boston Red Sox, leaving them 8½ games behind Boston in the American League East and basically assuring that a wild card berth would be their only hope of making the playoffs.

The Tribe is starting the reliable Masterson in the series opener, who is 14-9 with a 3.49 ERA and 1.21 WHIP for the year while maintaining his good form quite consistently throughout the season. Masterson has tossed three straight Quality Starts despite the Indians as a team going 1-2 in those contests, as he posted a 2.66 ERA over the three outings but did not get much run support.

Masterson should continue to pitch well today despite Baltimore having one of the most potent offenses in the league for much of the year, as the Orioles have gone into an offensive funk at perhaps the worst possible time while batting just .227 overall over the last 10 games.

Baltimore counters with Norris, who is discovering that pitching in a pennant race is not as easy as pitching for the Houston Astros. Norris was pitching well for the Astros when the Orioles acquired him just before the trading deadline, but he has just a 4.91 ERA despite being 3-1 in a Baltimore uniform. He did appear to turn a corner though by limiting Boston to one run and four hits in 5.1 innings with seven strikeouts Wednesday before the bullpen let him down.

Norris can now build on that vs. a Cleveland team that has never faced him before, which should work to his advantage, and he is facing a struggling Indians’ offense that, like Baltimore, is batting an identically bad .227 in the last 10 games.

Therefore, runs should be hard to come by in Cleveland on Monday.

[gameodds]3/242356/?r-1=238-92-43-349-192/us[/gameodds]

MLB Pick: Orioles, Indians ‘under’ 8 (-105)