MLB Pick: Total Value Play of the Day Monday

LT Profits Sports Group

Monday, September 16, 2013 4:00 AM UTC

Monday, Sep. 16, 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.

Runs could be hard to come by in a pitching rematch from last week Monday night when Scott Kazmir and the Cleveland Indians (81-68, 36-38 away) pay a visit to James Shields and the Kansas City Royals (91-59, 49-25 home) in the opening game of a big three-game series from Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City, MO at 8:10 ET.

The posted total at Pinnacle Spots is 7½ for this contest with the current odds on the ‘under’ set at -115.

Do not look now but the Indians have pulled to within one-half game of a wild card spot, and they would definitely be in a wild card position with a win tonight because the two teams currently tied for the two wild card spots, the Texas Rangers and Tampa Bay Rays, are facing each other. That fact could also help the Royals, as Kansas City is also still alive and would pull to within 2½ games of the second wild card spot with a win here.

These same two pitchers squared off back in Cleveland on Wednesday with the Royals prevailing 6-2. Keep in mind though that Kansas City led 3-2 after the first inning of that contest before the pitchers settled down, especially Shields, who went on to pitch seven scoreless innings following the initial stanza.

Shields was one of the biggest victims of the Royals’ lack of offense earlier in the season so his 11-9 record is extremely deceptive as in reality he has been the Kansas City ace. Shields has a 3.38 ERA and he has been a model of consistency all season while allowing three earned runs or less in 25 of his 32 starts! He has also allowed three runs or less on three of his four starts vs. Cleveland in 2013.

Granted the Indians are batting .268 as a team and averaging 5.90 runs per game over the last 10 games, but almost all of that damage has been done vs. left-handed pitching, as the Tribe are batting only .223 vs. right-handers during this time while averaging just 3.86 runs per nine innings against them.

The Indians took a chance on Kazmir during the off-season despite the fact that the southpaw was out of organized baseball at a fairly young age last year, and he has proven to be serviceable. Yes, he is just 8-8 with a 4.24 ERA, but he has had his moments where he resembled the two-time All-Star he was while with the Rays earlier in his career, and he has also allowed three earned runs or less on all four of his starts vs. Kansas City this season.

Kazmir has had better command for the most part than he did when disappearing from site a couple of years ago as he has a very acceptable 135 strikeouts against 43 walks in 140 innings, and he incredibly has 28 strikeouts vs. three walks over his last four starts!

On top of all this, the Kansas City bullpen has a 1.64 ERA over the last five games and the Cleveland bullpen has an even better 1.04 ERA over that same span, so look for an ‘under’ in the Show Me State on Monday.


MLB Pick: Indians, Royals ‘under’ 7½ (-115)

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