MLB Pick: Total Value Play of the Day Monday

LT Profits Sports Group

Monday, May 26, 2014 4:00 AM UTC

Monday, May. 26, 2014 4:00 AM UTC

Each day the LT Profits Sports Group seeks out an MLB total that does not add up and offers the most value that day. Here is their Total Value Play of the Day for Monday.

In a pitching matchup between young and old Monday night north of the border on what is Memorial Day in the USA, it may be a low scoring affair when the veteran southpaw Erik Bedard and the Tampa Bay Rays (23-28, 11-14 away) pay a visit to young right-hander Drew Hutchison and the Toronto Blue Jays (29-22, 13-11 home) at Rogers Centre in Toronto, ON Canada at 7:07 ET.

The posted total at Pinnacle Sports is 9 for this contest with the current odds on the ‘under’ set at +100.

The Blue Jays are on a tear having gone 16-5 in their last 21 games including six wins in a row after sweeping what had been a hot Oakland Athletics team this past weekend, and that has rather surprisingly moved Toronto into first place in the American League East, two games ahead of the second place New York Yankees.

Meanwhile it was the Rays that were a popular selection before the season to dethrone the World Champion Red Sox as AL East champs, but they got off to a terrible start that had them in last place for much of this early season. However, they too are now starting to catch fire as they have won four straight including a three-game sweep of those Red Sox this weekend to move up to fourth place, six games behind the Blue Jays.

The 23-year-old Hutchinson was very highly regarded when he first came up with the Blue Jays in 2012, but he then underwent Tommy John surgery in August of that year and did not pitch in the Major Leagues last season, although he was activated in August and optioned to Triple-A Buffalo and made five starts there. Hutchinson is now showing why scouts were so high on him in his return to the majors, especially in recent starts.

Hutchinson out-dueled one of the best pitchers in all of baseball two starts ago in Yu Darvish, tossing a Complete Game three-hut shutout to win 2-0 while striking out six and walking one. He then followed up that outing by allowing one run and six hits in 5.2 innings vs. the Red Sox last Wednesday when the Jays decided to pull him after 102 pitches has he had tossed 105 pitches in the shutout in Texas.

Hutchinson already pitched very well in his only start vs. Tampa Bay this season, which came in his first start of the season and first in the Major Leagues in two years on April 1st, when he hurled 5.1 scoreless innings at the Rays while allowing only three hits. Hutchinson is a deceptive 3-3 with a 3.45 ERA for the season, as he has a 1.18 WHIP and 59 strikeouts in 60 innings vs. just 18 walks, having allowed three runs or less in seven of his 10 starts.

He is facing a Tampa Bay offense batting a terrible .201 vs. right-handed pitchers over the last 10 games while averaging 2.63 runs per nine inning against them in that time.

The veteran Bedard will not make anyone forget 2013 All-Star Matt Moore, who is out for this season after undergoing Tommy John, but he is giving the Rays quality innings since being inserted into the rotation. In fact, after allowing eight runs in only 7.2 innings in his first two starts in a Tampa Bay uniform, Bedard has been amazing since then while allowing one run or less in five consecutive outings, allowing a total of three runs and 16 hits in 28 innings!

That leaves the 35-year-old at 2-2 but with a 2.63 ERA for the season while yielding just a .204 batting average, and he even has a good 3.34 FIP that suggests he is capable of maintaining his surprisingly good form. He is facing a Toronto lineup batting slightly worse vs. southpaws this season (.248) than vs. right-handers (.258).

Thus, expect a relatively low scoring game, or at least low enough to stay ‘under’ in Canada on Monday.


MLB Pick: Rays, Blue Jays ‘under’ 9 (+100)

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