MLB Pick: Total Value Play of the Day Monday

LT Profits Sports Group

Monday, June 16, 2014 4:00 AM GMT

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.

Expect a relatively low scoring game Monday night when southpaw Wei-Yin Chen and the Baltimore Orioles (35-33, 19-16 away) pay a visit to right-hander Jake Odorizzi and the Tampa Bay Rays (27-43, 14-20 home) at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, FL at 7:10 ET.

The posted total at Pinnacle Sports is 7½ for this contest with the current odds on the ‘under’ set at -116.

The Orioles had a chance to gain some ground on the first place Toronto Blue Jays this past weekend back home in Camden Yards, but they managed just a split of a four-game series leaving them in a second-place tie with the New York Yankees in the American League East, 4½ games behind the Blue Jays and 4½ games ahead of the defending World Champion Boston Red Sox in fourth.

And then we surprisingly have the Rays, who were actually one of the favorites to win the division before the season started but instead find themselves bringing up the rear while shockingly owning the worst record in all of baseball and sitting a whopping 13½ games behind Toronto already! The Rays have been done in by a punchless offense that is 13th in the American League in batting at .244 and 28th in the Major Leagues in scoring at 3.64 runs per game.

The lefty Chen is in fine form for the Orioles as he has his third straight strong outing last Wednesday tossing seven scoreless innings and allowing four hits vs. the Red Sox with seven strikeouts and not a single walk. This leaves Chen at 7-2 for the season with a 3.76 ERA and 1.25 WHIP overall with that ERA and WHIIP both trending in the right direction lately thanks to allowing just three runs and 13 hits in 18.2 innings the last three starts.

Chen also has a terrific ratio of 17 strikeouts vs. one lonely walk in those last three starts, bringing him to 57 strikeouts vs. 11 walks in 76.2 innings for the season to help result in a 3.63 FIP and 3.44 xFIP, making him arguably the best Baltimore starting pitcher so far this season as no other Oriole in under 4.33 in either FIP or xFIP!

And that success should continue tonight vs. a Rays’ offense batting .233 vs. left-handed pitchers this season while averaging only 3.49 runs per nine innings against them, and Tampa Bay is batting a pathetic .190 vs. southpaws and averaging 2.25 runs per nine innings against them over the last 10 games.

While it is almost a given that the Rays will have trouble scoring runs here, the Tampa Bay starter Odorizzi may also do his part to help keep this contest ‘under’ the total. Granted, his numbers are not pretty on the surface as he is just 2-7 with a 4.85 ERA and 1.42 WHIP, but in reality he has been a bit better than that.

Odorizzi has a nice strikeout rate of 10.52 per nine innings with 76 of them in 65 frames against only 26 walks, and his mainstream numbers are skewed by allowing an extremely unlucky .341 BABIP. The St. Louis Cardinals saw what Odorizzi is truly capable of last Tuesday when he held them to one run on just three hits in 7.1 innings, and the fact that his 3.24 FIP and 3.49 xFIP are both considerably better than his ERA suggest that there is still room for regression.

Odorizzi may also be catching the Orioles at the perfect time considering that Baltimore is only averaging 2.90 runs over the last 10 games and batting a mere .220 vs. right-handed pitchers during this time, so expect both offenses to have difficulties in an ‘under’ from St. Petersburg on Monday.

MLB Pick: Orioles, Rays ‘under’ 7½ (-116)