MLB Pick: Total Value Play of the Day Monday

LT Profits Sports Group

Monday, June 23, 2014 4:00 AM GMT

Monday, Jun. 23, 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.

It could be a low scoring game Monday night in an interleague matchup of disappointing teams that have been playing better baseball lately when Edinson Volquez and the Pittsburgh Pirates (37-38, 16-20 away) pay a visit to Alex Cobb and the Tampa Bay Rays (31-46, 18-23 home) in a battle of right-handers from Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, FL at 7:10 ET.

The posted total at Pinnacle Sports is 7 for this contest with the current odds on the ‘under’ set at +100.

The Rays may be the biggest disappointments in baseball after more than a few experts predicted them to win the American League East prior to the season. Instead, not only is Tampa Bay in last place despite winnings seven of its last 11 games overall, but the Rays still own the worst record in the entire Major Leagues at 31-46! They trail the first place Toronto Blue Jays by 11 games as their inability to score runs have proven fatal thus far.

Similarly, more was expected of the Pirates this season after ending a 21-year playoff drought last year, and although they have now won three of their last four games, it still leaves them fourth in the National League Central and nine games behind the division leading Milwaukee Brewers. It has not helped matters that last year’s National League MVP Andrew McCutchen is currently in a 3-for-20 slump.

Cobb was being counted on heavily by the Rays this season to form a lethal one-two punch with David Price at the top of the rotation, but he instead has been pitching in tough luck in a year that has included a six-week stint on the Disabled List. Cobb is just 2-5, but he has been a victim of the weak Tampa Bay offense as he has a good 3.48 ERA, 1.16 WHIP and 51 strikeouts in 54.1 innings vs. just 17 walks allowed.

Cobb has his season interrupted for six weeks after just his third start of the year due to a strained oblique, and it appears that he is just now starting to peak as he has allowed only one earned run in 13.1 innings over his last two starts with 17 strikeouts! He is now facing a Pittsburgh lineup that is batting just .234 vs. right-handed pitchers on the road this year while averaging only 3.42 runs per nine innings against them away from home.

As if that was not tough enough for the Pirates, this marks the first time they have ever faced Cobb, which should make him doubly tough to hit.

Now, Volquez does not have good surface numbers for the Bucs as he is just 4-6 with a 4.67 ERA and 1.26 WHIP, and he comes off of a rough outing vs. his old team the Cincinnati Reds where he was burned for eight runs in 2.1 innings! However, Volquez had appeared to turn a corner prior to that stinker as he had allowed three earned runs or less in each of his five previous starts, and he is quite capable of bouncing back to that form vs. the Tampa Bay offense here.

After all, the Rays are 28th out of 30 Major League teams in runs scored at 3.69 per game. Volquez recorded a Quality Start the only time he faced Tampa Bay last season while he was a member of the San Diego Padres, allowing only two runs and three hits in six innings right here at “The Trop.”

Therefore, look for a much lower scoring game than the records of the starting pitchers may suggest at Tampa Bay on Monday.

MLB Pick: Pirates, Rays ‘under’ 7 (+100)

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