MLB Pick: Total Value Play of the Day Monday

LT Profits Sports Group

Monday, June 30, 2014 4:00 AM UTC

Monday, Jun. 30, 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.

Expect a low scoring game Monday night in a rare meeting between two interleague opponents when Corey Kluber and the Cleveland Indians (39-42, 16-27 away) pay a visit to fellow right-hander Dan Haren and the Los Angeles Dodgers (47-37, 21-21 home) in the first game of a three-game series from Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, CA at 10:10 ET.

The posted total at Pinnacle Sports is 7 for this contest with the current odds on the ‘under’ set at -110.

This is the first time that these teams are meeting since 2008, and the clubs have a grand total of six games against each other in the history of their respective franchises. The teams also seem to be heading in opposite directions as the Dodgers have now won five of their last six games to pull into a first-place tie in the National League West with San Francisco less then three weeks after the Giants had the biggest lead of any Major League division leader!

Meanwhile the Indians lost for the sixth time in eight games Sunday in Seattle to Felix Hernandez and the Mariners, but Cleveland still remains a doable 6½ game behind the first-place Detroit Tigers in the American League Central despite being a disappointing three games under .500 after an unexpected run to a Wild Card Playoff spot last season.

While the Indians have been disappointing as a team, the mostly unheralded Kluber has burst onto the scene as quietly one of the best pitchers in the American League, as demonstrated by his appearances on our FIP Leaderboards all season! Do not be fooled by Kluber’s 7-5 record as he has a 3.09 ERA, 1.23 WHIP, 122 strikeouts in 110.2 innings vs. just 28 walks and only eight home runs allowed in 17 starts.

Moreover he has posted those numbers while actually pitching in bad luck as he is yielding a .336 BABIP so far! Now, Kluber was not as unknown among Sabremetricians as he was in the mainstream prior to this season as he did record a 2.7 WAR last year when his 147.1 innings were not enough for him to qualify to be ranked, but everyone has taken notice this season as he is fifth in the Major Leagues in FIP (2.68), sixth in xFIP (2.84) and sixth in WAR (3.0).

Furthermore this will be his first appearance ever vs. the Dodgers, which should make Kluber doubly tough to hit, and he has the support of a Cleveland bullpen that is ranked fourth in the American League with a 3.33 pen ERA.

Now, one reason why Kluber does not have a better record than he does is lack of run support, and that could be an issue again vs. Haren in this pitcher’s stadium. While we get that Haren has just a 5.51 ERA and 1.41 WHIP over his last three starts, the two sub-par efforts came on the road while he recorded a Quality Start in his lone home start in this span.

Haren is 7-4 with a 3.83 ERA and 1.28 WHIP overall, but like just about any Dodger pitcher whose last name is not Kershaw, Haren has been better at home where he is 3-1 with a 3.43 ERA and 1.12 WHIP with 24 strikeouts vs. just four walks in 44.2 home innings. In fact, Haren has posted six Quality Starts in his seven home starts overall.

The current Cleveland lineup is also mostly unfamiliar with Haren as he has not faced the Tribe since 2012, so look for both starting pitchers to find success in an ‘under’ from Chavez Ravine in Los Angeles on Monday.

MLB Pick: Indians, Dodgers ‘under’ 7 (-110)

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