MLB Pick: Total Value Play of the Day Saturday

LT Profits Sports Group

Saturday, June 21, 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 Saturday.

There could be a lower scoring game than the ERA of each starting pitcher would indicate Saturday night when Ryan Vogelsong and the San Francisco Giants (43-30, 20-15 away) pay a visit to fellow right-hander Brandon McCarthy and the Arizona Diamondbacks (32-45, 14-27 home) in the second game of a weekend three-game series from Chase Field in Phoenix, AZ at 10:10 ET.

The posted total at Pinnacle Sports is 8½ for this contest with the current odds on the ‘under’ set at -105.

Without much notice, the Diamondbacks have become a good ‘under’ team at home as of late as it is now 9-3 in their last 12 home games after yet another home ‘under’ in Arizona’s 4-1 win in the series opener last night with Josh Collmenter outdueling Tim Lincecum. The Diamondback still remain in last place in the National League West though, although they are just 1½ behind the fourth place San Diego Padres as they look to get out of the basement.

The Giants had the best record in all of baseball just a few days ago, but they have now seemingly out of the blue lost six straight games and nine of their last 10 and they no longer even own the best record in the National League. They have fallen one game behind the Milwaukee Brewers in that regard and have seen their lead in the West Division shrink to four games over the second place Los Angeles Dodgers.

The Diamondbacks are a full 13 games behind San Francisco and are sending a pitcher to the mound in McCarthy that sits at 1-9 with a 5.18 ERA. However, McCarthy comes off of a Quality Start vs. the Brewers Monday where he allowed three runs in seven innings and he is in reality nowhere near as bad as his surface numbers would indicate.

You see, McCarthy has an excellent ratio of 78 strikeouts vs. 17 walks in 92 innings, he has a very good groundball rate of 55.5 percent and he has pitched in bad luck while surrendering a high .331 BABIP. In fact, McCarthy actually has a terrific xFIP of 2.91, giving him the biggest xFIP-to-ERA disparity in baseball, which is positive sign for upcoming regression.

He is facing a San Francisco lineup that is batting just .229 vs. right-handed pitchers on the road this season and that is averaging only 3.31 runs per nine innings vs. right-handers over the last 10 games.

However, even if McCarthy pitches well there is no guarantee that he will get a win as Vogelsong is also capable of keeping the Arizona offense in check. Granted Ryan does not have eye-popping numbers as he is 4-3 with a 3.94 ERA and 1.34 WHIP, but those numbers are in line with his 3.69 FIP, so basically what you see with Vogelsong is what you get.

So expect a typical start of around three runs allowed in six innings or so, and then expect the great San Francisco bullpen to be called upon, a very solid unit that is third in the entire Major Leagues with a 2.73 ERA while also accumulating an excellent bullpen WHIP of 1.04.

Thus, look for a relatively low scoring affair and another ‘under’ in the desert on Saturday.

MLB Pick: Giants, Diamondbacks ‘under’ 8½ (-105)