MLB Pick: Total Value Play of the Day Sunday

LT Profits Sports Group

Sunday, May 26, 2013 4:00 AM UTC

Sunday, May. 26, 2013 4:00 AM UTC

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

Two pitchers showing recent improvement could key an ‘under’ in front of a national audience Sunday night when Julio Teheran and the Atlanta Braves (30-18, 15-13 away) pay a visit to Shaun Marcum and the New York Mets (17-29, 9-17 home) in the final game of a three-game series from Citi Field in Flushing, NY at 8:05 ET in a game televised nationally on ESPN.

The posted total at Pinnacle Spots is 8 for this contest with the current odds on the ‘under’ set at -123.

The Braves have taken the first two games of this series, both of which were completed on Saturday. That is because rains came after the eighth inning of the series opener on Friday night with the score tied 5-5. That necessitated a suspension with the game being picked up in the top of the ninth inning Saturday, with Atlanta going on to win that contest 7-5 in 10 innings before winning the regularly scheduled game 6-0 behind 7.1 scoreless innings by Mike Minor.

That runs the winning streak for Atlanta to eight straight games as Braves have now opened up a 5½-game lead over the second place Washington Nationals in the National League East Division, with the Mets in fourth place a full 12 games behind Atlanta.

The Braves are aiming for the sweep with their highly regarded rookie Teheran, and after going through some growing pains over his first several starts this season, the 22-year-old right-hander from Columbia is beginning to show why the Atlanta organization is so high on him.

Teheran is 3-1 on the season and he has lowered his ERA to 3.99 by allowing three runs or less in each of his last five starts, and the most impressive thing about those starts has been his command, as he has 18 strikeouts against only two walks in 33.2 innings over those five outings, leaving him with 30 strikeouts against nine walks for the season. Teheran has gotten away with pitching to contact because he has a good 1.82 groundball-to-flyball ratio.

It also helps that the Mets are a mess offensively right now, batting only .223 over their last 10 games while averaging 2.80 runs per game in those contests.

The Mets are looking to avoid the sweep with Marcum, who is finally looking like his old self again after being terrible in his first three starts in a New York uniform. Marcum began this season on the Disabled List and he may have returned to the rotation too soon, accounting for his rough start in his first season with the Mets. However, he had X-rays taken about two weeks ago that came back negative and his two starts since then have been much more promising.

First, he tossed his first Quality Start as a Met when he held the St. Louis Cardinals to two earned runs and just five hits in 6.2 innings. Then, he was touched up for three runs in the first inning by the Cincinnati Reds last time out but settled down nicely after that, allowing four runs in total on six hits with seven strikeouts in six innings.

As hot as the Braves are right now, they remain just ninth in the National League with a .247 batting average and Marcum has allowed three runs or less in all four of his career starts against them. Thus, do not look for many fireworks and go ‘under’ on Sunday Night Baseball this week.


MLB Pick: Braves, Mets ‘under’ 8 (-123)

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