MLB Pick: Total Value Play of the Day Sunday

LT Profits Sports Group

Sunday, June 23, 2013 4:00 AM UTC

Sunday, Jun. 23, 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.

Do not look for many offensive fireworks on getaway day Sunday when Dylan Axelrod and the Chicago White Sox (31-41, 15-27 away) pay a visit to James Shields and the Kansas City Royals (34-38, 17-18 home) as the teams wrap up a three-game weekend series from Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City, MO at 2:10 ET.

The posted total at Pinnacle Spots is 7½ for this contest with the current odds on the ‘under’ set at a positive +110.

The White Sox have taken the first two games of this series with the Royals scoring a grand total of three runs in the two defeats, which drops Kansas City to one game under .500 at home. The Royals have had some of the best pitching in baseball this year but their sporadic offense has spoiled many good efforts, such as yesterday when Wade Davis allowed two runs in seven innings with nothing to show for it.

In fact, Kansas City leads the American League with a 3.48 team ERA, and the Royals have been getting good pitching from start to finish with the starting pitchers owning a good 3.73 ERA and the bullpen posting a 2.89 ERA. Now, Kansas City actually ranks a respectable seventh in the American League in batting at .256 overall, but the Royals are only batting .246 vs. right-handers compared to .271 vs. southpaws and they average just 3.30 runs per game vs. righties at home.

Few pitchers have felt the effect of that erratic offense like Shields has, as he is only 2-6 on the year despite having All-Star numbers otherwise. Shields has a 2.72 ERA and 1.12 WHIP with a .234 batting average allowed to go along with 95 strikeouts against 30 walks in 106 innings and two Complete Games, both of which were amazingly Complete Game losses!

That is what happens when your offense only gives you 3.40 runs per nine innings of support, but when you combine that with Shields’s fine pitching, it has made him an ‘under’ machine as it has gone 11-4 in his 15 starts with Shields allowing three runs or less in 13 of them. That includes two fantastic starts vs. these White Sox that saw him allow only one run on 10 hits in 14 innings with 15 strikeouts, and yet he went 0-1 with one no-decision!

Shields is not the only pitcher to have success against the White Sox this season considering that they rank dead last in the American League in both scoring (3.69 per game) and team OPS (.670) and they rank 12th in batting average at .242. The Chicago pitching staff has not been awful though with a 3.81 team ERA, so that has resulted in the ‘under’ going 38-28-6 in all White Sox games.

Axelrod has certainly been erratic while going 3-4 with a 4.39 ERA and 1.41 WHIP, but that inconsistency includes a recent stretch where he allowed three runs or less in five straight starts before getting hit hard in his last two outings. He can regain his good form here given the struggles of the Kansas City offense, and Axelrod did pitch well the first time he faced the Royals allowing two runs in 7.2 innings of an unfortunate 2-0 loss.

Finally the Chicago bullpen has posted a 2.67 ERA over the last 10 games so look for pitching to control this contest from beginning to end in an ‘under’ on Sunday.


MLB Pick: White Sox, Royals ‘under’ 7½ (+110)

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