MLB Pick: Total Value Play of the Day Sunday

LT Profits Sports Group

Sunday, September 8, 2013 4:00 AM GMT

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.

While the year-to-date numbers of the starting pitchers may not support it, look for a sneaky pitching duel on Sunday when Nick Tepesch and the Texas Rangers (80-61, 41-32 away) pay a visit to Jason Vargas and the Los Angeles Angels (67-74, 35-39 home) in the final game of a three-game series from Angel Stadium in Anaheim, CA at 3:35 ET.

The posted total at Pinnacle Spots is 8½ for this contest with the current odds on the ‘under’ set at a positive +116.

The Angels might be the biggest disappointments in baseball this season, but they have become a factor in the American League West pennant race by taking the first two games of this series, pushing the Rangers into second place and 1½ games behind the division leading Oakland Athletics. In fact, the Angels are 12-3 in their last 15 games, although it is far too late to mean much as they are in third place 14½ games behind Oakland.

The Rangers are slumping at the most inopportune time as they have lost three straight and are 2-6 in their last eight games, including losing two out of three to the Athletics before coming to Anaheim in a critical head-to-head series. They now look to get on track with Tepesch, who is making his first start since July 5th when he went on the Disabled List with elbow inflammation.

The rookie Tepesch may be just 4-6 with a 4.67 ERA and 1.31 WHIP overall but he was actually off to a good start this season and it could very well be that the elbow injury was the reason his performance slipped until he was ultimately disabled. He actually made his return in a relief role on Monday and he looked very good now that he is healthy, allowing only one hit in 3.1 scoreless innings.

This will be his first start ever vs. the Angels, which should make him doubly tough, and he has the support of a Texas bullpen that ranks fourth in the entire Major Leagues with a 3.00 ERA, an ERA that has dipped a touch more over the last 10 games at 2.93.

The Halos counter with Vargas, who is 8-6 on the season but has lowered his ERA to 3.80 with some fine recent form. Yes, he was hits hard by the Tampa Bay Rays in his last start allowing five earned runs on 10 hits in four innings, but he had allowed three runs or less in five of his previous six starts and we like the southpaw’s chances of returning to that form here.

That is especially true considering that Vargas has pitched well in his two starts vs. the Rangers this year allowing a total of four runs in 12.2 innings. He is also catching a Texas lineup that is averaging only 3.50 runs per nine innings vs. left-handed pitchers over the last 10 games. He also has the support of an Angels’ bullpen that has improved with a stingy 2.17 ERA in the last 10 games.

Therefore, look for a deceptively low scoring game and a rather safe ‘under’ in Anaheim on Sunday.

[gameodds]3/242565/?r-1=238-92-43-349-192/us[/gameodds]

MLB Pick: Red Sox, Yankees ‘under’ 8½ (+116)