MLB Pick: Total Value Play of the Day Sunday

LT Profits Sports Group

Sunday, June 1, 2014 4:00 AM UTC

Sunday, Jun. 1, 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 Sunday.

With the reigning American League Cy Young Award winner expected to bounce back after a couple of tough outings, runs should be hard to come by when Max Scherzer and those Detroit Tigers (31-21, 17-10 away) pay a visit to southpaw Roenis Elias and the Seattle Mariners (27-28, 13-15 home) at Safeco Field in Seattle, WA at 4:10 ET.

The posted total at Pinnacle Sports is 7½ for this contest with the current odds on the ‘under’ set at -130.

The Tigers were the prohibitive favorite to win the American League Central before the season as well as one of the favorites to win the World Series, and they have not disappointed as they lead the division by 5½ games after these teams split the first two games of this three-game series, with the Tigers winning the series opener Friday behind former two-time Cy Young winner Justin Verlander and the Mariners coming back to win 3-2 on Saturday.

The Mariners loosened the purse strings during the off-season with some big signings, the most notable being Robinson Cano, and while they may be a tad improved relative to recent years, they remain one game under .500 while in fourth place in the American League West, 6½ games behind the first place Oakland Athletics.

Scherzer comes off of a career year where he went 21-3 with a 2.90 ERA and 240 strikeouts vs. just 56 walks in 214.1 innings, making him a well deserving Cy Young winner. He has come back to go 6-1 with a 3.00 ERA this season, but he has been hit hard in two starts since allowing only three hits in six scoreless innings vs. the Boston Red Sox on May 16th.

First, he was touched up for seven earned runs on 12 hits in seven innings by the Cleveland Indians, and he then allowed five earned runs on eight hits vs. the Athletics on Tuesday, luckily escaping both of those outings with no-decisions.

We are not that concerned about that though as we simply do not see a pitcher of Scherzer’s caliber having three bad starts in a row, especially considering that he has maintained his good ration of 82 strikeouts in 72 innings vs. 24 walks. It also helps to be facing a Seattle lineup batting just .221 vs. right-handed pitchers over the entire season and an abysmal .181 against them over the last 10 games.

Scherzer was excellent in his only start vs. the Mariners last season, allowing one run on six hits with 12 strikeouts vs. just one walk in eight innings.

With that said, Elias may also have success today in his first ever start against the Tigers, especially with Detroit surprisingly batting just .233 vs. left-handed pitchers over the last 10 games. Yes, Elias comes off of probably his worst start of the year where he allowed five earned runs on eight hits in 6.1 innings vs. the Angels, but he had allowed three earned runs or less in eight of his first 10 starts.

Elias has combined a good strikeout rate of 7.89 per nine innings with a 47.8 percent groundball rate, helping lead to a 3.77 xFIP that is running a little ahead of his 4.02 ERA, which is usually a very good sign. Pitching in spacious Safeco Field helps and the ‘under’ is 7-4 in all of Elias’s starts this season.

Add this up and expect a rater low scoring affair that stays ‘under’ this total in Seattle on Sunday.


MLB Pick: Tigers, Mariners ‘under’ 7½ (-130)

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