MLB Pick: Total Value Play of the Day Sunday

LT Profits Sports Group

Sunday, June 22, 2014 4:00 AM GMT

Sunday, Jun. 22, 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 Sunday.

One of the better southpaws in the National League could help key an ‘under’ Sunday when that lefty Madison Bumgarner and the San Francisco Giants (44-30, 21-15 away) pay a visit to right-hander Michael Bolsinger and the Arizona Diamondbacks (32-46, 14-28 home) in the final game of a weekend three-game series from Chase Field in Phoenix, AZ at 4:10 ET.

The posted total at Pinnacle Sports is 8½ for this contest with the current odds on the ‘under’ set at -125.

After these teams stayed ‘under’ in the Diamondbacks’ 4-1 victory in the series opener here in the desert on Friday, the clubs snuck ‘over’ when the Giants came back to win the second game of the series 6-4 yesterday, much to our dismay as we were on the ‘under’ again. The ‘under’ is still 9-4 in the last 13 Arizona home games however, and undaunted by last night’s loss we are looking for a return to normalcy today.

That Saturday victory by the Giants snapped a six-game losing streak and marked just their second win in their last 11 contests, a slump that seemingly came out of nowhere as San Francisco owned the best record in all of baseball at the time this downward spiral began. Through it all though, the Giants remain just one game behind the Milwaukee Brewers, who also won yesterday, for the best record in the National League.

Bumgarner has been a key reason for the Giants’ early season success as he has the third lowest ERA among qualifying National League southpaws at 2.85 to go along with a 1.19 WHIP and 104 strikeouts in 94.2 innings vs. only 23 walks. Even though San Francisco is slumping, Bumgarner has continued to roll right along as he has a 2.00 ERA and a tiny 0.81 WHIP in his last five starts with a stellar ratio of 39 strikeouts vs. six walks in 36 innings.

Bumgarner has also allowed a reasonable eight home runs in 15 starts, leaving him with a 2.81 FIP and 2.91 xFIP that are both further evidence that he is pitching at his normal excellent level. Then again, the Diamondbacks need no convincing of that as they have scored a grand total of five earned runs in Bumgarner’s last six starts against them covering 36.1 innings, all since the beginning of last season!

He is facing an Arizona offense struggling mightily vs. left-handed pitchers over they last 10 games, batting an almost non-existent .206 while averaging 0.50 runs (as in one-half of a run) per nine innings against them during that time. Bumgarner typically works deeply into games, but it is still encouraging to know that he has the support of a San Francisco bullpen ranked third in the entire Major Leagues with a 2.68 pen ERA.

Now the rookie Bolsinger was sent to the minors after posting a 6.08 ERA and 1.73 WHIP over his first 23.2 innings in the Major League this season, but perhaps he needed that bit of extra seasoning down there because he had the best big league start of his career when he was recalled to start on Tuesday in place of the recently disabled Bronson Arroyo, as he held a good-hitting Milwaukee team to three runs in 6.1 innings with six strikeouts and not a single walk!

That outing suggests that he is capable of containing this San Francisco lineup batting just .233 vs. right-hander pitchers on the road this season, and besides, if Bumgarner is as good as we expect, Bolsinger may actually have the leeway to allow a few runs and yet still keep this game ‘under’.

Therefore, let us go ‘under’ the total and look for better results than yesterday in the desert on Sunday.

MLB Pick: Giants, Diamondbacks ‘under’ 8½ (-125)

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