MLB Pick: Total Value Play of the Day Thursday

LT Profits Sports Group

Thursday, May 23, 2013 4:00 AM UTC

Thursday, May. 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 Thursday.

We could be seeing a glimpse of the future on Thursday as a rookie phenom may succeed in his first Major League game when last year’s fourth overall drat pick in the first round Kevin Gausman and the Baltimore Orioles (25-21, 14-9 away) pay a visit to Brandon Morrow and the Toronto Blue Jays (19-27, 11-13 home) in the first game of a four-game series from the Rogers Centre in Toronto, ON Canada at 7:07 ET.

The posted total at Pinnacle Spots is 9 for this contest with the current odds on the ‘under’ set at -104.

The Orioles just took two out of three from the first place New York Yankees to pull to within three games of the American League East Division lead as they continue to quiet the many skeptics that felt that Baltimore’s surprising playoff run last year was a major fluke. Even though the Orioles are in the thick of the division race again this season, it is fairly evident that the Orioles can use some help in the starting rotation.

You see, the Orioles did not really have a bona fide ace last season while making their miracle run and their starting pitchers have a collective 4.73 ERA this year. However, they have had what they feel will be their future ace for many years waiting in the wings the whole time and tonight is the night that Gausman gets his big unveiling at the Major League level.

Granted, Gausman is following the exact same path as the disappointing Brian Matusz, who was also the fourth pick in the first round and was in the Major Leagues less that a year later, but Gausman looks to have more tools than his now teammate with a very good slider and changeup to compliment his 95 MPH fastball, and he received rave reviews while keeping Major League batters off balance during spring training.

In fact, Gausman was probably as Major League ready coming out of LSU last season as Stephen Strasburg was coming out of San Diego State four years ago, but Manager Buck Showalter and Baltimore upper management wisely elected not to put the kid under that kind of immediate pressure.

Still, there has been speculation when Gausman would be called up since his impressive spring training, and that speculation snowballed as he had 49 strikeouts vs. a measly five walks in 46.1 minor league innings. Well, the wait is now over and he could have immediate success vs. a Toronto lineup that ranks 13th in the American League with a .241 batting average, just barely ahead of only the Seattle Mariners (.239) and Chicago White Sox (.240).

Now, Morrow has not been himself yet for the Blue Jays this year after a fine season last year where he went 10-7 while pitching for a bad team with a terrific 2.96 ERA and 1.11 WHIP with the league batting .214 off of him, as he had 108 strikeouts vs. 41 walks in 124.2 innings. However, he is 1-3 with a 5.16 ERA this season with a mediocre 35 strikeouts against 17 walks in 45.1 innings.

Still, Morrow was recently sidelined with back and neck tightness and his bad start Saturday vs. the Yankees where he allowed five runs in five innings was his first in two weeks. His velocity was fine however and four of the runs he allowed came on two two-run homers by Robinson Cano, so he is certainly eligible to improve and regress to his normal form with that start under his belt.

Morrow has allowed three earned runs or less in five of his last six starts vs. the Orioles and he allowed a manageable four runs in the only non-quality effort. With his expected natural improvement over Saturday’s start combined with Gausman’s expected success his first time through the league (and probably beyond), look for this game to stay in the single-digits Thursday.


MLB Pick: Orioles, Blue Jays ‘under’ 9 (-104)

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