MLB Pick: Total Value Play of the Day Thursday

LT Profits Sports Group

Thursday, May 30, 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 Thursday.

Runs should be hard to come by as the Battle of Ohio wraps up on Thursday night when right-hander Homer Bailey and the Cincinnati Reds (33-20, 13-13 away) pay a visit to southpaw Scott Kazmir and the Cleveland Indians (28-24, 16-10 home) at Progressive Field in Cleveland, OH at 7:05 ET. The Indians won 5-2 in a game that stayed ‘under’ here last night after the Reds swept two games from the Tribe in Cincinnati on Monday and Tuesday.

The posted total at Pinnacle Spots is 9 for this contest with the current odds on the ‘under’ set at -111.

The loss by the Reds on Wednesday was only their second in the last nine games as they are tied with the Pittsburgh Pirates for second place in the National League Central, just 2½ games behind a St. Louis Cardinals team that owns the best record in all of baseball. In fact, both the Reds and Pirates would be leading any other division in baseball right now.

With that being said, there has been an obvious dropdown in Cincinnati’s production on the road as opposed to the Reds’ hitter-friendly Great American Ball Park., as they are just a .500 team and are batting just .237 overall and .233 vs. left-handed pitching away from the Queen City. In fact the Reds would be a below .500 team on the road if not for a pitching staff that is ranked third in the Major Leagues with a 3.27 team ERA.

Bailey may have just a 3-3 record but he had pitched much better than that, sporting a 3.08 ERA and an excellent 1.13 WHIP with 63 strikeouts in 64.1 innings against just 18 walks, and has even allowed only four home runs despite pitching half of his games in a launching pad.

Bailey is in excellent current form as he has now reeled off three consecutive Quality Starts over which he has a 1.64 ERA and 0.91 WHIP in 22 innings with an outstanding ratio of 21 strikeouts against four walks. He has also allowed three runs or less in five of his six career starts vs. the Indians including all three starts in Cleveland and he is catching an Indian lineup that is slumping a bit after a hot start, batting just .234 vs. right-handed pitchers over the last 10 games.

The Indians actually led the American League Central for a while, but the win last night snapped a five-game losing streak and Cleveland is now in second place, although they are still hanging within 1½ games of the heavy preseason favorites to win the division, the Detroit Tigers.

Thursday starter Kazmir was one of the top pitching prospects in baseball when he first came up but he inexplicably lost his command out of the blue and was actually out of organized baseball last season. Still just 29 years old, Kazmir signed a minor league contract with the Indians and he has had some nice moments with the big club, at times showing the form that made him so highly touted.

Kazmir has allowed two runs or less in four of his last six starts including last time out vs. the Boston Red Sox, and his “stuff” has looked good as he has 36 strikeouts in 33.1 innings vs. 14 walks. He now has a chance to succeed vs. a Cincinnati lineup that has never faced him before and that, as mentioned, has struggled with lefties on the road.

The ‘under’ is 8-3 in the last 11 Cincinnati interleague games and 8-3-1 in the last 12 Cleveland interleague games, and look for those patterns to continue for at least one more day with another ‘under’ on Thursday.

[gameodds]3/228343/238-92-43-349-192/us[/gameodds]

MLB Pick: Reds, Indians ‘under’ 9 (-111)