MLB Pick: Total Value Play of the Day Thursday

LT Profits Sports Group

Thursday, October 10, 2013 4:00 AM UTC

Thursday, Oct. 10, 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.

The deciding Game 5 of the ALDS Thursday night is a pitching rematch of Game 2, and we are looking for a similar type of game as that contest when Justin Verlander and the Detroit Tigers pay a visit to Sonny Gray and the Oakland Athletics in the deciding game from Coliseum in Oakland, CA at 8:07 ET in a game televised nationally on TBS.

The posted total at Pinnacle Spots is 6½ for this contest with the current odds on the ‘under’ set at -110.

The Tigers were considerable favorites to win this ALDS but they were facing elimination down 1-2 in a best-of-five series and trailing 3-0 in the fifth inning of Game 4 on Tuesday before rallying and eventually winning 8-6 to force this winner-take-all game.

Now there are different reasons that this is a pitching rematch of Game 2 and not of Game 1. For the Tigers, the reason is simple as Game 1 starter and probable Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer was used in relief on Tuesday and threw 47 pitches in two pressure-filled innings, meaning that he will probably not even repeat that cameo appearance in relief tonight.

In the case of the Athletics though, it was strictly a managerial decision by Bob Melvin, and it was a difficult call at that. Game 1 starter Bartolo Colon is coming off of a dream season as a 40-year-old where he went 18-6 with a 2.65 ERA, and after allowing three first-inning runs in the series opener he tossed five scoreless innings after that. He did end up allowing 10 hits over those six innings though.

So Melvin opted to go with the inexperienced rookie Gray in Oakland’s biggest game of the year with the season on the line, but that is because Gray absolutely dominated the Detroit lineup in Game 2 while tossing eight scoreless innings and allowing just four hits with nine strikeouts in a game the A’s won 1-0 in the ninth inning. The Vanderbilt product went 5-3 with a very good 2.67 ERA in 12 regular season games, but his Game 2 outing may have been his best yet.

Let us not forget though that the Athletics were held scoreless for the first 8.2 innings of Game 2 with Verlander working the first seven and also allowing only four hits with a whopping 11 strikeouts vs. only one walk. The former Cy Young winner in his own right may be coming off of a disappointing season by his normal lofty standards, but he has looked like the Verlander of old lately and has now tossed 19 scoreless innings over his last three starts whole allowing just 13 hits with 33 strikeouts vs. five walks!

And if you are getting a sense of déjà vu with Verlander pitching a deciding Game 5 in Oakland, there is a very good reason for it as he was in this exact same situation in this very stadium in this same ALDS last year and pitched the Tigers into the ALCS with a Complete Game four-hit shutout in a 6-0 victory.

Verlander may need to match that performance here considering how great Gray looked vs. the Tigers on Saturday, so go ‘under’ in Game 5 in Oakland on Thursday.


MLB Pick: Tigers, Athletics ‘under’ 6½ (-113)

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