MLB Pick: Total Value Play of the Day Thursday

LT Profits Sports Group

Thursday, October 17, 2013 4:00 AM UTC

Thursday, Oct. 17, 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.

After the offenses finally showed a pulse last night, particularly that of the home team, look for pitching to go back to dominating this series Thursday night when Jon Lester and the Boston Red Sox pay a visit to Anibal Sanchez and the Detroit Tigers in Game 5 of the ALCS from Comerica Park in Detroit, MI at 8:07 ET in a game televised nationally on FOX.

The posted total at Pinnacle Spots is 7 for this contest with the current odds on the ‘under’ set at a positive +106.

After the starting pitchers dominated the first three games of this series for both sides, the Tigers reached Boston starter Jake Peavy for five runs in the second inning in Game 4 Wednesday en route to a 7-3 victory that evened up this ALCS at 2-2. Although the Red Sox were held to three runs, they too showed signs of life while pounding out 12 hits.

As we pointed out yesterday though, the improved offense on both sides was not at all surprising considering that the game was a matchup of each team’s fourth starter. However, we expect the struggles of the offenses to return tonight in what is a pitching rematch of Game 1.

The Tigers won that series opener 1-0 as tonight’s starter Sanchez and four relievers combined to take a no-hitter into the ninth inning before settling for a combined one-hit shutout following a one-out single by Daniel Nava. Sanchez worked the first six hitless innings and had electric stuff with 12 strikeouts, but he also ran up his pitch count quickly with six walks, necessitating his relatively early removal.

Sanchez was the American League ERA Champion during the regular season when he went 14-8 with a 2.47 ERA and 202 strikeouts in 182 innings. He also issued just 54 walks, so his wildness in Game 1 was just an anomaly. That wildness aside, he was literally unhittable in what was surprisingly his first start ever against the Red Sox, and we do not look for Boston to suddenly figure him out in this rematch at Detroit.

Lester was considered the Boston ace this season as he finished 15-8 with a 3.75 ERA and 177 strikeouts vs. 67 walks. While that ERA was a tad high, he did settle down by allowing three earned runs or less in nine if his last 10 regular season starts, and that form has carried over into two excellent post-season starts.

First, Lester allowed two runs on only three hits with seven strikeouts in 7.2 innings while beating the Tampa Bay Rays in Game 1 if the ALDS and he was then the hard-luck loser in Game 1 of this series despite allowing only one run and six hits in 6.1 innings. Granted the Tigers are hitting .264 vs. left-handed pitchers this year combining the regular season and playoffs, but that is still 19 percentage points lower than the .283 they are batting vs. righties.

Furthermore, that batting average vs. southpaws for Detroit has slipped to a pitiful .217 over the last 10 games, and besides the Game 1 outing, Lester tossed a gem vs. the Tigers the last time he faced them during the regular season when he allowed one run in seven innings with nine strikeouts in a 2-1 win while helping give Cy Young favorite Max Scherzer one of his three losses this year.

Thus, while these teams may combine to score more than the one run they scored when these same pitchers met in Game 1, we do look for yet another ‘under’ in Game 5 on Thursday.


MLB Pick: Red Sox, Tigers ‘under’ 7 (+106)

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