MLB Pick: Total Value Play of the Day Thursday

LT Profits Sports Group

Thursday, May 8, 2014 4:00 AM UTC

Thursday, May. 8, 2014 4:00 AM UTC

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 Thursday.

There could be a higher scoring game than the total suggests Thursday night in interleague play north of the border when A.J. Burnett and the Philadelphia Phillies (15-17, 9-8 away) pay a visit to R.A. Dickey and the Toronto Blue Jays (17-17, 6-7 home) at Rogers Centre in Toronto, ON Canada at 7:07 ET in a game televised regionally on MLB Network.

The posted total at Pinnacle Sports is 9 for this contest with the current odds on the ‘over’ set at a positive +104.

This is the final game of what effectively is a four-game “series” between these teams as the games have been split between the two home venues, and the Blue Jays have won the first three games, winning both contests in Philadelphia to begin the week and then winning 10-0 here in Canada Wednesday with Mark Buehrle getting the best of Cliff Lee, although Lee was brilliant for six innings before being charged with the first five runs of a nine-run seventh.

The Phillies have now fallen back to last place in the National League East, although that is still fairly meaningless at this point of the season especially since they are only three games out of first place in a tight division. The Blue Jays are also in a tight race as they are in fourth place in the American League East Division and yet just 1½ out of first.

Now whether or not the Jays can complete the sweep is debatable, but we do expect the Phillies to get their fair share of runs in this game with Dickey on the hill. Dickey had a mostly miserable first season for Toronto last year and he has actually been even worse so far in 2014 going 2-3 with a lofty 5.01 ERA and 1.48 WHIP with 33 strikeouts vs. 22 walks in 41.1 innings.

It is rather obvious now that Dickey had a fluky year when he won the Cy Young Award for the New York Mets in 2012 when he went 20-6 while quite possibly throwing the hardest knuckleball ever recorded at around 80 MPH, and the Mets made one of their best moves ever by trading him after that Cy Young season to maximize his value.

Dickey is not throwing his knuckler nearly as hard any more and hitters have been able to take better advantage even with the ball still fluttering. And Dickey has a poor xFIP of 4.83, which is just slightly better than his ERA and does not leave much room for positive regression.

Now Burnett actually has better mainstream stats than his 2-1 record, as he has allowed two earned runs or less in six of his seven starts, resulting in an excellent 2.06 ERA and a good 1.21 WHIP. Burnett also comes off of his second win of the season where he held Washington to one run and three hits in six innings last Saturday.

Not all the news surrounding Burnett is good however as after recording 209 strikeouts in 191 innings vs. 67 walks last season, his command has been way off this year with 35 strikeouts vs. a disturbing 19 walks in 43.2 innings. He has been living a charmed life with his high strand rate, as well as allowing an abnormally low .258 BABIP, which should normalize soon.

Finally, neither of these bullpens has been providing much relief this season, as the Blue Jays are ranked 27th out of 30 Major League teams with a 4.94 bullpen ERA while the Phillies have been even worse, in 29th with a pen ERA of 4.97! Thus, expect a couple of late tack-on runs from both sides to help this ‘over’ along.

With this in mind, let us go ‘over’ the total north of the border on Thursday.


MLB Pick: Phillies, Blue Jays ‘over’ 9 (+104)

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