MLB Pick: Total Value Play of the Day Thursday

LT Profits Sports Group

Thursday, May 15, 2014 4:00 AM GMT

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 fairly low posted total suggests Thursday night when southpaw Wei-Yin Chen and the Baltimore Orioles (20-18, 11-8 away) pay a visit to rookie right-hander Yordano Ventura and the Kansas City Royals (20-19, 10-7 home) at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City, MO at 8:10 ET.

The posted total at Pinnacle Sports is 7 for this contest with the current odds on the ‘over’ set at a positive +105.

The Orioles missed the playoffs last season after being an unexpected wild card two years ago, and they have higher aspirations this year as they enter this contest leading the American League East by one-half game over both the New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox. However, now all the news is bright as Baltimore has now lost four straight games after getting swept three games by the Detroit Tigers back at home in Camden Yards.

The Royals are heading in the opposite direction as they have won three straight games to get to one game over .500, a record that would have them just one-half game behind the Orioles if these teams played in the same division but that instead has Kansas City 5½ games behind the Detroit Tigers while in second place in the American League Central.

The Orioles lost their third straight game to the Tigers and fourth straight overall 7-5 yesterday, getting those five runs off of Justin Verlander. However their pitching let them down and we are not particularly high in today’s starter Chen right now either despite the fact that he has allowed three runs or less in five straight starts after limiting the lowly Houston Astros to two runs on five hits in seven innings in his last start on Friday.

You see, while Chen may appear to be in good form now, he has actually been a bit fortunate as his 3.95 ERA and especially his 1.44 WHIP are both on the high side. His only start vs. the Royals this season was a microcosm of Chen’s year so far, as he got away with allowing only two runs despite surrendering nine hits and issuing two walks in seven innings. Chen has been living a charmed life with an abnormally high strand rate, and that does not figure to continue.

It also hurts his cause that the Royals are starting to swing the bat the way they are capable of after a very slow start offensively this season, and after hitting left-handed pitching quite well the last couple of seasons, they are starting to find that groove again as Kansas City is batting .287 vs. southpaws over the last 10 games.

Now, we like the Royals’ starter Ventura a great deal, as the youngster has hit 100 MPH on the radar gun while mixing in a good changeup and an often filthy curveball. However, low posted totals like this are often reserved for aces, and Chen is certainly not one while Ventura, with as much potential as he has, is probably not there yet.

Granted Ventura was awesome the first time he faced the Orioles this season when he tossed eight scoreless innings while allowing seven hits and striking out eight against two walks. However, he is winless in three starts since then while throwing over 100 pitches in all three of those starts, which could be an issue for someone that throws so hard still fairly early in the season.

Yes Ventura still has a fine 2.34 ERA and 1.11 WHIP for the year, but those numbers are running ahead if his 3.39 FIP and 3.33 xFIP, so while he is obviously good, he may not be quite as good as his mainstream stats. The biggest reason why his sabre numbers are so much higher than his ERA has been his control, as he is issuing a very high 3.19 walks per nine innings. Thus, like the Royals, look for the Orioles to also have their fair share of baserunners in this game.

And when you add in that Baltimore is batting .266 vs. right-handers this season and now have Chris Davis back in the lineup after a stint on the Disable List, this low posted total seems even more attainable so go ‘over’ the low number in Kansas City on Thursday.

[gameodds]3/264070/?r-1=238-92-43-349-192/us[/gameodds]

MLB Pick: Orioles, Royals ‘over’ 7 (+105)