MLB Pick: Total Value Play of the Day Thursday

LT Profits Sports Group

Thursday, May 22, 2014 4:00 AM UTC

Thursday, May. 22, 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 fairly low scoring game in a matchup of two often underappreciated pitchers Thursday night when southpaw Wade Miley and the Arizona Diamondbacks (18-30, 12-12 away) pay a visit to right-hander Lance Lynn and the St. Louis Cardinals (25-21, 13-7 home) at Busch Stadium in St. Louis, MO at 7:15 ET.

The posted total at Pinnacle Sports is 7½ for this contest with the current odds on the ‘under’ set at -118.

The Cardinals have taken the first two games of this three-game series in a couple of low-scoring affairs, winning 5-0 behind ace Adam Wainwright on Tuesday and then 3-2 behind Michael Wacha last night. The defending National League Champions remain in second place in the National League Central, but St. Louis has now narrowed the gap to just 2½ games behind the surprising division leaders from Milwaukee.

The Diamondback are still trying to dig themselves out of an early-season hole that saw them start the year a disturbing 5-18 in their first 23 games, and while they remain 12 games under .500 while in last place in the National League West and 11½ games behind the division leading San Francisco Giants, at least they are a more respectable 13-12 since then.

Lynn often gets forgotten on a St. Louis pitching staff that is ranked sixth in the Major Leagues with a 3.26 ERA, but he has actually been very consistent the last three years, proving his skeptics that thought he was just a flash in the pan when he first burst on the scene in 2012 wrong. The fact is that Lynn has had an ERA in the 3.00s every year since first coming up in 2011 and he appears to be on his way to another solid year here in 2014.

Lynn has now allowed three runs or less in six of his last seven starts after limiting Atlanta to two runs on seven hits in seven innings on Friday, leaving him at 5-2 with a 3.67 ERA for the season with a nice ratio of 53 strikeouts vs. 19 walks in 54 innings and only four home runs allowed. That translates to a 3.29 FIP and 3.57 xFIP, both of which are slightly ahead of his ERA, so there is no reason to believe that Lynn will go off his fine form soon.

Moreover Lynn tossed a beauty in his only home start vs. the Diamondbacks last season, allowing just one run and five hits in seven innings. He is facing an Arizona lineup that is batting just .236 vs. right-handed pitchers on the road this season, averaging 3.51 runs per nine innings against them away from home.

Miley received some Rookie of the Year votes when he went 16-11 with a 3.33 ERA and 1.18 WHIP in 2012, but he has been unable to match that success on a consistent basis since then and he is currently just 3-4 with a 4.94 ERA this year after allowing four earned runs in six innings vs. the Dodgers back home in Phoenix on Friday.

However, Miley has allowed exactly three runs in each of his two starts vs. the Cardinals and he is facing a St. Louis lineup batting just .222 vs. left-handed pitchers this season, an average that actually dips to an ugly .203 here at home. Moreover, Miley has done his best pitching away from Arizona as he is 2-0 with a 3.00 ERA and 1.03 WHIP in five road starts!

Finally, the ‘under’ is 7-1-3 in Miley’s last 11 road outings and look for that pattern to continue for at least one more game in St. Louis on Thursday.


MLB Pick: Diamondbacks, Cardinals ‘under’ 7½ (-118)

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