MLB Pick: Total Value Play of the Day Thursday

LT Profits Sports Group

Thursday, May 29, 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.

Two struggling offenses and two competent pitchers could lead to an ‘under’ in the desert Thursday when southpaw Tony Cingrani and the Cincinnati Reds (23-28, 11-16 away) pay a visit to right-hander Josh Collmenter and the Arizona Diamondbacks (22-33, 8-19 home) as the teams open up a four-game series from Chase Field in Phoenix, AZ at 9:40 ET.

The posted total at Pinnacle Sports is 8½ for this contest with the current odds on the ‘under’ set at a positive +102.

The Diamondbacks did bust out offensively in their series finale vs. the San Diego Padres Wednesday in a 12-6 victory, but outbursts like that have been few and far between for Arizona this season while manning the National League West basement with the second worst record in the entire Major Leagues, ahead of only the Chicago Cubs.

The Reds have been even worse offensively, and although they must be feeling good about themselves after beating Clayton Kershaw and the Dodgers 3-2 in Los Angeles last night, that still marked the fifth consecutive game that they have scored three runs or less and Cincinnati is now ranked 11th in the National League in batting at .234 and 13th in runs scored at just 3.47 per game.

Their pitcher Cingrani was one of the more underrated pitchers in the National League last season, as he definitely deserved to have better than just a 7-4 record in 23 appearances given his 2.92 ERA, 1.10 WHIP, .196 batting average allowed and 120 strikeouts vs. 43 walks in 104.2 innings. He was on his way to another fine season this year while sitting with a 3.34 ERA after six starts, but he then missed over two weeks with shoulder tendinitis.

He has been very mediocre while losing both of his starts since coming back and posting identical stat lines of four runs allowed on seven hits in six innings in each of those outings, but he does have 11 strikeouts over those 12 innings and should only continue to get closer to where he was with those starts under his belt. Granted those losses leave him at 2-4 with a 4.06 ERA for the season, but he has 43 strikeouts in 44.1 innings.

He now gets a chance to return to his form of last year and the start of this season vs. an Arizona lineup only .218 overall while averaging 3.77 runs per game over the last 10 games, and that is including last night’s 12-run, 17-hit outburst. The Diamondbacks are also unfamiliar with Cingrani as he has just 3.2 career innings against them, which was the length of his lone start vs. Arizona last year before being forced from the game after allowing just two hits by a back injury.

Collmenter has now allowed three earned runs or less in three of his last four outings after a Quality Start vs. the New York Mets Saturday where he allowed only two runs and six hits in six innings with four strikeouts vs. one walk in a 3-2 win. Collmenter is 3-2 with a 3.91 ERA and 1.21 WHIP overall this season but he has been a bit better since moving to the starting rotation, going 3-0 with a 3.60 ERA and 1.14 WHIP in his six starts.

This will be his first ever start against the Reds, although he does have 6.2 good innings of relief against them having allowed just one run with eight strikeouts vs. one walk, and he is facing a Cincinnati offense batting .233 vs. right-handed pitchers over the last 10 games while averaging a mere 2.35 runs per nine innings against them in this time.

This is the first time these teams are meeting this season but the ‘under’ is 4-1-1 in the last six meetings in Phoenix and look for that pattern to continue for at least one more game with another ‘under’ in the series opener from Arizona on Thursday.

[gameodds]3/286390/?r-1=238-92-43-349-192/us[/gameodds]

MLB Pick: Reds, Diamondbacks ‘under’ 8½ (+102)