MLB Pick: Total Value Play of the Day Thursday

LT Profits Sports Group

Thursday, June 5, 2014 4:00 AM UTC

Thursday, Jun. 5, 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.

After going ‘under’ last night, look for much more scoring Thursday night in the final game of a three-game series when southpaw Tyler Skaggs and the Los Angeles Angels (31-27, 16-14 away) pay a visit to right-hander Brad Peacock and the Houston Astros (25-35, 13-18 home) at Minute Maid Park in Houston, TX at 7:10 ET.

The posted total at Pinnacle Sports is 9 for this contest with the current odds on the ‘over’ set at a positive +101.

These teams did barely sneak ‘over’ the total of 8½ in the opening game of this series with the Astros pulling off the 7-2 upset at +121 MLB odds, but the teams stayed easily ‘under’ on Wednesday with the Angels winning 4-0 behind eight shutout innings by Garrett Richards. That snapped a five-game ‘over’ streak for the Halos.

Los Angeles remains in second place in the American League West and 5½ games behind the team with the best record in the American League, the Oakland Athletics. The Astros meanwhile are in last place in the division at 12½ games behind Oakland, although at least Houston does not own the worst record in the Major Leagues right now as it did the last two years, with the Tampa Bay Rays, Chicago Cubs and Arizona Diamondbacks all worse.

Skaggs is a back-end rotation starter for the Angels and it shows, as despite his 4-3 record he has just a 4.14 ERA and a low strikeout rate with 54 in 71.2 innings. Sure, Los Angeles has an 8-3 record as a team in the games that Skaggs has started this year, but the main reason for that is because the Angels have given him nice run support and as a result the ‘over’ is 8-3 in all of his starts.

The lefty is now facing a Houston lineup that has been surprisingly good against southpaws this season, batting .266 against them as opposed to a pathetic .221 vs. right-handers, and the Astros have raised that average vs. left-handers to a potent .308 over the last 10 games while averaging a robust 7.88 runs per nine innings against them during that span.

All that means that there is good chance that the Angel bullpen will be called upon relatively early here, and that is rarely a good thing considering that the Los Angeles pen ranks 25th in the majors with a 4.30 bullpen ERA and has seen that ERA rise to 5.20 over the last 10 games.

Houston counters with the struggling Peacock, who is only 1-4 with a 4.76 ERA and 1.59 WHIP. Granted Peacock has a good 52 strikeouts in 51 innings, but that has been counteracted by 30 walks and six home runs allowed, resulting in a nondescript 4.32 FIP.

Peacock does come off of his best start of the year where he held the Baltimore Orioles to one run on six hits in six innings with eights strikeouts and not a single walk, but that performance came seemingly out of nowhere and a repeat performance tonight seems highly unlikely. And remember that the Astros are third from the bottom in the Major Leagues in bullpen ERA at 4.64, ahead of only the Tigers and Blue Jays, so do not expect Peacock to get quality relief.

Therefore expect both teams to put up enough runs for this game to get into the double-digits in Houston on Thursday.


MLB Pick: Angels, Astros ‘over’ 9 (+101)

comment here