MLB Pick: Total Value Play of the Day Thursday

LT Profits Sports Group

Thursday, June 26, 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 surprising pitching duel between two starting pitchers that did not even begin this season in the Major Leagues Thursday night when Daisuke Matsuzaka and the New York Mets (36-42, 19-21 away) pay a visit to fellow right-hander Vance Worley and the Pittsburgh Pirates (39-39, 21-18 home) in the first game of a four-game series from PNC Park on Pittsburgh, PA at 7:05 ET in a game available on ROOT.

The posted total at Pinnacle Sports is 8 for this contest with the current odds on the ‘under’ set at a positive +102.

The Pirates are starting to heat up a bit after a disappointing start, although they did have a four-game winning streak snapped at Tampa Bay yesterday. Still, they are now at the .500 mark and get a chance to make headway in the National League Central on this 10-game home stand. Pittsburgh is still fourth in the division, eight games behind the first-place Milwaukee Brewers and only 3½ games out of a wild card position.

The Mets are also in fourth place, but they are actually hanging around closer than most expected in the National League East at 5½ games behind Washington. Of course, the fact that the Nationals lead the division with the worst winning percentage of any division leader right now (.532) would tend to keep the rest of the clubs in the division alive, as even the last-place Phillies are only six games out.

We have never been fans of Worley in the past when he was with those Philadelphia Phillies or even with the Twins last year, but apparently some additional seasoning in the minor leagues did Vance some good as he has pitched extremely well in his two starts since getting recalled by Pittsburgh. Worley has allowed a total of three runs and 10 hits in 13.1 innings in those two starts with nine strikeouts vs. just one walk.

Could he keep that form going for a little while longer? Well we see no reason why not, at least for this one more game as the Mets are batting a measly .226 vs. right-handed pitchers while averaging only 3.80 runs per nine innings against them overall this season. This will be Worley’s home debut for the Pirates with his first two Pittsburgh starts coming on the road, and he enjoyed his only career experience at PNC Park so far allowing one run on five hits in five innings.

Meanwhile the Mets picked up Dice-K from the scrap heap and he has surprised while going 3-1 with a 2.68 ERA and 1.26 WHIP, and that WHIP would be a lot better if not for his 31 walks in 47 innings. He does have 45 strikeouts however and he has pitched around all those walks by incredibly allowing just 28 hits and only one home run!

This will also be Matsuzaka’s first ever appearance vs. the Pirates, and while that is usually to the pitcher’s advantage even under normal circumstances, it is even more of an advantage for Dice-K because of his unusual motion that may take some time for new opponents to get used to.

Thus, look for both offenses to have their difficulties in an ‘under’ in Pittsburgh on Thursday.

MLB Pick: Mets, Pirates ‘under’ 8 (+102)