MLB Pick: Total Value Play of the Day Tuesday

LT Profits Sports Group

Tuesday, July 2, 2013 4:00 AM GMT

Each day the LT Profits Sports Group seeks out a total that simply does not add up and therefore offers the most value that day. Here is their Total Value Play of the Day for Tuesday.

Two mostly struggling offenses should result in a relatively low scoring game in front of a national audience Tuesday night when Tim Lincecum and the San Francisco Giants (39-43, 15-28 away) pay a visit to Homer Bailey and the Cincinnati Reds (47-36, 27-14 home) in the second game of a four-game series from Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati, OH at 7:10 ET in a game televised nationally on MLB Network.

The posted total at Pinnacle Spots is 8½ for this contest with the current odds on the ‘under’ set at -105.

Granted the Reds suddenly exploded for eight runs in a rain-shortened 8-1 win in the series opener Monday that was called after six innings, but those eight runs matched Cincinnati’s total output from the previous four games and seven of them came off of a green rookie southpaw starting pitcher in Michael Kickham who is most likely on his way back to the minors.

The Reds are hanging in the division race in a National League Central that includes the two teams with the two best records in all of baseball, as they are in third place five games behind the first place Pittsburgh Pirates and three games behind the second place St. Louis Cardinals, but what was formerly the Big Red Machine is now being mostly carried by a pitching staff that is ranked fourth in the entire Major Leagues with a 3.47 team ERA.

Granted, Bailey does not have overwhelming overall numbers at 4-6 with a 3.88 ERA, but he has solid home splits here at Great American Ball Park where he has a 3.35 ERA and 1.10 WHIP with a great ratio of 58 strikeouts vs. 15 walks and, perhaps most amazingly, only two home runs allowed over 51 innings in a very pronounced hitter’s ballpark.

Bailey has yet to face the Giants this season but he was excellent vs. what was probably a better San Francisco lineup in two starts against them last season, allowing a total of three earned runs on just eight hits in 13.1 innings with a terrific 16 strikeouts vs. three walks. He now has the good fortune to be catching a struggling Giant lineup that is batting a scant .210 vs. right-handed pitchers over the last 10 games while averaging a putrid 2.13 run per game against them.

That lack of offense is a key reason why the Giants are 1-6 so far during a 10-game road trip with the only win coming Sunday vs. the Colorado Rockies in Denver. The defending World Champions are showing how hard it is to repeat while sitting four games under .500, but the silver lining is that they are only three games behind the first place Arizona Diamondbacks, who are the only team playing .500 ball in the National League West.

Now, the fall from grace of two-time Cy Young Award winner Tim Lincecum has been well documented, as he was awful last season when he finished the year in the bullpen and he has not been much better this year while going 4-8 with a 4.64 ERA. However, there is actually some reason for optimism.

Lincecum is still averaging about one strikeout per inning with 93 of them in 95 frames and his FIP of 3.69 and xFIP of 3.56 are both about a full run lower than his ERA, which is an indication of positive regression upcoming. Also, when Lincecum allowed four earned runs in 5.1 innings in a 4-2 loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers last time out, it snapped a streak where he had allowed three earned runs or less in four consecutive starts, allowing two earned or less in three of them.

Finally, the Cincinnati offense is still batting .185 vs. right-handed pitchers over the last five games while averaging a hideous 0.89 runs per nine innings against them during that time, so look for an ‘under’ in the Queen City on Tuesday.

[gameodds]3/237898/?r-1=238-92-43-349-192/us[/gameodds]

MLB Pick: Giants, Reds ‘under’ 8½ (-105)