MLB Pick: Total Value Play of the Day Tuesday

LT Profits Sports Group

Tuesday, April 29, 2014 4:00 AM UTC

Tuesday, Apr. 29, 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 Tuesday.

There could be a higher scoring game than the total suggests in a contest with a big-name pitcher Tuesday night when Justin Verlander and those Detroit Tigers (12-9, 3-4 away) pay a visit to Jose Quintana and the surprising Chicago White Sox (14-13, 9-5 home) at U.S. Cellular Field in Chicago, IL at 8:10 ET.

The posted total at Pinnacle Sports is 8 for this contest with the current odds on the ‘over’ set at -106.

Both of these starting pitchers faced tonight’s respective opponents when these teams met in Detroit last week, and both of those contests turned into high scoring slugfests. To be fair though, the starters did not pitch badly and it was the bullpens of each club that allowed those games to get out of hand.

And unfortunately that has been a common theme for both of these teams all season, as Detroit is second to last in the Major Leagues in 29th with a horrific 5.65 bullpen ERA, while the White Sox have not been much better in 26th with a 4.74 pen ERA. Those two units have ruined quite a few good starting pitching performances, and they could easily be called up again tonight for more late-inning drama.

Now on the surface, it would appear that the two-time Cy Young Award winner Verlander is bouncing back from his disappointing 2013 season that saw him go just 13-12 with what for him was a lofty 3.46 ERA and 1.31 WHIP, as he is a nice 3-1 with a 2.18 ERA so far including allowing two earned runs on eight hits with seven strikeouts in seven innings vs. Chicago last Tuesday before the bullpen made things exciting in an 8-6 win.

However, Verlander still has a 1.36 WHIP and his command had not been what we have become accustomed to with 27 strikeouts vs. 12 walks in 33 innings. Verlander remains a flyball pitcher with a groundball rate of 40.0 percent, so the decline in his strikeout rate could be cause for concern. That combination has resulted in a poor xFIP of 4.28, the worst on the Detroit regular starting staff!

Verlander also threw a season-high 119 pitches in that last start vs. the White Sox, prompting the Tigers to give him a couple of extra days of rest and bring him back with a full week off. Still, he has gone beyond seven innings just once so far and it is a near certainty that the dreaded Detroit bullpen will be called upon.

Also do not forget that Verlander is facing a surprisingly tough Chicago offense based on preseason expectations, as these two teams are actually in a virtual tie with solid .270 team batting averages overall, with the White Sox batting .279 and averaging 5.90 runs per nine innings vs. right-handed pitchers!

Quintana is coming off of a quietly solid season for the White Sox where he went 9-7 for a Chicago team that had the second worst record in the league with a 3.51 ERA in 200 innings. He is just 1-2 with a 3.90 ERA to begin 2014 though despite his Quality Start vs. the Tigers on Thursday where he allowed three earned runs in on seven hits in six innings while taking the 7-4 loss.

Quintana does not have great command numbers either with 22 strikeouts and nine walks in 30 innings, and his groundball rate is not spectacular at 43.6 percent, helping lead to a 3.82 xFIP and an even worse 4.25 FIP. The southpaw is facing a Tiger lineup batting .286 and averaging 4.68 runs per nine innings vs. left-handed pitchers this season.

Finally, Quintana has yet to go beyond seven innings this season and he rarely eclipsed that mark last year, which could potentially lead to more bullpen “damage”.

Add this all up and there should be ample scoring for this game to go ‘over’ in the Windy City on Tuesday.


MLB Pick: Tigers, White Sox ‘over’ 8 (-106)

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