MLB Pick: Total Value Play of the Day Tuesday

LT Profits Sports Group

Tuesday, May 20, 2014 4:00 AM UTC

Tuesday, May. 20, 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 game involving two pitchers that began this season on the Disabled List Tuesday night when Hisashi Iwakuma and the Seattle Mariners (21-22, 13-12 away) pay a visit to Colby Lewis and the Texas Rangers (21-23, 12-12 home) at Globe Life Park in Arlington, TX at 8:05 ET.

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

Rather surprisingly, only one-half game separates these teams in the American League West with the upstart Mariners being the team in third place and 6½ games behind the red-hot Oakland Athletics. However, Seattle has hit a bit of a skid although it did snap a four-game losing streak by salvaging the final game of a three-game series vs. the Twins in Minnesota 6-2 on Sunday.

Similarly, the Ranges also snapped a four-game losing streak by beating the Toronto Blue Jays by that identical 6-2 score here at home on Sunday, leaving them in fourth place in the AL West and seven games behind those Athletics. Texas is struggling to score runs this season ranking 19th in the majors with 3.98 runs per game despite ranking a good 10th in batting average at .258, and the pitching has not been up to par with the team ranking 26th in ERA at 4.42.

Part of the pitching struggles has had to do with injured starters, and Lewis has not been very sharp as of late after making his belated season debut. Lewis has yet to record a Quality Start in six outings this season, and that includes making two starts vs. these Mariners already over which he allowed seven runs in 10.1 innings. All seven of those runs were earned as Lewis allowed 13 Mariner hits including three homers and he additionally issued three walks.

Lewis now stands at a fortunate 3-2 for the season as he has a bad 4.99 ERA and 1.70 WHIP. His one saving grace is his ratio of 29 strikeouts vs. seven walks, but when he is not striking people out, he has a low 37.3 percent groundball rate, which is a dangerous way to live when the wind tunnel at Globe Life Park is giving fly balls a boost, a contributing factor to Lewis allowing 1.17 home runs per nine innings.

Yes, Lewis tossed 5.2 scoreless innings last time out, but that was vs. the worst offense in baseball in the Houston Astros and Lewis still could not get the Quality Start, as he ran his pitch count up to a season-high 108 in those 5.2 frames while allowing seven hits and issuing two walks. The last time he pitched here in Arlington two starts ago, he was blasted for seven earned runs on 12 hits in 3.2 innings by the Colorado Rockies, who are normally not potent on the road.

Now we are actually big fans of Iwakuma and he has been brilliant in his last two starts since a mediocre season debut as he tossed 16 scoreless innings against the Tampa Bay Rays and Kansas City Royals respectively. That was after surrendering four earned runs in 6.2 innings in his 2014 debut vs. those light-hitting Astros.

Still, there are two main reasons why we still like the ‘over’ in this contest, the first of which is that if Lewis continues to struggle as much as we expect, then Iwakuma may not even need to allow a lot of runs to push this game ‘over’. And that brings us to our second reason, as this stadium has been one of the toughest for Iwakuma to pitch in since coming to the Major Leagues.

Iwakuma has one Quality Start in four starts in Arlington while going 1-2 with a 4.22 ERA and four home runs allowed in 21.1 innings, which is the most home runs he has allowed in any visiting ballpark during his career in the big leagues.

With all of this in mind, let us go ‘over’ this total in Texas on Tuesday.


MLB Pick: Mariners, Rangers ‘over’ 8½ (-105)

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