MLB Pick: Total Value Play of the Day Wednesday

LT Profits Sports Group

Wednesday, May 22, 2013 4:00 AM UTC

Wednesday, May. 22, 2013 4:00 AM UTC

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 Wednesday.

In what looks like a matchup of two struggling pitchers on paper, both starters are eligible to improve on Wednesday to give some sneaky value to the ‘under’ at an inflated number when Jeremy Hellickson and the Tampa Bay Rays (24-21, 10-13 away) pay a visit to Mark Buehrle and the Toronto Blue Jays (18-27, 10-13 home) in the final game of a three-game series from the Rogers Centre in Toronto, ON Canada at 4:37 ET.

The posted total at Pinnacle Spots is 9½ for this contest with the current odds on the ‘under’ set at -116.

The Rays are a hot team right now that is 4-1 on this road trip which wraps up today, first sweeping a three-game series from the Baltimore Orioles at Camden Yards over the weekend before splitting the first two games of this series north of the border, dropping the opener 7-5 on Monday before coming back to win last night 4-3 behind Alex Cobb and three relievers.

That leaves the Rays in third place in the American League East Division, four games behind the first place New York Yankees. Tampa Bay is averaging a good 4.87 runs per game despite a front loaded lineup that declines rapidly after cleanup hitter Even Longoria, but those top four hitters have more than compensated for the weak second half of the order so far, especially Longoria, who is batting .400 with three homers and 14 RBI during a 15-game hitting streak.

Wednesday’s starter Hellickson has been a disappointment so far after a promising first three years in the Major Leagues, as up to the second he has a career 3.40 ERA and 1.21 WHIP in 79 Major League games including 73 starts, but he is just 2-2 with a bloated 5.82 ERA this year albeit with a passable 1.29 WHIP. It is notable though that Hellickson limited the Blue Jays to three runs and six hits in his only start against them this year on May 6th.

Hellickson simply loves facing the Blue Jays, as that marked his seventh career start vs. Toronto and he has allowed three earned runs or less in every single one of them and he has held the Jays’ lineup to a .226 batting average in four starts he at the Rogers Center. That makes this a nice spot for Hellickson to start regressing to his form of prior years.

The Blue Jays were actually favored to win the American League East before the season with one of the reasons being improvements to the starting rotation including Buehrle, but instead Toronto is in last place 10 games behind the Yankees and six games behind the third place Rays and Buehrle has been a major disappointment at 1-3 with a 6.33 ERA and 1.48 WHIP after allowing five earned runs on six hits plus three walks in six innings vs. the Yankees Friday.

What made that start especially disappointing is that Buehrle had appeared to turn the corner in his previous start vs. the Boston Red Sox, limiting them to one run on just five hits in seven innings in Fenway Park. Still, we do feel that he is capable of returning to that form here at home, where he has allowed exactly two earned runs in two of his last three starts, as he is cagey enough to work around the top four Tampa Bay batters and bear down vs. the weak bottom half.

While we are not expecting Buehrle to repeat the Perfect Game he tossed vs. Tampa Bay in 2009, we do expect both he and Hellickson to prove serviceable enough to keep this total in the single-digits.


MLB Pick: Rays, Blue Jays ‘under’ 9½ (-116)

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