MLB Pick: Total Value Play of the Day Wednesday

LT Profits Sports Group

Wednesday, May 29, 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 Wednesday.

You can expect a pitching duel in the Steel City on Wednesday night when Anibal Sanchez and the Detroit Tigers (29-21, 12-12 away) pay a visit to A.J, Burnett and the Pittsburgh Pirates (32-20, 18-9 home) in the first of two games from PNC Field in Pittsburgh, PA at 7:05 ET. These teams split two in Detroit the last two nights with the Pirates winning a 1-0 pitching duel last night on a home run by Neil Walker in the 11th inning.

The posted total at Pinnacle Spots is 7 for this contest with the current odds on the ‘under’ set at -110.

The result last night made us quite happy as we had Pittsburgh +141 as our Underdog Value Play of the Day, but the contest was much tighter thane we would have liked because Detroit’s Rick Porcello suddenly pitched the game of his life. That kind of performance is more expected from the rest of the Tigers’ starting staff though.

Yes, Detroit is renowned for its offense, but it probably would not be in first place in the American League Central right now without the overall performance of the pitching staff, which ranks fourth in the American League in team ERA at 3.66 and still boasts three pitchers in the top six in the Major Leagues in FIP, which is a better indication of future performance than ERA or WHIP.

In fact, tonight’s starter Sanchez leads the majors with his 1.77 FIP, making him one of only two pitchers with a FIP below 2.00 along with Adam Wainwright of the St. Louis Cardinals, and Sanchez’s 2.8 WAR is second in the majors to Wainwright’s 3.0! Sanchez’s conventional numbers are impressive enough besides the misleading 5-4 record, as he owns a 2.38 ERA, 1.12 WHIP and is yielding a .230 opponents’ batting average with nine Quality Starts in 10 starts.

As for his fantastic FIP, that is the result of Sanchez having a terrific 80 strikeouts in 64.1 innings against only 17 walks while allowing just two home runs. He is coming off of another dominant performance, a Complete Game one-hit shutout of the Minnesota Twins with 12 strikeouts.

As impressive as Sanchez has been, there is still no guarantee that the Tigers will win this game vs. a Pirates team that has 14 wins in its last 18 games, is 18-9 here at home, has its own potentially underrated pitcher on the mound in Burnett and has a very good bullpen supporting him.

Burnett has an even unluckier record than Sanchez at 3-5, as Burnett has a 2.57 ERA, 1.06 WHIP and is allowing just a .196 batting average with 85 strikeouts in 70.0 innings vs. 25 walks and three home runs allowed. Burnett was in the top 10 on our FIP Leaderboard in our most recent May update and he is still 13th at 2.44! Furthermore, Burnett has allowed three earned runs or less in all 11 of his starts this year and currently has six straight official Quality Starts.

Now Burnett could suffer a similar fate that has plagued him all year tonight in a lack of run support, but at least the Pirates will still be in good hands if he needs to get pulled for a pinch-hitter as the Pittsburgh bullpen is in a virtual tie with the San Francisco Giants for the Major League lead with a 2.76 ERA.

Granted the Detroit bullpen is the weakest aspect of its entire team, but Sanchez usually offsets that by working deeply into games so look for the pitching to dominate in a safe ‘under’ on Wednesday.

[gameodds]3/228249/238-92-43-349-192/us[/gameodds]

MLB Pick: Tigers, Pirates ‘under’ 7 (-110)