MLB Pick: Total Value Play of the Day Wednesday

LT Profits Sports Group

Wednesday, October 2, 2013 4:00 AM UTC

Wednesday, Oct. 2, 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.

There could be a nice pitching duel on Wednesday when Alex Cobb and the Tampa Bay Rays, who won their play-in tiebreaker to earn the second wild card spot, pay a visit to rookie Danny Salazar and the Cleveland Indians in the American League Wild Card Playoff Game from Progressive Field in Cleveland, OH at 8:07 ET in a game televised nationally on TBS.

The posted total at Pinnacle Spots is 7 for this contest with the current odds on the ‘under’ set at -104.

The Rays finished tied with the Texas Rangers for the second wild card position after 162 games this season, but they then went on the road to Arlington and knocked off the Rangers 5-2 thanks to a Complete Game by ace David Price on Monday, now setting up a second straight one-game elimination game on the road.

The Indians earned the top wild card spot and thus home field for this contest by winning their last 10 games in a row. While the Tribe deserve credit for doing what they had to do, it must be noted that those 10 wins did come vs. the teams with the three worst records in the American League in the Houston Astros, Chicago White Sox and Minnesota Twins.

The Rays had to use their reigning Cy Young Award winner just to get to this point, but their pitching is still in very good hands tonight with Cobb, who may have been the most consistent pitcher on the Tampa Bay staff this year from start to finish, and he would have had even better numbers if not for a two-month stint on the Disabled List.

As it stands, Cobb was still an excellent 11-3 with a stellar 2.76 ERA and 1.15 WHIP, and he had a nice ratio of 134 strikeouts against 45 walks in 143.1 innings. He enters this contest on a major roll as his DL stint may have been a blessing in disguise as he still looked fresh while going 3-0 in his last three starts and allowing a mere three runs and 14 hits in 23.1 innings with 26 strikeouts against five walks!

Moreover, Cobb was brilliant in his only start vs. the Indians this year while throwing seven shutout innings and allowing just four hits.

The Indians are opting for the rookie Salazar after using Ubaldo Jimenez in the final game of the regular season, and the rookie appears to be a good second option despite his 2-3 record as he finished with a 3.12 ERA and 1.13 WHIP and a terrific ratio of 65 strikeouts vs. 15 walks in 52 innings in his 10 starts since making his Major League debut on July 11th.

The knock against Salazar is that he has not worked deeply into games, as you can see by his 5.2 innings per start, and he pitched as much as seven innings only once when he want 7.2 innings in his second career start. Interestingly, he threw 103 pitches in that game and has not reached 90 pitches in any of his eight starts since then. The suspicion is that the Indians had the rookie on a pitch count and that they will lift that tonight, allowing him to go as far as possible.

There is also speculation that if Salazar is in need of some early relief, the Indians may opt for another starter in Justin Masterson as the first call, so the Cleveland pitching should be strong tonight until the latter stages.

With all of this in mind, go ‘under’ in the American League Wild Card Playoff on Wednesday.


MLB Pick: Rays, Indians ‘under’ 7 (-104)

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