MLB Pick: Total Value Play of the Day Wednesday

LT Profits Sports Group

Wednesday, April 23, 2014 4:00 AM UTC

Wednesday, Apr. 23, 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 Wednesday.

The posted total seems too low to us in an interleague matchup Wednesday night when Jered Weaver and the Los Angeles Angels (10-10, 7-4 away) pay a visit to Gio Gonzalez and the Washington Nationals (11-10, 6-6 home) at Nationals Park in Washington, DC at 7:05 ET.

The posted total at Pinnacle Sports is 7 for this contest with the current odds on the ‘over’ set at -118.

The Angels are going for the road sweep here after taking the first two games of this series by scores of 4-2 and 7-2 respectively, improving the Halos to 7-4 on the road in the early going compared to just 3-6 at home. They are currently in third place in the American League West, three games behind the divisions leading Oakland Athletics and 2½ games behind the second place Texas Rangers.

The Nationals have also done just a mediocre job of defending their home field as they have now dropped to 6-6 at Nationals Park. Still, they are trying to avoid getting swept in a series at home for the first time this young season. Washington remains in second place in the National League East, 2½ games behind the Atlanta Braves. If preseason predictions by most experts were correct, those two teams could very well be battling for the division title this entire season.

This posted total of 7 seems to be based more on reputation than reality, mainly on the reputation of the Los Angeles starter Weaver, who was among the best pitchers in the American League three or four years ago. However, Weaver will never be what he once was as he has consistently lost velocity every year the last few seasons and thus can no longer rely on striking batters out to get out of jams.

To wit, Weaver averaged 9.35 strikeouts per nine innings in 2010 when he had 233 of them against just 54 walks in 224.1 innings. However that strikeout rate has dropped to 7.56 in 2011, 6.77 in 2012 and 6.82 last season, consistent with a drop in his average velocity from 90.1 MPH in 2010 to 89.2 in 2011, 88.0 in 2012 and 86.8 last season.

Now, Weaver has 20 strikeouts in 24 innings this season, which actually works out to 7.50 per nine innings, but those strikeouts are already declining with eight in 12.2 innings over his last two starts after recording 12 in 12 innings in his first two outings. And to make maters worse, his average velocity is at an all-time low at just 85.6 MPH!

Add that all up and you get a 1-2 record with a 4.74 ERA at this early stage and he even has a rather high 10 walks in 24 innings. Also, Weaver has not been working deep into games as he has yet to pitch seven innings, and that is another concern with the Angel bullpen owning a poor collective 4.67 ERA and 1.49 WHIP.

Granted, Gonzalez has pitched very well in three of his four starts this season, most recently while limiting the St, Louis Cardinals to one run and four hits with seven strikeouts in seven innings last Friday. Remember though that the total on this game is 7, and if Weaver continues his struggles along with the Los Angeles bullpen, Gonzalez may not need to give up all that much to push this game ‘over’.

And he is facing an Angels’ offense that has been coming on as of late following a slow start, as the Halos are averaging 6.10 runs per game over their last 10 contests while batting a solid .269 vs. left-handed pitchers during that time.

Thus, go ‘over’ the low total in our nation’s capital on Wednesday.


MLB Pick: Angels, Nationals ‘over’ 7 (-118)

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