MLB Pick: Total Value Play of the Day Wednesday

LT Profits Sports Group

Wednesday, June 11, 2014 4:00 AM UTC

Wednesday, Jun. 11, 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.

There could be a lower scoring game than the total suggests in an interleague battle between two last place teams Wednesday night when right-hander Brandon McCarthy and the Arizona Diamondbacks (29-38, 17-14 away) pay a visit to southpaw Dallas Keuchel and the Houston Astros (29-37, 14-18 home) at Minute Maid Park in Houston, TX at 8:10 ET.

The posted total at Pinnacle Sports is 8 for this contest with the current odds on the ‘under’ set at -123.

The Astros are in what has become their customary spot in last place in the American League West, but at 29-37 they are actually ahead of the pace that saw them finish with the worst record in baseball the last three years, and they do not even have the worst record in the American League right now as they are amazingly five games better than the hugely disappointing Tampa Bay Rays.

Speaking of disappointing, the Diamondbacks were expected to at least be decent this season, but they have been mired in last place in the National League West all year. Arizona is playing better lately however having won three of its last four games including two wins over the first place Atlanta Braves this weekend, and the D-Backs have pulled within one-half game of the fourth place San Diego Padres in their attempt to escape the cellar.

Perhaps the biggest bright spot of the Astros’ season has been the breakthrough year Keuchel is having as he is 7-3 while pitching for a last place team while ranking sixth in the American League in ERA at 2.50! Keuchel also has a 1.03 WHIP and an outstanding ratio of 70 strikeouts vs. 17 walks in 82.2 innings, and he is currently working of a streak of six consecutive Quality Starts, allowing two runs or less in five of them with three scoreless outings!

Furthermore Keuchel’s sabremetric numbers support his fine ERA as he has a 2.75 FIP and 2.79 xFIP, and he has allowed only four home runs in 12 starts thanks to leading the entire Major Leagues by a rather wide margin with a 65.4 percent groundball rate. He has not faced the Diamondbacks since 2012, when as a rookie he limited them to two runs on just four hits in 6.2 innings.

As great a year as Keuchel is having though, we still do not feel comfortable betting a team like the Astros as favorites, especially since they are averaging only 3.86 runs per game overall and are batting a mere .224 vs. right-handed pitchers for the whole season while averaging 3.70 runs per nine innings against them.

That should benefit McCarthy, who in actuality has not been as bad as his 1-8 record and 5.13 ERA. You see, McCarthy actually has a fantastic ratio himself of 72 strikeouts vs. 14 walks in 79 innings, but he has repeatedly been done in by one bad inning in seemingly every game. He did avoid that one big frame while posting a Quality Start vs. the Braves on Friday, allowing three runs in 6.1 innings with a nice nine strikeouts vs. just one walk.

McCarthy has also pitched in bad luck this season while yielding a .327 BABIP, and he actually has a much better 3.89 FIP and an excellent 2.88 xFIP, with the latter suggesting that he has been hindered by pitching in a hitter’s park. Facing a weak-hitting team like Houston on the road may allow McCarthy to continue to show the improvement he displayed against Atlanta last out.

Thus look for both starters to dictate the action here and for this contest to stay ‘under’ in Houston on Thursday.


MLB Pick: Diamondbacks, Astros ‘under’ 8 (-123)

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