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 Thursday.
The total seems extremely low Thursday night when right-hander Adam Warren and the New York Yankees (39-33, 18-19 away) pay a visit to southpaw Dallas Keuchel and the Houston Astros (42-32, 23-14 home) in the first game of a four-game series from Minute Maid Park in Houston, TX at 8:10 ET in a game televised nationally on MLB Network.
The posted total at Pinnacle Sports is 7 for this contest with the current odds on the ‘over’ set at -128.
Still Leading the American League West
The Astros have been league doormats for several years, finishing with the worst record in the majors while losing at least 100 games every year from 2011 to 2013, but they showed some improvement last year as their youth movement started to pay off and they have taken things to a whole new level this year, still leading the American League West by four games over the second place Texas Rangers even after losing two out of three to the Los Angeles Angels.
The Yankees meanwhile have been in and out of first place in the American League East throughout this season, but they are currently in second one game behind the Tampa Bay Rays, no thanks to being the losing MLB picks two of the last three days to the team with the worst record in baseball the Philadelphia Phillies. At least the Yankees avoided the indignity of getting swept by pounding out 15 hits in a 10-2 rout on Wednesday.
Warren Outperforming Peripherals
The New York starter Warren has nice numbers on the surface as he is 5-4 with a 3.62 ERA wit the Yankees as a team going 9-4 in all the games that he has started. He comes off of another nice outing vs. the Detroit Tigers where he went eight innings, allowing two runs and seven hits with seven strikeouts and not a single walk.
Still, while Warren had great command that day, it has not always been the case as he has outperformed his peripherals this year, suggesting that regression may be imminent. He usually pitches to contact with just 5.84 strikeouts vs. 2.92 walks per nine innings, but he has escaped major damage so far by luckily yielding only a .264 BABIP, and Warren does not have the type of stuff to maintain that low average.
Therefore his 4.25 FIP and 4.35 xFIP are far more indicative of the type of pitchers he is, and he may get exposed here vs. a hot Houston offense that is batting .272 while averaging a potent 5.88 runs vs. right-handed pitchers over the last 10 games.
Worst Start for Keuchel
Granted, Keuchel is a legitimate Cy Young contender for Houston as he is 8-3 (10-5 in team starts) with a riveting 2.35 ERA and 0.98 WHIP with a nice ratio of 83 strikeouts vs. 30 walks. He has 11 official Quality Starts out of 15 starts overall and they have mostly not been of the cheap variety, as he allowed two runs or less in 10 of them.
However, Keuchel does come off of his worst start of the season where he allowed five earned runs one five hits including three home runs plus four walks in six innings vs. the Tigers, and he must now deal with a Yankees’ lineup that ranks second in the Major Leagues in runs scored with 4.86 per game.
But the best news for ‘over’ backers is if Warren starts to regress as expected vs. the hot Astros’ bats, Keuchel may not even need to allow too many runs to push this game 'over' this low posted total.
Terrific ‘over’ Run
Finally, because Houston is heating up offensively, the ‘over’ is now 10-2-1 in the last 13 Astros’ games overall, as well as 24-8-1 in their last 33 games vs. right-handed starters. The ‘over’ is also 7-0 in the Yankees’ last seven games overall.
Look for those ‘over’ trends to continue with this low posted total when the New York Yankees visit Houston for the series opener on Thursday.
MLB Pick: Yankees, Astros ‘over’ 7 (-128)