MLB Picks: Daily MLB Total Plays Friday

LT Profits Sports Group

Friday, May 10, 2013 4:00 AM UTC

Friday, May. 10, 2013 4:00 AM UTC

After a winning 2-1 Thursday, LT continue their Daily MLB Total Plays series where they take a look at several totals where the numbers posted by the books do not add up for Friday.

We had another winning day on Thursday going 2-1, as we correctly called the Phillies vs. Diamondbacks staying ‘under’ and the Braves vs. Giants going ‘over’ (and at plus odds to boot), while we lost on the Angels vs. Astros ‘under’. That now puts us over the .500 mark on the year. The ‘over’ and ‘under’ did a 5-5 split across all MLB games Thursday, leaving the ‘over’ at 261-227, 53.5 percent (omitting ‘pushes’) for the season.

We have two totals for Friday with both of them being ‘unders’.

Cleveland Indians at Detroit Tigers (7:08 ET)

The posted total at Pinnacle Sports is 8½ for this contest with the current odds on the ‘under’ set at -106.

The Tigers were heavy favorites to win the American League Central before this season started, and they indeed do lead the division, albeit by just one-half game over the pesky Kansas City Royals. Now, most teams associate the Tigers with offense, but their front three starters have been as good as any in baseball so far. In fact, there are currently six Major League starting pitchers that own a FIP of less than 2.00, and three of them are on the Detroit staff!

One of them is going on Friday in Max Scherzer, whose conventional numbers have him at 4-0 with a 3.43 ERA and 1.04 WHIP. Looking at his stats Sabremetrically however, Scherzer has an unbelievable 54 strikeouts in 39.1 innings against just nine walks and three home runs allowed, which translates to a spiffy 1.98 FIP!

Scherzer may get tested by a Cleveland offense that is batting an impressive .271 as a team to rank third in the Major Leagues while averaging 5.09 run per game, but the Indians’ worse split thus far in terms of run production has been vs. right-handed pitchers on the road, as they are only averaging 3.86 runs per nine innings in that circumstance. Besides, Scherzer has never been better than he is right now since he has finally harnessed his control.

The Indians are also right in the Central Division race, as they are in third place but only one game behind these Tigers. They come in off if a four-game home sweep of the Oakland Athletics which wrapped up a sizzling 8-1 home stand, and the Tribe are a scorching 10-1 in their last 11 games overall. It has not been all about the hitting either as the Cleveland pitching staff has a collective 2.27 ERA over the last 10 games.

Young Friday starter Corey Kluber has been part of that success as he is 2-1 with a 3.06 ERA and 1.19 WHIP with a nice ratio of 16 strikeouts vs. four walks in 17.2 innings. Kluber also just gave up his first home run of the year to Trevor Plouffe of the Minnesota Twins in his last start, and he has done an excellent job of keeping the ball down with a 2.86 groundball-to-flyball ratio.

That makes Kluber precisely the type of pitcher that can give the Tigers trouble, as while they no doubt have a very good lineup with a lot of power, they are not exactly known for their blazing speed. Speaking of great hitters with no speed, Miguel Cabrera was able to play through some back pain while going 2-for-5 vs. the Washington Nationals on Thursday, but that situation may merit some monitoring.

MLB Pick: Indians, Tigers ‘under’ 8½ (-106)


New York Yankees at Kansas City Royals (8:10 ET) - MLB Network national

The posted total at Bookmaker Sportsbook is 8 for this contest with the current odds on the ‘under’ set at -110.

It is not too often that you will find “undervalued” and “New York Yankees” in the same sentence, but they were expected to get off to a slow start this season with so many of their superstars on the Disables List. Instead the Yankees have now moved into first place in the American League East after beating the Colorado Rockies in Denver each of the last two days. The Yanks have survived mediocre hitting by posting a 3.68 staff ERA.

Friday starter Phil Hughes may be 1-2 with New York as a team going 3-3 in all of the games that has started, but he has been much better than that. Hughes has been particularly strong over his last three starts as he has a 1.71 ERA and 1.05 WHIP over those outings with a great ratio of 24 strikeouts against five walks in 21 innings, and he finally picked up that elusive win by hurling eight shutout innings and allowing only four hits vs. the Oakland Athletics on Saturday.

Hughes is now facing a Kansas City lineup that has not been nearly as potent vs. right-handed pitching as it has vs. left-handed pitching, batting .249 and averaging 3.76 runs per nine innings vs. right-handers compared to a whopping .295 average and 5.86 runs per nine innings vs. southpaws. Hughes has allowed three runs or less in each of his last five career starts vs. the Royals including going a perfect two for two in Quality Stars against them last season.

The Royals are off to a good start at 18-13, leaving them just one-half game behind Detroit in the American League Central, although they had lost three straight games before snapping the brief skid with a 6-2 road win over the Baltimore Orioles on Thursday. The Royals have also received good pitching as they are ranked second in the American League with a 3.25 team ERA, just slightly behind the Texas Rangers (3.22).

Now, Wade Davis has just a 4.75 ERA and 1.85 WHIP, but that is mostly because of one awful outing vs. the Cleveland Indians two starts back where he was lit up for eight earned runs on 12 hits plus two walks in just 4.2 innings. The truth of the matter is that he has allowed thee earned runs or less in four of his last five starts and he was just fine in his follow-up outing Sunday allowing only one run and five hits in six innings vs. the Chicago White Sox.

Also these are not exactly the vintage Bronx Bombers Davis is facing tonight as the Yankees are batting a rather modest .248 as a team this season and that average has dipped to only .231 over the last 10 games, during which time New York is averaging just 3.00 runs per game. Davis also has the support of a bullpen that ranks fifth in the American League with a 2.88 group ERA.

MLB Pick: Yankees, Royals ‘under’ 8 (-110)


Record: 10-9, +0.25

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