MLB Picks: Daily MLB Total Plays Saturday

LT Profits Sports Group

Saturday, May 4, 2013 4:00 AM UTC

Saturday, May. 4, 2013 4:00 AM UTC

The LT Profits Sports Group continue their Daily MLB Total Plays series where they take a look at several totals each day where the numbers posted by the sportsbooks simply do not add up.

We went 1-2 on Friday with both losses coming in extra innings, although it did not matter in the Mets vs. Braves contest, which was already ‘over’ through nine innings. It did matter in the other game though where the Rays scored three runs in the 10th inning to beat the Rockies 7-4 when one run would have salvaged a ‘push’ for us.

We have two totals for Saturday.

Baltimore Orioles at Los Angeles Angels (4:05 ET) – FOX regional

The posted total at 5 Dimes is 9 for this contest with the current odds on the ‘under’ set at -121.

The Angels have been one of the most disappointing teams in baseball given their enormous payroll, as they are just 11-18 and in fourth place in the American League West, although the did even up this four-game series with the Baltimore Orioles with a 4-0 shutout victory behind Jason Vargas on Friday after dropping the series opener 5-1 on Thursday.

The Halos now look to build on that momentum with Tommy Hanson on the hill, who is 2-1 with a 3.91 ERA and 1.39 WHIP, but who has pitched well in three of his four starts. Outside of one bad outing vs. the Astros of all teams were he was charged with five runs in five innings, Hanson allowed a total of five runs in 18 inning over the other three outings.

Hanson has faced the Orioles only twice in his career during interleague play as a member of the Atlanta Braves before this season, and after allowing two runs back in 2009, he did not allow an earned run in 5.1 innings vs. Baltimore last season while allowing only four hits, although that outing was cut short by six walks. He does have a good ratio of 14 strikeouts vs. seven walks this season though.

The Orioles are trying to prove the skeptics wrong that attributed Baltimore’s playoff run last year to mostly luck, as those critics are quick to point out the amazing success Baltimore had in both extra-inning and one-run games. Well, the O’s are off to a commendable 17-13 start, leaving them 3½ games behind the first place Boston Red Sox.

The ageless Freddy Garcia is being recalled from the minors to make his Baltimore debut today, and he is facing a team that he has had uncanny success against. Garcia is a remarkable 16-3 with a 2.66 ERA in 28 career starts against the Angels, and he is also 8-1 with a 3.18 ERA in 16 appearances here at Angel Stadium.

Garcia looked just fine at the AAA level to start this season, as he was 4-0 with a 2.67 ERA and a terrific ratio of 21 strikeouts against just two walks in five starts covering 33.2 innings. He now gets a chance to continue that success returning to the Major League level vs. an Angels’ offense that is batting a dismal .221 while averaging only 3.60 runs over the last 10 games.

MLB Pick: Orioles, Angels ‘under’ 9 (-121)


Boston Red Sox at Texas Rangers (8:05 ET)

The posted total at Pinnacle Sports is 9 for this contest with the current odds on the ‘under’ set at -106.

The Rangers have been one of the better ‘under’ teams in baseball as it has now gone 18-9-2 in all Texas games this season after these teams stayed ‘under’ in a 7-0 Texas win in the series opener in Friday as Derek Holland threw eight shutout innings. In fact, the Texas pitching staff leads the Major Leagues with a 3.09 team ERA, which is a key reason why the Rangers have a 1½-game lead over the Oakland Athletics atop the American League West.

Tonight’s starter Alexi Ogando has been a major contributor despite his deceptive 2-2 record, as he owns a 3.38 ERA and 1.25 WHIP while allowing three earned runs or less in five of his six starts this year. Although he took the 5-0 loss vs. the Minnesota Twins last time out, Ogando was solid again while allowing three runs on only four hits in six innings.

The starters are not the only story for Texas though as the bullpen has also contributed to the success of the ‘under’ by not allowing many tack-on runs. The Rangers have a nice 2.90 bullpen ERA and their closer Joe Nathan is a perfect eight for eight in save opportunities with 10 strikeouts against only one walk in nine innings.

The Red Sox lead the American League East after a year from hell in their only season under Bobby Valentine last year, and while Boston’s offense gets most of the credit, its starting pitchers have a collective 3.29 ERA and the bullpen has been better lately after a brutal start.

John Lackey went on the Disabled List after allowing two runs on five hits in 4.1 innings in his seasonal debut on April 6th, and apparently he is just about fully healed as he probably looked the best that he has looked in a couple of years in his return start on Sunday vs. the Houston Astros, allowing only one run on five hits in six innings.

The most important aspect for Lackey in his two starts has been the sink on his pitches, as he has an outstanding 3.25 groundball-to-flyball ratio, which when combined with his excellent ratio of 12 strikeouts vs. three walks in 10.1 innings may allow Lackey to return to the good form he has several years ago after some rough seasons as of late.

MLB Pick: Red Sox, Rangers ‘under’ 9 (-106)


Record: 2-3, -1.14

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