MLB Picks: Daily MLB Total Plays Tuesday

LT Profits Sports Group

Tuesday, May 7, 2013 4:00 AM GMT

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 had just a dismal day on Monday going 0-3 to fall to three games below .500 overall. Then again, consider that the ‘over’ has gone 245-204, 54.6 percent in all MLB games this season, which is not good news considering that over 90 percent of our totals are on the ‘under’. Keep in mind that there are almost always more ‘unders’ than ‘overs’ during the MLB season though, so when that inevitably turns around, so will we.

We again have three totals on our plate for Tuesday, and yes they are all ‘unders’.

Oakland Athletics at Cleveland Indians (7:05 ET)

The posted total at 5 Dimes is 8½ for this contest with the current odds on the ‘under’ set at -115.

The Athletics were the surprising winners of the American League West last season and they now find themselves in second place and only 2½ games behind the Texas Rangers this year after taking two out of three from the New York Yankees this weekend, although they did lose the series opener here at Progressive Field 7-3 last night. The Oakland bats have cooled off after an unrealistically hot start, but pitchers like Tom Milone have picked up the slack.

Milone may own a nondescript 3-3 record, but that does not explain just how well the southpaw has pitched. Remember that Milone won 13 games last year, and he has followed that up this season by posting a 3.69 ERA, 1.18 WHIP and a fantastic 36 strikeouts against only six walks in 39 innings. Yes, he has allowed six home runs, but those things will happen when you are always around the plate and his ERA helps prove that he has been able to limit the damage.

Milone also tossed a gem the last time he faced the Indians last season right here in this ballpark, as he hurled six scoreless innings of a 7-0 victory while striking out five and walking only one batter. He should do well again tonight considering that he has a 3.54 ERA and 1.13 WHIP over 20.1 innings in his last three starts with 21 strikeouts and two walks despite going 0-3 in those starts, which speaks of Oakland’s slumping offense.

The Indians have suddenly caught fire by winning seven of their last eight games to pull to within 3½ games of the division leading Detroit Tigers while in third place in the American League Central. Still, just like Oakland at the start of the season, the Indians are outperforming their offensive abilities by averaging 7.8 runs in those last eight games and a correction is sure to come soon.

Also like the Athletics though, the Tribe have an underrated pitcher going in Zach McAllister, who is an unlucky 2-3 considering that he owns a 3.30 ERA, 1.20 WHIP and had not allowed more than three earned runs in any of his five starts. He did finally get his second win last time out when he limited the Philadelphia Phillies to two runs on just five hits in seven inning of an interleague matchup last Tuesday.

It also helps that McAllister is facing an Oakland lineup that is sporting just a .235 average vs. right-handed pitching this season including a mere .219 over the last 10 games.

MLB Pick: Athletics, Indians ‘under’ 8½ (-115)

[gameodds]3/226215/19-238-93-92-1096/us[/gameodds]

Seattle Mariners at Pittsburgh Pirates (7:05 ET)

The posted total at Bookmaker Sportsbook is 8 for this contest with the current odds on the ‘under’ set at -120.

This is just one of several interleague series that are taking place beginning on Tuesday. The Pirates lost their last two games vs. the Washington Nationals after winning the series opener Friday, but Pittsburgh is still a respectable 17-14 and in second place in the National League Central, three games behind the St. Louis Cardinals. While both starting pitchers tonight have some ugly numbers, both are better than they have shown.

James McDonald gets the start for the Pirates, and he was on his way to a breakthrough season last year before struggling over the last two months. Now he had allowed three earned runs or less in three straight starts before his last outing, but McDonald got lit up for seven runs on eight hits in five innings by the Milwaukee Brewers, leaving him at 2-2 with a 5.76 ERA and 1.65 WHIP overall.

McDonald has pitched much better here at home though, where he had just a 3.07 ERA and a more respectable 1.36 WHIP, and he does have 25 strikeouts in 29.2 innings, indicating that there is nothing wrong with his arm. He should get back on track vs. a Seattle lineup that is batting .238 vs. right handed pitchers and that has never faced him before.

The Mariners are a somewhat surprising 15-18 and in third place in a what has been a weak American League West after Texas and Oakland, and the biggest problem has been a weak offense that has managed just 3.55 runs per game overall and that is batting .220 on the road. The pitching has not been much better, but the veteran Aaron Harang did show signs of rediscovering his fine form last time out.

Harang finally got his first win in a Seattle uniform after losing his first three starts by limiting the Baltimore Orioles to only two runs and four hits in six innings with five strikeouts against one walk. He actually tossed five scoreless innings before allowing both runs in the sixth inning after being staked to a 5-0 lead. He now has a chance to continue his revival vs. a Pittsburgh offense that is ranked 10th in the National League in batting.

Harang was in the National League last season as a member of the Los Angeles Dodgers and he pitched well in his only start vs. the Pirates as he held the Bucs to two runs and five hits in six innings.

MLB Pick: Mariners, Pirates ‘under’ 8 (-120)

[gameodds]3/226212/93-238-19-92-1096/us[/gameodds]

Toronto Blue Jays at Tampa Bay Rays (7:10 ET)

The posted total at 5 Dimes is 8½ for this contest with the current odds on the ‘under’ set at -120.

One of our three losses yesterday came in this Blue Jays vs. Rays matchup as Jeremy Hellickson did his part for Tampa Bay but Mark Buehrle was awful for Toronto as he was done in by a seven-run third inning. Still, we are coming right back with the ‘under’ again with Roberto Hernandez of the Rays taking on J.A. Happ of the Jays.

Hernandez, formerly known as Fausto Carmona, has not had an official start since April 26th although he was on his way to quite possibly his best start in a Tampa Bay uniform last Thursday allowing one run in four innings vs. the Kansas City Royals, only to have that entire outing washed out by rain. Thus, Hernandez is sitting at 1-4 with an ugly 5.28 ERA and 1.30 WHIP. On a brighter note, he is 1-1 with a 3.55 ERA and an excellent 1.11 WHIP in 12.2 home innings.

In fact, Hernandez had an xFIP of 3.42 which runs well ahead of his ERA, suggesting that his road performances were better than they look on paper, and he also has a nice 30 strikeouts against 10 walks in 30.2 innings overall. And do not forget, all of his numbers would have most likely been better if his last outing was not washed away.

The Blue Jays were actually favored to win the American League East before the season, but they are instead in last place 9½ games behind the first place Boston Red Sox and three games behind these Rays in fourth despite rallying late and scoring two runs in the ninth inning to win the series opener 8-7 last night after falling behind 7-0 in the early stages.

The southpaw Happ had been a bright spot though as of late, as he has allowed a total of five earned runs over his last three starts. Granted his command has still not been very good this yeas as he has 18 walks to go with his 26 strikeouts in 31.2 innings, but he can be very tough when he does throw strikes, and as we mentioned yesterday, the bottom half of the Tampa Bay batting order is very weak.

In fact, that was again evident last night when the top four batters of the Rays’ lineup went a combined 7-for-18 including a grand slam home run by cleanup hitter Evan Longoria, while the rest of the lineup went a combined 4-for-19. The Rays batted the left-handed James Loney fifth last night, so it remains to be seen how they will line up vs. the left-handed Happ.

MLB Pick: Blue Jays, Rays ‘under’ 8½ (-120)

[gameodds]3/226219/19-238-93-92-1096/us[/gameodds]

Record: 4-7, -3.61