MLB Picks: Daily MLB Total Plays Wednesday

LT Profits Sports Group

Wednesday, May 8, 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 a 1-1 split on Tuesday due to a No Action on the Mariners vs. Pirates ‘under’ because of a pitching change for Pittsburgh, which may have been unfortunate for us considering the Pirates won just 4-1. The ‘under’ went 8-6 across all MLB games yesterday, but the ‘over’ is still 251-212, 54.2 percent (omitting ‘pushes’) for the season.

We have three more totals for Wednesday and again they are all ‘unders’.

Philadelphia Phillies at San Francisco Giants (3:45 ET)

The posted total at 5 Dimes is 7½ for this contest with the current odds on the ‘under’ set at -105.

The Phillies have taken the first two games of this series by identical 6-2 scores, but we are looking for a slightly lower scoring game as Philadelphia goes for the sweep in the series closing matinee from AT&T Park on Wednesday. Barry Zito has been pitching some amazing baseball for the Giants since the tail end of last season while the rookie Jonathan Pettibone has been impressive in his first three Major League starts for Philadelphia.

You may recall that Zito keyed the World Champion Giants’ stretch run last year as the team won his last 14 consecutive starts with the final three of those coming in the post-season! Well, Zito has made six starts this season and he has allowed one earned run or less in five of them with the only outlier being a stinker in Milwaukee where he allowed nine earned runs in 2.2 innings to skew his early numbers.

Zito is 3-1 with a 3.06 ERA and a 1.45 WHIP overall, but take away the one start vs. the Brewers and he is at 3-0 with a 0.61 ERA and a 1.25 WHIP in his other five starts. He did finally allow a run at home in a 2-1 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers on Friday after tossing 21 scoreless innings in his first three starts here in San Francisco.

The Phillies are still two games under .500 at 16-18 even after winning the first two games of this series, and a key reason is their dismal .238 team batting average. Furthermore, they have been at their worst vs. left-handed pitchers such as Zito hitting .218 against them overall while averaging just 3.69 runs per nine innings.

That makes it important for Pettibone to maintain his fine form as he is 2-0 with a 3.24 ERA and 1.20 WHIP in his brief career with the Phillies winning all three of his starts, and he has an outstanding ratio of 13 strikeouts against only two walks in 16.2 innings. Pettibone is taking the rotation spot of the disabled John Lannan, who may be out another month at least with a strained knee ligament, so the Phils must love what they are seeing.

Obviously the Giants have never faced Pettibone before, and he has certainly used the league’s unfamiliarity with him to his advantage over his first three outings. Also, if you take away a 10-run outburst vs. the Dodgers over the weekend, the Giants averaged just 2.5 runs per game in the other four of their last five contests.

MLB Pick: Phillies, Giants ‘under’ 7½ (-105)

[gameodds]3/226262/19-238-93-92-1096/us[/gameodds]

Kansas City Royals at Baltimore Orioles (7:05 ET)

The posted total at Bookmaker Sportsbook is 8½ for this contest with the current odds on the ‘under’ set at -110.

These teams went ‘under’ in the series opener here at Camden Yards last night as Matt Wieters drove in the tie-breaking run for the Orioles in the bottom of the eighth inning for a 4-3 Baltimore win. The Orioles are doing their best to prove that last season was not a fluke as they now have sole possession of second place in the American League East just one game behind the first place Boston Red Sox.

Baltimore now turns to Chris Tillman to take the start Wednesday after a masterful outing vs. the Los Angeles Angels last Thursday where he tossed eight scoreless innings and allowing just three hits! Remember that Tillman was one of the more highly regarded pitchers in baseball when he came up a few years ago and the now 25-year-old started putting things together last season while going 9-3 with a 2.93 ERA and 1.05 WHIP with the league hitting .207 off of him.

He has backed that up with four Quality Starts out of six total starts this season including three of them in a row over which he has a 1.31 ERA and 1.02 WHIP! He is facing a Kansas City lineup whose worst split in the early going has been vs. right-handed pitchers on the road, with the Royals batting .237 and averaging 3.51 runs per nine innings in that circumstance.

Do not forget about the great Baltimore bullpen either, which was one of the best in baseball last season and is at it again this year, and that pen has been at its best here in Baltimore where it has a cumulative 2.05 ERA and 1.01 WHIP while holding the opposition to a scant .178 batting average.

The Royals counter with right-hander Luis Mendoza, who has been admittedly awful in his last two starts. However, he is coming off of his best Major League season a year ago and he was solid in his first start vs. the Philadelphia Phillies before the two stinkers, allowing only one run and two hits in six innings.

Look for Mendoza to bounce back here in Baltimore, where he recorded a Quality Start in his only start vs. the Orioles last season. Also take note that the ‘under’ is 10-4 in Mendoza’s last 14 road starts, as he will almost always give you an honest effort.

MLB Pick: Royals, Orioles ‘under’ 8½ (-110)

[gameodds]3/226265/93-238-19-92-1096/us[/gameodds]

Los Angeles Angels at Houston Astros (8:10 ET)

The posted total at Pinnacle Sports is 9½ for this contest with the current odds on the ‘under’ set at -120.

Can the very well-respected manager of the Los Angeles Angels Mike Scioscia possibly be on the hot seat? The Angels have one of the highest payrolls in baseball and were expected to compete with the Texas Rangers for the American League West crown, but instead the sit at 11-21 and already 8½ games behind the Rangers and they lost the series opener these lowly 9-24 Astros 7-6 last night.

Do not expect as much scoring for either team tonight however. Joe Blanton may be 0-5 with a 5.97 ERA for the Halos, but he has turned things around with back-to-back Quality Starts and his last outing was his best in an Angel uniform despite taking the unlucky loss, as he allowed only two earned runs in eight innings vs. the Baltimore Orioles, and he is certainly facing a nice opponent here against which to continue his return to form.

Blanton is a perfect four for four in Quality Starts for his career vs. the Astros including another gem last season when he was a member of the Philadelphia Phillies, as he allowing only one run and six hits in seven innings with seven strikeouts against just one walk. He is now facing a Houston lineup batting .234 overall vs. right-handed pitchers this season, an average which dips to a pathetic .196 here in the Lone Star State!

Prior to last night’s outburst, the Astros had scored a grand total of eight runs in their previous four games combined while never topping three runs in any of those contests, which is probably what you could expect tonight. However, Houston does have a starting pitcher capable of keeping it in this game going in Bud Norris.

Remember that for all of their lofty salaries, the Angels are only batting .213 themselves vs. right-handed pitchers over their last 10 games, and Norris has managed to go 3-3 while pitching for a team that is already 15 games below .500 and he has allowed three earned runs or less in each of his last three starts with the last two outings coming against a couple of potent lineups in the Boston Red Sox and the Detroit Tigers respectively.

Also, Norris has already beaten the Angels once this season and it was an outstanding effort in Anaheim where he pitched seven scoreless innings and allowed only three hits in a 5-0 Houston win on April 12th. He has easily been the Astros’ best starter while allowing two earned runs or less in five of his seven starts and three in another.

MLB Pick: Angels, Astros ‘under’ 9½ (-120)

[gameodds]3/226269/238-19-93-92-1096/us[/gameodds]

Record: 5-8, -3.81