Each day the LT Profits Sports Group seeks out an MLB total that does not add up and offers the most value that day. Here is their Total Value Play of the Day for Saturday.
The National League Cy Young favorite, another hot pitcher and a pitcher’s ballpark should all equate to a very low scoring game Saturday night when right-hander Yovani Gallardo and the Milwaukee Brewers (68-55, 33-27 away) pay a visit to southpaw Clayton Kershaw and the Los Angeles Dodgers (70-54, 30-28 home) in the second game of a three-game weekend series from Dodger Stadium in Atlanta, GA at 9:10 ET in a game televised nationally on MLB Network.
The posted total at Pinnacle Sports is 6 for this contest with the current odds on the ‘under’ set at -121.
Battle of Division Leaders
This is the second straight weekend that these division leaders have gotten together as the Brewers took two out of three in Milwaukee last weekend before taking the series opener here at Dodger Stadium last night 6-3.as +150 underdogs. Luckily for the Dodgers, the second place San Francisco Giants also lost at home to the last place Philadelphia Phillies, still leaving Los Angeles with a 5½-game lead in the National League West.
The Brewers meanwhile continue to be one of the most surprising MLB picks in baseball this year, as in a National League Central that became the first division ever to send three teams to the MLB Playoffs last year in the St. Louis Cardinals, Pittsburgh Pirates and Cincinnati Reds, it is Milwaukee that has led the division this entire season and currently has a two-game lead over St. Louis, although the other two 2013 playoff teams are also still within range.
Third Cy Young Award on the Way
Kershaw seems well on his way to his second straight Cy Young Award and third such honor of his career already at the young age of 26-year-old, and that is despite missing about six weeks following his first start of this year with a back injury. In fact he just recently became qualified to be ranked among the league leaders, and he promptly made his debut on our bi-weekly FIP Leaderboard at number one!
Kershaw is having without exaggeration one of the best seasons for a Major League pitcher in history this year as he stands at 14-2 with a scintillating 1.78 ERA, 0.86 WHIP and a .201 batting average allowed, and that is to go along with an unfathomable ratio of 163 strikeouts vs. 19 walks in 136.1 innings! Moreover he now has 11 consecutive Quality Starts while unbelievably allowing one run or less in nine of those starts.
He is also 3-0 in three starts vs. the Brewers since the beginning of last year while allowing a grand total of two runs and 13 hits with 23 strikeouts in 25 innings vs. just three walks, never allowing more than one run in any of those starts.
Gallardo in Good Form Too
As great as Kershaw has been, it is actually not a slam dunk that Los Angeles will win this game because the Dodgers could also have great difficulty scoring runs off of Gallardo, who has been hot in his own right. Granted the former ace of the Milwaukee staff has just mediocre numbers for the whole season at 7-6 with a 3.44 ERA and 1.23 WHIP, but he has been in vintage form lately.
Gallardo held the Chicago Cubs to one run on six hits in seven innings on Monday, and that is to go along with two scoreless outings where he went at least seven innings among his last four starts. He has also had proven success vs. the Dodgers while going a perfect four-for-four in Quality Starts against them since 2011, posting a 3.00 ERA with 31 strikeouts in 27 innings vs. six walks over those four starts.
Also, Dodger Stadium has been a notable pitcher’s park ever since it opened and this year is no exception, with games here averaging a combined 7.47 total runs per game, plus the ball does not carry as well in the heavy air here at night.
Therefore, runs should be at a major premium here, so even with the low posted total go ‘under’ in Dodger Stadium on Saturday.
MLB Pick: Brewers, Dodgers ‘under’ 6 (-121)