Each day during the MLB Playoffs, LT Profits seek out a total that does not add up and offers the most value that day. Here is their Playoff Total Value Play of the Day for Saturday.
The starting pitchers avoided the big inning in an ‘under’ in Game 3 and we expect more of the same when southpaw Jason Vargas and the Kansas City Royals (99-74, 52-34 away) pay a visit to right-hander Ryan Vogelsong and the San Francisco Giants (97-78, 49-38 home) in Game 4 of the World Series from AT&T Stadium in San Francisco, CA at 8:07 ET in a game televised nationally on FOX.
The posted total at Bet365 is 7 for this contest with the current odds on the ‘under’ set at -120.
Royals Regain Home Field
After the first two games of this series went ‘over’ in Kansas City, mainly because each team has one big inning in each game, the starters avoided that one big inning in much more pitching friendly AT&T Park while the great bullpens did their usual thing, and the end result was a 3-2 win by the Royals to give us the first ‘under’ of this series.
More importantly in regards to this series, the Royals gained back the home field advantage that they lost by losing Game 1 in Kansas City, and the Royals are now once again the favored MLB picks to win this World Series with the consensus adjusted series price being around -230, much to the delight of those that pounced on Kansas City +170 for the series after losing Game 1.
Vargas Better on Road
On to Game 4, the Royals are turning to the lefty Vargas, who like the rest of the Kansas City starters with the ironic exception of ace James Shields has pitched well over this post season, allowing a grand total of three runs and just five hits with eight strikeouts in 11.1 innings over two starts. And do not forget that for whatever reason, Vargas has been at his best on the road this year!
Do not be fooled by Vargas’s 5-4 road mark during the regular season, as his 2.73 ERA was the seventh best road ERA in the American League this year, and he amazingly allowed two earned runs or less in 11 of his 14 starts away from Kauffman Stadium. Then he rose up again in his most important road start of all this year until now.
You see, with Shields out of commission due to pitching in the American League Wild Card Playoff Game, it was Vargas that got the start in Game 1 of the ALDS vs. the team with the best record in the Major Leagues this season the Los Angeles Angels, whom Vargas promptly held to two runs on three hits in six innings before the Royals won 3-2 in extra innings.
Probably a Short Leash
Now, we have never been fans of Vogelsong and we believe he is the weakest link of the San Francisco post-season rotation. And he did not help himself by allowing four runs on seven hits in just three innings of Game 4 of the NLCS vs. the St. Louis Cardinals before his teammates took him off the hook by rallying for the 6-4 victory.
Vogelsong had actually been pitching well prior to that outing though allowing three earned runs or less on four of his previous five starts including a nice outing vs. the top seeds in the National League, the Washington Nationals, in the NLDS. However, if he replicates his last start vs. St. Louis tonight, Vogelsong will be on a tiny leash especially after the home loss last night, so he may not even be allowed to go three innings if he is not sharp again.
And we see that as a good thing, as while the great Kansas City bullpen has gotten most of the publicity this series, and deservedly so, the Giants’ bullpen is also keeping pace with a sparkling 2.06 ERA over 43.2 post-season innings.
How They Fared vs. Tonight’s Opponents?
One thing Vogelsong does have to his advantage is that this is his first ever appearance vs. the Royals, so that should actually allow him to have success his first time through the lineup this time around with the opposing batters unfamiliar with him. Vargas on the other hand started vs. the Giants during interleague play this year and pitched well, yielding just two runs in five innings with five strikeouts and not a single walk.
And as long as the starters hold up their end, the fantastic bullpens should do the rest to help keep the game ‘under’ in World Series Game 4 from San Francisco on Saturday.
MLB Pick: Royals, Giants ‘under’ 7 (-120)