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 Monday.
Expect a low scoring affair on Labor Day Monday in a surprisingly good pitching matchup between two also-ran teams when Trevor Cahill and the Arizona Diamondbacks (57-79, 29-37 away) pay a visit to fellow right-hander Tyson Ross and the San Diego Padres (64-71, 38-29 home) in the first game of a four-game weekend series from Petco Park in San Diego, CA at 4:10 ET.
The posted total at Pinnacle Sports is 6½ for this contest with the current odds on the ‘under’ set at -109.
Two Teams Going Nowhere
Now that we have reached September, there are some big series coming up with major playoff implications. Unfortunately this is not one of them. The Padres are still a commendable third in the National League West though at seven games under .500 and they are nine games over .500 at 38-29 here at home. They have their pitching to thank as San Diego is third in the Major Leagues with a 3.17 staff ERA and leads the National League in bullpen ERA (2.55).
The Diamondbacks on the other hand never recovered from a horrible start that had them as the worst MLB picks in the majors for much of the first half of the season, and they still own the second worst record in the National League while standing just three games ahead of the team with the worst record, the Colorado Rockies, in the NL West.
Ross Dominant at Times
Ross has been one of the better pitchers in the majors this year without very much fanfare, as his 12-12 record is due to a lack of run support, as in actuality he has an excellent 2.64 ERA and a great ratio of 176 strikeouts vs. 64 walks in 181 innings. Furthermore, Ross owns the distinction of being the most unhittable pitcher in baseball this year with just a 71.6 percent contact rate.
And although it does not apply here with this game being at home in San Diego, it is significant that Ross has a good 3.05 ERA on the road because that legitimizes his overall numbers and shows that he is not merely taking advantage of the spacious dimensions of Petco Park, although that is certainly a nice added benefit of pitching here.
And Ross has faced the Diamondbacks three times at Petco since the beginning of last year, and he allowed two earned runs or less on all three occasions including two starts this year over which he allowed a total of three earned runs in 14 innings with 12 strikeouts vs. two walks.
Cahill Better Since Re-Entering Rotation
Cahill began this season in the Arizona rotation but was demoted to the bullpen before the end of April after going 0-4 with a 9.17 ERA. However, he re-entered the rotation after pitching reasonably well out of the pen, and he showed marked improvement while posting a 3.43 ERA over seven starts while allowing three runs or less in all seven of those starts before getting roughed up for eight runs (six earned) by the Los Angeles Dodgers last time out.
And Cahill has pitched very well vs. the Padres allowing two earned runs or less in six of his seven career starts against them, all coming since 2012, with a 2.72 ERA in those starts. He also has a terrific 1.71 ERA in four career starts at Petco Park.
Petco Park Factor
And speaking of Petco, it is once again one of the most pitcher-friendly parks in the majors this year with games there averaging just a combined 6.31 runs per game.
With all of this in mind, let us go ‘under’ in San Diego on Labor Day Monday.
MLB Pick: Diamondbacks, Padres ‘under’ 6½ (-109)