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 Friday.
The first two games of this series have both gone ‘over’ and we are looking for more of the same Friday night even with the change in scenery to the west coast when Jeremy Guthrie and the Kansas City Royals (98-74, 51-34 away) pay a visit to fellow right-hander Tim Hudson and the San Francisco Giants (97-77, 49-37 home) in Game 3 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 ‘over’ set at -105.
Bats Came Alive
The Royals were shut down by the amazing Madison Bumgarner while losing Game 1 at home 7-1, but then it was Kansas City’s turn to hang up a seven-spot while winning 7-2 in Game 2 while pounding out 10 hits, with four of the runs and six of the hits being charged to San Francisco starter Jake Peavy. And from a strictly personal standpoint, the two ‘overs’ to begin this series have suited us fine!
It seems to us that this pitching matchup on Game 3 is conducive to another winning ‘over’ MLB pick despite the fine work of both of these bullpens this post-season. We expect the offenses to do enough here against the starters that it may be too late for those pens to save the ‘under’ once they get involved, and remember that the Giants’ bullpen hiccupped on Wednesday with Hunter Strickland being ineffective and Tim Lincecum getting injured.
Hudson Nearing the End
Sadly, what has been a very nice career for Hudson could be reaching its end very soon as he was a disappointment after the Giants signed him to a free agent contract this past off-season. Hudson finished with a losing 9-13 record during the regular season, and even his 3.27 ERA was deceptive considering his high .270 batting average allowed. Hudson’s stamina is not what it once was either, and that manifested itself in Game 3 of the NLCS vs. the St. Louis Cardinals.
Hudson was given and early 4-0 lead in the first inning of that contest by the Giant offense, but he could not hold the lead while probably being overextended a bit in a rare questionable move by Manager Bruce Bochy during the post-season, as Tim allowed the game-tying home run to the relatively light-hitting Randal Grichuk with one out in the seventh inning.
Hudson should have a shorter leash here and he surprisingly had a high 3.94 ERA during the regular season pitching in his big home ballpark, with that NLCS meltdown vs. the Cardinals also coming in this stadium. And remember Hudson is facing a Kansas City offense averaging 5.00 runs per game during the playoffs, the highest scoring average in this post-season for any team that has played more than one game, as Oakland scored eight in its wild card loss.
Now, we have never been very high on the Kansas City starter Guthrie, in fact tabbing him one of the most overrated starting pitchers in baseball before the start of this season after he won a career high 15 games last year while overcoming some poor sabremetric numbers, which was the very reason we expected some regression.
Well, Guthrie did regress a bit but he still had a better record than expected at 13-11 and he has actually been quite strong lately, as he allowed one run or less in five of his last seven regular season stats and then again allowed just one run on three hits, albeit in only five innings, in Game 3 of the ALCS against the Baltimore Orioles. Guthrie continues to live a charmed life though as the Orioles hit quite a few balls hard that game and worked him for 94 pitches.
And for the second straight season, Guthrie’s sabremetrics were not what you would expect from someone starting Game 3 of a World Series as he had a low strikeout rate for someone that is not a pronounced groundball pitcher with only 5.51 per nine innings and finished the season with just a 4.32 FIP and 4.33 xFIP. He has also not fared well in his three career starts vs. the Giants, going 0-1 with a bloated 6.14 ERA and 1.98 WHIP, allowing four home runs in 14.2 innings.
G-Men Going ‘over’ at Home
Finally, AT&T Park is considered a pitchers’ ballpark with its vast dimensions, but that has not prevented the Giants from going ‘over’ here with regularity during the post-season. Remember that San Francisco has played many playoff games the last five years as they won the World Series in 2010 and 2012, and the ‘over’ is now 16-5 in the Giants’ last 21 home post-season games!
Given this pitching matchup, look for that pattern to continue for at least one more game in Game 3 of the World Series from San Francisco on Friday.
MLB Pick: Royals, Giants ‘over’ 7 (-105)