Each day LT Profits Sports seeks an MLB overlay that has a better chance of cashing than its odds, offering long term value. Here is their Underdog Value Play for Monday.
There could be an upset in store Monday night when young and talented right-hander Jarred Cosart and the Miami Marlins (64-65, 27-34 away) pay a visit southpaw Wade LeBlanc and the first place Los Angeles Angels (77-52, 41-23 home) in the first game of a three-game interleague series from Angel Stadium in Anaheim, CA at 10:05 ET.
The posted money line at Bet365 has Miami as a decided road underdog for this contest at current odds of +151.
Coming off of a Big Win in Oakland
The Angels have to guard against a let-down here after salvaging the final game of a three-game series vs. the Oakland A’s as they pounded Scott Kazmir Sunday for a 9-4 win, leaving the Halos with a one-game lead over Oakland in the American League West as well as with the best record in all of baseball. Los Angeles now returns home where its 41-23 record is the second best in baseball behind those Athletics (43-23).
The Marlins are now longshot MLB picks to make the playoffs after a promising start to this year that began to go downhill when stud ace starter Jose Fernandez was lost for the season following Tommy John surgery, but believe it or not hope is still not lost even at one game under .500 at his late stage of the year, as Miami is only four games behind the San Francisco Giants for the second wild card spit, albeit with two other teams ahead of the Fish.
Sharp in a Miami Uniform
Jarred Cosart was one of the few bright spots for the Houston Astros since coming up to the Major Leagues last season when he posted a 1.95 ERA over 10 starts, and he even had a winning 9-7 record for that losing team this year when he was traded to Miami. And most importantly for the pitching-hungry Marlins, he has not disappointed since coming over.
Cosart may be just 1-1 in three starts for the Marlins, but he has a 2.45 ERA, 0.98 WHIP and a .197 batting average allowed in those three outings after an unfortunate no-decision vs. the Texas Rangers last Tuesday when he allowed just one run on six hits in six innings. Cosart also pitched well the last time he faced the Angels earlier this season while he was still with the Astros, allowing three runs in 6.2 innings with eight strikeouts vs. one walk.
Should Cosart be in need of relief, the Miami bullpen is also on a nice little role as of late with a collective 2.60 ERA over the last 10 games covering 31 innings.
Who Replaces Richards?
The Angels may have the league’s best record, but they suffered a big loss when Garrett Richards suffered a severe knee injury vs. the Red Sox last Wednesday and is probably lost for the season. Tonight would have been Richards’ turn in the rotation and Los Angeles has called up LeBlanc from Triple-A to take this start.
You may recall LeBlanc showed a bit of promise when he first came up with the San Diego Padres, but it turned out that he did not pitch well outside of spacious Petco Park, and he has bounced around with several teams over the last three years. He even pitched for his opponents tonight, the Marlins, last season and he was horrible for them going 1-5 with a 5.16 ERA, 1.60 WHIP and a .312 batting average allowed over 48.2 innings.
While facing his old teammates is usually an advantage for the pitcher, the 2014 Miami offense does not closely resemble the punchless Marlins of last year, especially vs. left-handed pitchers against whom the Fish are batting .264 while averaging 4.73 runs for the season, and Miami is batting .275 while averaging an incredible 8.27 runs per nine innings vs. southpaws over the last 10 games.
Marlins’ Interleague Success
Aside from this on-field matchup, remember also that for whatever reason the Marlins have always been one of the better interleague teams in baseball since way back when interleague play began. Miami is 20-8 in its last 28 interleague games overall including 8-1 in its last nine such road games.
That may just be window dressing though as this pitching matchup alone is enough reason to give Miami a good upset chance in Anaheim on Monday.
MLB Pick: Marlins +151