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.
The also-ran could actually hold some value as a home underdog vs. playoff contender Monday night when southpaw Roenis Elias and the Seattle Mariners (67-56, 33-24 away) pay a visit to right-hander Jerome Williams and the Philadelphia Phillies (54-70, 26-36 home) in the first game of a three-game interleague series from Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia, PA at 7:05 ET in a game available on ROOT.
The posted money line at Bet365 has Philadelphia as a decided home underdog for this contest at current odds of +144.
Now Leading in Wild Card Hunt
The Mariners were sleeper playoff MLB picks by some experts prior to the year after they uncharacteristically loosened the purse strings in the off-season and spent a lot of money in free agency, and those hopes may actually come to fruition! After being American League doormats the last several years, the Mariners are now 11 games over .500 at this late stage of the year and they currently hold the last wild card position by one-half game over the Detroit Tigers.
The Phillies of course gave up their playoff aspirations a long time ago and they are now a season-high 16 games behind the first place Washington Nationals in the National League East after losing two out of three to the Giants in San Francisco over the weekend, ending a 1-4 road trip out west. And the Phillies have not found much salvation at home this season either going 10 games under .500 (26-36) in their own ballpark.
Has Elias Done Enough?
Even with that being said however, we are still not convinced the Elias has done enough to merit this much favoritism on the road in his rookie season. Sure Elias has had some stretches where he has pitched well and he has even allowed exactly one earned run three times in his last four starts and two runs the other start.
However, he did not go even as little as six innings in any of those last four efforts with the longest outing being 5.2 innings and he still has a 4.14 ERA and 4.02 FIP despite pitching his home games in pitcher-friendly Safeco Field. It has not helped that he has carried a high walk rate of 3.21 per nine innings, which partly explain his short outings as he has run up pitch counts rather quickly, and he has allowed 15 home runs in 134.1 innings, or effectively one per game.
Bring it Home Jerome!
Williams is making his second start for the Phillies after coming over from the Texas Rangers, and he pitched reasonably well in his Philadelphia debut limiting the Los Angeles Angels, who oh by the way have now overtaken the Oakland Athletics for the best record in all of baseball, to just two runs on five hits in 5.1 innings. Of course, it probably helped that Williams has some inside knowledge of the Angels after pitching for them the last three years.
Williams had stayed inside the American League West this season also, starting the year with the Houston Astros before going over to the Rangers, and now he has the good fortune of facing his second straight AL West opponent since joining his new National League team!
Williams faced the Mariners three times while he was with Los Angeles last year, and while he got hit hard in one start in Seattle, he allowing just one run in 13.2 innings in the other two starts against them. He is 5-2 lifetime vs. Seattle with a 3.58 ERA, 1.09 WHIP and 48 strikeouts vs. only 17 walks while holding Mariners’ batters to a .223 batting average.
Road Interleague Woes
Generally speaking, the Mariners have not fared too well in interleague road games going only 2-6 in their last eight such contests, and the more disconcerting part about that is they are 0-5 in their last five interleague road games vs. teams with losing records.
Seeing that Elias looks a bit overvalued here and Williams knows Seattle well, look for that bad recent road interleague pattern to continue for at least one more game in Philadelphia on Monday.
MLB Pick: Phillies +144