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 Tuesday.
A favorable pitching matchup Tuesday night could give the visiting team value vs. a struggling division leader when Ian Kennedy and the San Diego Padres (58-65, 24-38 away) pay a visit to fellow right-hander Kevin Correia and those first place Los Angeles Dodgers (70-56, 30-30 home) in the first game of a three-game series from Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, CA at 10:10 ET.
The posted money line at Bet365 has San Diego as a small underdog for this contest at current odds of +104.
Swept Away at Home
The Dodgers maintain a 3½-game lead over the San Francisco Giants in the National League West, but they have not been popular MLB picks lately while losing four of their last five games including getting swept here at home by the Milwaukee Brewers this past weekend despite being decided favorites in every game.
The Padres are in third place in the division, but that is more or less by default as they trail the Dodgers by 10½ games and the two teams behind them, the Diamondbacks and the Rockies, happen to be the teams with the two worst records in the entire National League. With that being said, San Diego is third in the Major Leagues in overall team ERA at 3.12 and it leads the majors in bullpen ERA, so the Padres can be tough if they actually score some runs.
Dodger Manager Don Mattingly has opted to go for a six-man starting rotation for the time being to give his frontline starters a bit more rest, which means that Correia will get to make his second Dodger start this evening. And Correia actually pitched well in his Los Angeles debut when he allowed one run and four hits in six innings in Atlanta.
However, it would probably be a mistake to expect those kinds of outings very often from a veteran pitcher that has a career 4.52 ERA while yielding a .277 opponents’ batting average over nearly 1400 innings, and that had a 5-13 record with the Minnesota Twins with a 4.94 ERA, 1.46 WHIP and .297 batting average allowed this year before coming to the Dodgers last week.
Correia faced the Padres twice this season while with the Twins during interleague play, and although he was officially credited with two Quality Starts, he met just the bare minimum requirement to qualify for one by allowing exactly three earned runs in six innings on each occasion. Correia cannot rely on the Dodger bullpen to bail him out in its current state either, as it has a bloated 4.76 ERA over the last 10 games.
Better Than His Numbers
Kennedy is actually having a solid season for the Padres, so do not let his 9-10 record fool you. He has now allowed three runs or less in four straight starts and in seven of his last eight outings, and he amazingly allowed one run or less in five of those starts! This stretch includes tossing eight scoreless innings at these Dodgers while allowing just three hits with eight strikeouts on July 12th.
Kennedy has a good 3.54 ERA and 1.25 WHIP overall for the year with a nice 163 strikeouts in 152.1 innings vs. only 52 walks. That strikeout rate of 9.63 per nine innings is the 10th best in the entire Major Leagues and has helped lead to a very solid 3.12 FIP, 3.30 xFIP and 2.4 WAR. Furthermore, Kennedy has a 3.14 career ERA and 1.09 career WHIP here at Dodger Stadium where he has limited LA batters to just a .209 batting average.
Not Great at Home
Speaking of Dodger Stadium, it is interesting that the Dodgers are just a .500 team here this year at 30-30 as opposed to being 14 games over .500 on the road at 40-26. Big Blue is batting an ordinary .246 at home for the season while averaging a mere 3.67 runs per game.
Thus, look for Kennedy’s success in Los Angeles to continue, giving San Diego good value on Tuesday.
MLB Pick: Padres +104