Each day LT Profits Sports seeks an overlay side that has a better chance of cashing than its spread, offering long term value. Here is their Side Value Play for Monday.
The team with the worst record in the Major Leagues may actually hold some value Monday night as a home underdog vs. another last place team when Jimmy Nelson and the Milwaukee Brewers (29-48, 14-22 away) pay a visit to fellow right-hander Sean O’Sullivan and those Philadelphia Phillies (27-50, 18-21 home) in the first game of a four-game series from Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia, PA at 7:05 ET in a game available on FOX Sports - Wisconsin.
The posted money line at Pinnacle Sports has Philadelphia as a home underdog for this contest at current odds of +132.
Two Worst Records in Baseball
The Phillies were expected to struggle mightily this season and unfortunately that has come to fruition with Philadelphia sitting at 27-50 after losing two out of three vs. the first place Washington Nationals this past weekend. If you are looking for a bit of good news, consider that the Phillies are only three games below .500 here at home in the City of Brotherly Love at 18-21 compared to a dismal 9-29 record on the road.
Also consider that the Phillies are not the only last place team in this contest as the Brewers actually own the second worst record in the majors while sitting in last place in the National League Central, already a whopping 23 games out of first place and we have not even reached July yet! And this is actually after a winning 4-2 home stand when Milwaukee was the winning MLB pick in two out of three games vs. both the New York Mets and the Minnesota Twins.
Is Nelson Worth This Price on Road?
Now, we are actually fans of young Jimmy Nelson and we think he has a chance to have a long and successful Major League career thanks to a hard sinker that has averaged 93.1 MPH, which has simultaneously allowed him to combine a high strikeout rate with a high groundball rate, a combination not seen very often. However, he has had trouble harnessing his control with 3.25 walks per nine innings, leading to just a 4-8 record and 4.24 ERA.
Which brings us to our next point, that being is Nelson really worthy of this much favoritism on the road? Sure, he was masterful last time out vs. the New York Mets allowing one run and just two hits in eight innings back home in Milwaukee, but while he has tantalizing potential, he has also been inconsistent and simply does not have the overall results so far to be favored on the road by this much.
In fact you can say that Nelson has been “consistently inconsistent” when it comes to putting together back-to-back good outings, as the Brewers as a team are now 0-7 in his last seven starts following a Quality Start in his previous outing. Also he is facing an improving offense, as while the Phillies are last in the Major Leagues in scoring with 3.32 runs per game and 24th in batting at .242, they are batting .276 while averaging a potent 5.38 runs over the last 10 games.
O’Sullivan Better at Home
Now, O’Sullivan is nothing more than a fill-in starter for Philadelphia at a poor 1-5 with a 5.34 ERA and he was roughed up for six runs on 10 hits in just 4.1 innings by the New York Yankees in the Bronx last time out last Tuesday. However, O’Sullivan has actually pitched well in his home starts posting a 3.48 ERA with the Philadelphia team going 4-2 in those games.
The last time he pitched at Citizens Bank Park, he held the hot-hitting Baltimore Orioles to one run and four hits with seven strikeouts in five innings, and he is not facing such a formidable offense here with the Brewers batting .233 and averaging 3.34 runs per game on the road overall this season. O’Sullivan has made just one career start vs. the Brewers back in 2013, allowing only two earned runs in 6.1 innings that day.
Brewers Awful on Road
Finally, the Brewers’ 14-22 road record this year is nothing new as they have struggled on the road the last couple of years, in fact going 17-36 in their last 53 road games overall! Furthermore Milwaukee is 8-22 in its last 30 games after scoring five runs or more in its previous game.
All things considered, even a Philadelphia team with the worst record in the league seems to offer value with Milwaukee installed as a road favorite on Monday.
MLB Pick: Phillies +132