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 pitcher finally rounding to form following hip surgery could offer underdog value Tuesday night when right-hander Colby Lewis and those Texas Rangers (43-69, 22-36 away) pay a visit to southpaw John Danks and the Chicago White Sox (55-58, 29-26 home) in the second game of a three-game series from U.S Cellular Field in Chicago, IL at 8:10 ET.
The posted money line at Pinnacle Sports has Texas as a road underdog for this contest at current odds of +108.
Worst Record in Baseball
It has been a long year for the injury-ravaged Rangers, who have lost more manpower games to the Disabled List than any other team in the Major Leagues. That has been a contributing factor to Texas being the worst MLB pick in the majors this season at 43-69, now four full games worse than the team that had the worst record each of the last three seasons, the Houston Astros, in the American League West.
The White Sox have actually exceeded expectations being just three games under .500 at this point of the season while trailing Detroit by eight games in the American League Central, as they rank sixth in the majors in batting at .260 and seventh in runs scored at 4.41 per game after scoring the fewest runs in the American League last year. The White Sox took the abbreviated series opener 5-3 last night in a game that was shortened to 6½ innings due to rain.
Lewis Coming Around Nicely
Lewis’s season was mirroring that of his team earlier on in his attempt to become the first known Major Leaguer to come back from hip-resurfacing surgery, and his miserable start still currently has him at 7-8 with a 5.98 ERA and 1.73 WHIP. However, he has gotten better and stronger as the season has gone on and he has started to resemble his old self while allowing three runs or less in each of his last three outings.
Lewis has a 3.44 ERA in those starts, one vs. the Toronto Blue Jays and two vs. the New York Yankees, most recently limiting the Yanks to two runs on only four hits in seven innings of a 3-2 win last Wednesday. Even during Lewis’s slow start in this comeback season after missing all of last year, he did have a fine outing vs. these White Sox in his second start of the season on April 19th, allowing only one run and six hits in 5.1 innings.
That marked his third straight good start vs. Chicago during which he has allowed a grand total of three runs and 18 hits in 20.1 innings with 20 strikeouts and just three walks.
Danks Descending to Earth
Danks comes off of several disappointing seasons for the White Sox so it was encouraging to see him get off to a good start this year, as he was sitting at 8-6 with a 3.99 ERA after his start vs. the Cleveland Indians on July 13th. However, his mainstream numbers were running ahead of his sabremetric numbers at that time. And as oftentimes happens his numbers have begun to converge to his 4.85 FIP, 4.71 xFIP and 0.1 WAR recently.
That is because he has a terrible 8.27 ERA and 1.78 WHIP over his last three starts despite somehow going 1-0 in those games. Furthermore Danks’s command numbers have not been particularly good all season as he has 94 strikeouts vs. a disturbing 50 walks in 136 innings with a high 19 home runs allowed, so his current correction period could have been rather easily foreseeable.
Unreliable Favorites without Sale
Also, the White Sox have not been the most reliable of favorites this season in games not started by Cy Young Award candidate Chris Sale. In fact, Chicago has been favored just 14 times this year in games that Sale has not started and the White Sox are just 5-9 for -6.05 units in those contests.
Add this all up and Texas seems to offer good underdog value in Chicago on Tuesday.
MLB Pick: Rangers +108