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 Sunday.
The underdogs may have inherent value in a nice pitching matchup of quality southpaws Sunday when reigning World Series MVP Madison Bumgarner and the San Francisco Giants (48-43, 23-21 away) pay a visit to the recently returned Patrick Corbin and those Arizona Diamondbacks (42-47, 22-23 home) in the final game of a three-game series from Chase Field in Phoenix, AZ at 4:10 ET in a game available on FOX Sports - Arizona.
The posted money line at Bet365 has Arizona as a home underdog for this contest at current odds of +115.
Teams Going in Opposite Directions
These are two teams going on opposite directions, as the Giants’ wins in the first two games of this series gives them a five-game winning streak and leaves them 3½ games behind the Los Angeles Dodgers while in second place in the National League West. San Francisco may have its play on the road to thank for its position, as it is a good 23-21 away from home and just a mediocre 25-22 in AT&T Park.
The Diamondbacks finally reached the .500 mark on July 8th after having failed to do so in their previous 12 tries when they were within one win of that threshold. Unfortunately, they have not won since being the losing MLB picks in five straight games to fall to 42-47. Arizona is still third in the division, but is now 8½ games behind the Dodgers.
Encouraging Signs from Corbin
Still, the Diamondbacks have to be encouraged from what they have seen from Corbin in his first two starts since 2013 following Tommy John surgery, and he may be just the man to put an end to this Arizona losing streak. Corbin got the win in his first start back allowing two runs in five innings vs. the Colorado Rockies on July 4th and then took the loss in his second start allowing four runs in five innings vs. the New York Mets last Saturday.
However, all four runs he allowed in that second start vs. the Mets came on three home runs and he allowed just one other hit besides that while showing good command with five strikeouts vs. one walk. And most importantly, Corbin averaged 93.6 MPH with his fastball in that start after averaging 91.8 MPH his first outing back, and he only figures to be stronger in this, his third start.
Granted Corbin does not figure to go more than six innings here, but that is fine because the Arizona bullpen has been stellar lately while posting a 1.73 ERA and 1.10 WHIP over the last 10 games, lowering the bullpen ERA for the season to a respectable 3.49.
Bumgarner Did Not Close First Half Well
Bumgarner was introduced to the world during the World Series last year, but he was no secret to bettors as the San Francisco ace. However, one anomaly for Bumgarner was how much better he pitched on the road than at home the last couple of years, especially with his home starts coming in a pitcher’s ballpark. That has normalized this year however, which may not be a good thing in regards to this game.
You see, Madison is a nice 9-5 with a 3.33 ERA and 1.11 WHIP overall, but that ERA rises a full run to 4.33 on the road. Furthermore he did not record a Quality Start in his last two outings before the All-Star break, and that included his last road start in Washington where the Nationals roughed him up for six earned runs on eight hits including two home runs plus one walk as he lasted just five innings.
Bumgarner must now deal with an Arizona lineup batting a very good .276 vs. left-handed pitchers here at home this year and also a lineup that is averaging 5.40 runs per game while batting .269 vs. southpaws in the last 10 games overall regardless of the venue.
Always Gives Diamondbacks a Chance
Finally, just the mere presence of Corbin on the mound bolsters the Diamondbacks’ chances for a win as he almost always pitches well enough to give them a chance, as Arizona is 25-10 as a team in his last 35 starts overall and 15-5 in his last 20 starts here at home in the desert.
Thus, team streaks aside, Corbin appears to give Arizona good underdog value at home in Phoenix vs. San Francisco on Sunday.
MLB Pick: Diamondbacks +115