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 Wednesday.
The road team seems like an overlay Wednesday night when Dan Haren and the Los Angeles Dodgers (64-50, 34-23 away) make the short trip to visit fellow right-hander Matt Shoemaker and the Los Angeles Angels (67-45, 38-19 home) in the third game of this four-game Freeway Series, this time from Angel Stadium in Anaheim, CA at 10:05 ET.
The posted money line at Pinnacle Sports has the Dodgers as a road underdog for this contest at current odds of +135.
Split in Los Angeles
This series began with two games at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles which the teams split, as the Angels took the opener 5-0 Monday on a five-hit shutout by Garrett Richards and the Dodgers came back to win 5-4 last night despite Clayton Kershaw uncharacteristically allowing three runs in seven innings in what was still a Quality Start.
The Dodgers are in first place in the National League West by 2½ games, extending their lead by a game Tuesday with their win combined with the second place San Francisco Giants losing in Milwaukee. The Angels meanwhile have been the second best MLB picks in the Major Leagues this season, but they have the terrible misfortune of being in the same American League West as the team with baseball’s best record and thus trail those Oakland Athletics by two games.
Shoemaker Getting Run Support
Shoemaker is now 9-3 for the season and 4-1 in his last five starts after beating the Tampa Bay Rays in St. Petersburg last Friday 5-3, but he has not been nearly as good as that record as he has received good run support while posting a less-than-stellar 4.09 ERA and yielding a high .273 batting average allowed. He has also been a pronounced flyball pitcher with a low 38.8 percent groundball rate.
Shoemaker must now contend with a Dodger offense whose best batting split this season has been vs. right-handed pitchers on the road, as it is batting .264 and averaging 4.47 runs per nine innings away from Chavez Ravine in this circumstance. In fact, the Dodgers overall road average of 4.51 runs per game is the highest road scoring average in the National League.
The Dodgers just concluded eight home games, but the last time they were on the road they scored a total of 17 runs while sweeping a three-game series from the Giants in San Francisco to establish the division lead.
Haren Pitching to Stay in Rotation
Unfortunately Haren has not been a part of the Dodgers’ success this season at 8-9 with a 4.76 ERA and 1.34 WHIP, and after going five consecutive outings without recording a Quality Start, he could very well be pitching to save his rotation spot as the Dodgers may not have any choice but to explore other options if Haren does not correct his wrongdoings.
But can Haren get back on track? We think he can as he still has a good ratio of 95 strikeouts vs. 28 walks, which has helped lead to a more respectable 3.78 xFIP. Also note that with this being Haren’s first start against the Angels since 2007, he is facing a lineup that is mostly unfamiliar with him and can use that to his advantage.
Besides, if Haren is in need of relief, a Dodger bullpen that is ranked 11th in the National League with a 3.67 ERA has been much better than that as of late, posting a 2.43 ERA in the last 10 games covering 31 innings.
Best Road Team in National League
Yes the Angels have an excellent 38-19 home mark, but the Dodgers are one team that will not be intimidated by playing at Angel Stadium, but only because there should be a fair share of Dodger fans in the stadium but also because the Dodgers own the best road record in the National League at 34-23.
With all of this in mind, the Dodgers seem to offer good value as decided underdogs in Anaheim on Wednesday.
MLB Pick: Dodgers +135