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.
The underdogs could hold value in a rivalry game Tuesday night when Joe Kelly and those Boston Red Sox (60-77, 31-37 away) pay a visit to fellow right-hander Shane Green and the New York Yankees (70-65, 33-31 home) in the first game of a three-game series from Yankee Stadium in the Bronx, NY at 7:05 ET in a game televised nationally on MLB Network.
The posted money line at Pinnacle Sports has Boston as a decided road underdog for this contest at current odds of +138.
Yankees Fighting for Playoffs
The Yankees lost the last two games in Toronto after beating the Blue Jays in the first game of that three-game set, and New York now embarks on a critical nine-game home stand while sitting four games behind the Detroit Tigers for the last wild card spot. The Yankees can probably erase any thoughts of winning the division as they now trail the first place Baltimore Orioles by 8½ games in the American League East while playing their first game in September.
The defending World Champion Red Sox have been extremely disappointing MLB picks this year while going from first to worst, going from the pinnacle of the baseball world 10 months ago to last place in the division in 2014. However, keep in mind that this just may be the bitterest rivalry in all of sports, and with nothing else to play for this year Boston would love nothing better than to salvage something by helping knock the hated Yankees out of playoff contention.
Kelly in Good Form
Kelly came to the Red Sox at the trading deadline from the St. Louis Cardinals as part of the John Lackey trade, and he has done a good job for the most part during his move to the American League. Unfortunately that has yet to translate to a win as Kelly is 0-1 in five starts in a Boston uniform with a deceptive 3.86 ERA.
The fact of the matter is that Kelly has pitched well in four of his five starts for the Red Sox and that ERA is skewed by the one bad outing where he was roughed up for seven runs in four innings by the Houston Astros. If you toss that one outlier, Kelly has a 1.88 ERA and only 12 hits allowed in 24 innings over his other four outings with the Red Sox!
Most recently Kelly held the Blue Jays to two runs on just three hits in six-plus innings last Wednesday, but again received just a no-decision to show for it in a game Boston eventually lost 5-2. This will mark Kelly’s first appearance ever vs. the Yankees, which should make him doubly tough to hit for a New York offense batting .232 vs. right-handed pitchers over the last 10 games, averaging only 3.57 runs per nine innings against them in this span.
Not Sharp vs. Boston
The rookie Greene has probably outperformed his expectations for the Yankees, especially in the heat of a playoff race, as the youngster is 4-1 with a 3.09 ERA and a nice ratio of 54 strikeouts vs. 17 walks in 55.1 innings. With that being said, Greene did not pitch all that well in his only start vs. Boston in Fenway Park, where he was rather lucky to allow only three earned runs as he allowed six hits plus two walks while needing 96 pitches to go just 4.2 innings.
Now he catches a Boston offense that is heating up, as while the Red Sox are still just a surprising 24th in the Major Leagues in runs scored with only 3.84 per game that average has been on the rise to 4.63 runs per game over the last eight contests.
Red Sox Prefer the Road
Finally, perhaps the Red Sox should petition the league to stop them from playing in Fenway Park! That is because Boston went a brutal 1-8 on its last home stand while often appearing disinterested and just wanting to get this season over with. Conversely, perhaps the Red Sox are feeling less pressure on the road as they are now 7-3 in their last 10 games away from home.
They should certainly be interested tonight given the opponent, so look the recent road success of Boston to continue at a nice price in the Bronx on Tuesday.
MLB Pick: Red Sox +138