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 Tuesday.
A very close pitching matchup could give the road underdogs good value Tuesday night when Wily Peralta and the Milwaukee Brewers (43-57, 23-28 away) pay a visit to fellow right-hander Matt Cain and the San Francisco Giants (55-44, 29-22 home) in the second game of a three-game series from AT&T Park in San Francisco, CA at 10:15 ET in a game available on Comcast SportsNet - Bay Area.
The posted money line at Pinnacle Sports has Milwaukee as a decided underdog for this contest at current odds of +137.
Now Within One-Half Game of First
The defending World Champion Giants have been hot MLB picks as of late as they have now won 13 of their last 16 games after taking the series opener here 4-2 last night. That has now allowed San Francisco to pull to within one-half game of the Los Angeles Dodgers in the National League West, and the Giants also now hold a 2½-game lead over the Chicago Cubs for the second and last wild card spot in the National League.
Keep in mind though that San Francisco has also had fortunate scheduling with this marking the fifth straight series in which it has faced a team with a losing record.
The Brewers are in last place in the National League Central while ranking 19th in the majors in scoring with 3.98 runs per game, 20th in batting at .251 and an identical 20th in OPS at .701. Milwaukee did appear to turn a corner recently with a rather unexpected 14-4 stretch, but they have since reverted back to their losing ways by losing five of their last six contests. Still, we do not think they should be underdogs by this much given this pitching matchup.
Cain Not What He Used To Be
There was a time just a few years ago when Cain and Tim Lincecum were considered the best future 1-2 punch in baseball, but both starters have fallen on hard times since then. Cain finished 16-5 with a 2.79 ERA in 2012, only to slump to 8-10 with a 4.00 ERA in 30 starts in 2013 and then 2-7 with a 4.18 ERA in 15 starts in his injury shortened season last year. He only recently came back on July 2nd after missing one calendar year following elbow surgery.
However, Cain has not really looked any different than he did in his last two seasons during his four comeback starts so far despite his 2-1 record, as he has a 4.09 ERA and 1.32 WHIP with four home runs allowed already in only 22 innings. That rate of 1.64 home runs allowed per nine innings would be a career high if it continues, and he is a pronounced flyball pitcher with just a 36.4 percent groundball rate.
He must now contend with a Milwaukee lineup batting .267 and averaging 4.41 runs vs. right-handed pitchers the last 10 games as opposed to batting .224 and averaging 2.41 runs vs. southpaws during the same span, and the Brewers have hit 71 of their 91 home runs overall this season off of right-handed pitching.
Peralta Ready for Return?
Peralta is also making a comeback as this is his first Major League start since May 22nd, when he went down with an oblique injury. Peralta had similar 2015 stats as Cain at the time he was injured, as he enters this start with a 4.00 ERA and 1.43 WHIP and a poor 1-5 record to show for it. The difference though is that Peralta has a more recent good track record, coming off of a season last year where he finished 17-11 with a 3.53 ERA and 154 strikeouts vs. 61 walks.
Peralta has also always been a strong second-half pitcher as he has a career 3.39 ERA after the All-Star break, so he could be making his comeback at the perfect time! And he seems ready to make this return start as he allowed only two runs and had 12 strikeouts in 11.1 innings during his rehab assignments and had no physical setbacks while reporting he had no pain at all.
Trending the Underdogs
Finally, believe it or not the Brewers have been taking care of business vs. sub-par pitchers, going 9-4 in their last 13 games vs. starters with a WHIP of greater than 1.30. Meanwhile, the Giants are just 4-12 in Cain’s last 16 starts as a home favorite.
All things considered, Milwaukee appears to present good value and gets our call with Peralta at a nice underdog price with Peralta facing Cain in San Francisco on Tuesday.
MLB Pick: Brewers +137