MLB Pick: Underdog Red Sox to take World Series Game 5

LT Profits Sports Group

Monday, October 28, 2013 4:00 AM GMT

Each day LT Profits Sports seeks an overlay underdog that has a better chance of winning than its odds, offering long term value. Here is their Underdog Value Play for Monday.

The struggles of the home team against left-handed pitchers could prove fatal on Monday night vs. a hot southpaw as Jon Lester and the Boston Red Sox pay a visit to Adam Wainwright and those St. Louis Cardinals in Game 5 of the World Series from Busch Stadium in St. Louis, MO at 8:07 ET in a game televised nationally on FOX, with the series now tied 2-2.

The posted money line at Pinnacle Sports has Boston as a road underdog for this contest at current odds of +114.

The Red Sox tied this series with a crucial road win here in St. Louis in Game 4 Sunday 4-2, as for the second straight game, the contest had a very unusual ending. After the Cardinals were awarded the winning run on an obstruction call on Boston’s third baseman Will Middlebrooks in the ninth inning of Game 3, Game 4 ended with St. Louis rookie Kolten Wong being picked off of first base with Carlos Beltran representing the tying run at the plate!

Thus Game 5 is now the pivotal game of this series and it is a pitching rematch of Game 1. Wainwright was not his usual self in that game in Boston, where shoddy defense behind him did not help matters, and he figures to improve at home. However, it may not matter if Lester is as dominant as he was in Game 1.

Lester continued his strong post-season by tossing 7.2 scoreless innings and allowing only five hits with eight strikeouts vs. one walk in the 8-1 Boston win. Lester has now made four starts this post-season and he has allowed a total of just five runs and 21 hits in 27 innings with 22 strikeouts, allowing two runs or less in every start.

It also helps Lester’s cause that the Cardinals have hit far worse vs. left-handed pitchers than they have vs. right-handers all year. Combining the regular season and the playoffs, St. Louis is batting just .232 vs. southpaw overall while averaging 3.76 runs per nine innings against them, compared to .270 vs. righties with 5.16 runs per nine innings!

Game 1 was Lester’s first ever appearance vs. the Cardinals, but their struggles vs. lefties does not suggest the imminent improvement that often happens when a team faces the same pitcher for the second time in a short span.

As for Wainwright, he was charged with five runs in that contest, although only three were earned, while allowing six hits with four strikeouts and one walk in just five innings as he tossed 95 pitches. Now on the surface, Wainwright figures to improve given that he is 11-6 with a scant 2.36 ERA and 0.92 WHIP here at Busch this stadium.

However, the flip side of that is that the Red Sox are batting .273 vs. right-handers while averaging 5.45 runs per nine innings against them over the entire year, so they do figure to hit Wainwright fairly well the second time around, particularly since the Boston offense represents a decided step up in class from the weaker National League offenses that Wainwright has feasted on most of the year.

Thus, everything considered, the Red Sox appear to offer long-term value at an underdog price with the southpaw Lester on the mound for Game 5 on Monday.

[gameodds]3/247762/?r-1=238-92-43-349-192/us[/gameodds]

MLB Pick: Red Sox +114