MLB Pick: Underdog Value Play Friday

LT Profits Sports Group

Friday, May 31, 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 Friday.

The very large underdog could be offering some nice value on Friday night when southpaw Dallas Keuchel and the Houston Astros (17-37, 8-16 away) pay a visit to Tommy Hanson and the Los Angeles Angels (25-29, 14-13 home) in the first game of a four-game weekend wraparound series from Angel Stadium in Anaheim, CA at 10:05 ET.

The posted money line at Pinnacle Sports has Houston as a huge road underdog for this contest at current odds of +214.

The Angels have finally started playing up to their enormous payroll as they have now won 10 of the last 12 games after winning the last two games of the Freeway Series vs. the Los Angeles Dodgers the last two nights, but they are still a disappointing four games below .500 and 8½ games behind the Texas Rangers in the American League West.

Putting baseball matters aside for a minute, Hanson will be making his first appearance in nearly four weeks for the Angels as he was away from the club after the sudden death of his 26-year-old step-brother, so it will be interesting how he handles his emotions this evening. He will no doubt have the support of the home crowd, but he may still be in a fragile state nonetheless and almost a month of inactivity cannot help matters.

Getting back to baseball, Hanson was decent but not great the last time he pitched on May 4th vs. the Baltimore Orioles, allowing three earned runs on seven hits plus two walks with three strikeouts while lasting only five innings. That leaves Hanson at 2-1 for the season, but with an ordinary 3.86 ERA and a high 1.43 WHIP, and he has only 17 strikeouts in 28 innings.

Furthermore, Hanson was not good in his only start vs. the last place Astros this year, allowing five earned runs on eight hits plus two walks in five innings of a 5-0 loss. He is facing a previously struggling Houston offense that has actually been much better as of late, batting .264 vs. right-handed pitchers over the last 10 games while averaging 4.33 runs per nine innings against them during that span.

Now, Houston still has worst record in the American League but the Astros are actually 7-7 over their last 14 games after beginning the year at 10-30. They just swept a brief two-game series on the road vs. the Colorado Rockies and they are now seeking just their second three-game winning streak of the season.

Keuchel has been going back and forth between the minor leagues and the Astros, and after pitching well in his first 2013 Major League start vs. the Texas Rangers when he allowed only two runs on five hits in six innings, he has not fared as well over his last three starts. Still, the young southpaw has a chance to get bet on track here in his first start ever vs. an Angels’ team that is batting a dismal .219 vs. left-handed pitchers over the entire season.

With all of this in mind, Houston appears to offer long-term value at these humongous odds on Friday.

[gameodds]3/228413/238-92-43-349-192/us[/gameodds]

MLB Pick: Astros +214