MLB Pick: Underdog Value Play Friday

LT Profits Sports Group

Friday, June 7, 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.

There looks to be some value in fading one of the best pitchers in the National League Friday night when Cliff Lee and the Philadelphia Phillies (31-30, 15-15 away) pay a visit to Alfredo Figaro and the Milwaukee Brewers (22-37, 13-20 home) in the second game of a four-game series from Miller Park in Milwaukee, WI at 8:10 ET.

The posted money line at Pinnacle Sports has Milwaukee as a nice home underdog for this contest at current odds of +127.

The Phillies have now won five straight games, although keep in mind this streak includes a three-game home sweep vs. the worst team in baseball in the Miami Marlins. Still, this winning streak began with a win over these Brewers in Philadelphia on Sunday after the Brewers had taken the first two games of that series on the road, and the Phillies 5-1 win in the series opener here in Milwaukee last night leaves them over .500 for the first time all year.

Philadelphia has also now passed the Washington Nationals and moved into second place in the National League East Division, 6½ games behind the first place Atlanta Braves. However, the Phillies are not a team without flaws as they are averaging only 3.72 runs per game and their bullpen has a collective 4.37 ERA, two facts which put extra pressure on the starting pitching.

Luckily for Philadelphia, Lee has been terrific this season going 7-2 with a 2.45 ERA, a tiny 0.96 WHIP and a sensational 74 strikeouts against 13 walks in 88.1 innings. However, a potential problem here is that Lee has had more problems with the Brewers than he has with a lot of other teams, as he has a 4.79 ERA while going 1-1 in six career starts against them while yielding a .285 batting average to Milwaukee batters.

Sure, Lee got the win and was credited with a Quality Start in the game that started the current Philadelphia winning streak on Sunday, but even there Lee was not as dominant as he has been most of this season, allowing three runs on seven hits in 7.2 innings before the shaky bullpen made things interesting in a 7-5 victory.

The Brewers almost swept the Phillies in Philadelphia last weekend and tonight’s starter Figaro pitched well against them in relief of Mike Fiers against Lee on Sunday. After the Phillies scored all seven of their runs off of Fiers in 1.2 innings, Figaro helped put out the fire by allowing just two hits over 3.1 scoreless innings, earning this start in Fiers’ turn in the rotation tonight.

On top of this, the Brewers have had a better offense than the Phillies this season, batting .253 and averaging 3.95 runs per game overall, figures that rise to .259 (.266 vs. left-handed pitchers) and 4.09 runs per game here at home, and Milwaukee has the far superior bullpen, with that unit ranking sixth in the Major Leagues with a 2.98 ERA.

Add this all up and even with Lee’s presence on the mound for Philadelphia, the Brewers appear to offer long-term value as decided home underdogs on Friday.

[gameodds]3/228849/238-92-43-349-192/us[/gameodds]

MLB Pick: Brewers +127