MLB Pick: Underdog Value Play Friday

LT Profits Sports Group

Friday, September 20, 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 underdogs could hold value in a pitching matchup between the young and the old Friday night when promising rookie Andrew Albers and the Minnesota Twins (65-87, 34-44 away) pay a visit to crafty veteran Bartolo Colon and the Oakland Athletics (90-63, 49-29 home) in the second game of a four-game series from O.co Coliseum in Oakland, CA at 10:05 ET.

The posted money line at Pinnacle Sports has Minnesota as a huge underdog for this contest at current odds of +202.

We played this exact same matchup as our Underdog Value Play Thursday and came up just short with Minnesota +190 when Coco Crisp of the A’s hit a two-run homer to break a 6-6 tie in the eighth inning. Undeterred, we are coming right back with the Twins at an even better price on Friday.

The A’s cut their magic number for clinching their second straight American League West Division crown to four with the win last night as they lead the second place Texas Rangers by six games in the loss column with nine games to play. The Twins are just playing out the string as far as the standings go but Oakland experienced first hand last night just how pesky Minnesota can be.

Being out of the race has allowed the Twins to look at some youngsters and Albers for one is full of potential, although he has certainly been a feast-or-famine type pitcher though his first eight Major League starts. Albers certainly began his Major League career with a flourish as he tossed 17.2 scoreless innings in his first two outings including hurling a Complete Game two-hit shutout vs. the playoff-hopeful Cleveland Indians in his second start!

Albers also has a third scoreless outing of seven innings and one other Quality Start where he allowed two earned runs in seven innings, but he also allowed 19 earned runs in 18.1 innings over his other four starts, leaving him with a 4-4 split in terms of Quality Starts vs. non-quality efforts so far.

Still, we like his chances to succeed here in his first ever appearance vs. the Athletics while pitching in one of the best pitching parks in the American League, especially with Oakland batting a modest .240 overall at O.co Coliseum this season. It also helps that A’s slugger Yoenis Cespedes missed Thursday’s game after taking a cortisone shot in his shoulder and is questionable to return tonight.

Now, Bartolo Colon has been nothing short if remarkable for the Athletics as the 40-year-old is 16-6 with a 2.73 ERA. However, he has averaged six innings per start since coming off of the Disabled List on August 29th vs. Detroit and the A’s may want to monitor his innings with the playoffs upcoming.

The problems there is that the Oakland bullpen has an atrocious 5.29 ERA over the last 10 games and closer Grant Balfour may have hit a wall in his first year in that role as he has now allowed eight earned runs in his last 8.1 innings after blowing a two-run lead in the ninth inning vs. the Los Angeles Angels on Wednesday.

Add all of this up and Minnesota appears to offer good long-term value at around 2/1 odds on Friday.

[gameodds]3/243779/?r-1=238-92-43-349-192/us[/gameodds]

MLB Pick: Twins +202