MLB Pick: Underdog Value Play Monday

LT Profits Sports Group

Monday, May 20, 2013 4:00 AM GMT

Monday, May. 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 Monday.

The road favorites will be short-handed on Monday night when Cole Hamels and the Philadelphia Phillies (21-23, 10-11 away) pay a visit to Alex Sanabia and the Miami Marlins (12-32, 6-16 home) in the opening game of a three-game series from Marlins Ballpark in Miami, FL at 7:10 ET.

The posted money line at Pinnacle Sports has Miami as a decided home underdog for this contest at current odds of +156.

The Phillies have now won five of their last seven games after taking two out of three from the Cincinnati Reds this past weekend including a dramatic win Sunday when, down 2-1 in the ninth inning, Erik Kratz and Freddy Galvis hit back-to-back homers off of the flame-throwing Reds’ closer Aroldis Chapman for the 3-2 win.

Not all the news was good for Philadelphia though as first baseman Ryan Howard missed the game Sunday with a knee injury and catcher Carlos Ruiz left that game with a hamstring injury. Neither player travelled with the team to Miami as both will undergo tests in Philadelphia on Monday, meaning that a team that is struggling offensively as it is with a .239 batting average while averaging only 3.55 runs per game will be missing two key bats.

The Monday starting pitcher Hamels has become accustomed to a lack of run support this year while incredibly going 1-6 with the Phillies going 1-8 in the games that he has started, as Philadelphia is averaging just 3.00 runs per game for him. His two starts vs. the Marlins this season have been typical, as first he allowed one run in three hits but in a 2-1 loss and then he allowed two runs on two solo home runs in eight innings but lost 2-0.

Hamels cannot blame his record totally on the Phillies’ offense though as he does have a 4.61 ERA, and the Philadelphia ace has been prone to giving up the long ball this season allowing nine home runs in nine starts. He allowed two more home runs in a 10-4 home loss to the Cleveland Indians in his last start on Wednesday where he was rouged up for five earned runs on six hits plus two walks in five innings.

The Marlins counter with Sanabia, who has lost each of his last five starts but with even worse run support than Hamels has been receiving. In fact, Miami has scored a grand total of five runs over his last four starts. The fact of the matter though is that Sanabia has allowed three earned runs or less in six of his nine starts this year and that he has pitched well in both of his career outings vs. the Phillies.

Sanabia allowed only three earned runs in 11 innings with nine strikeouts against two walks in those two starts vs. Philadelphia with the most recent coming this season on May 2nd, and he now gets to face a depleted lineup with Howard and Ruiz not even with the team.

Now we totally get that the Marlins are the worst team in the National League and that they just snapped a seven-game losing streak with a 2-1 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks yesterday, but they do have some nice young pitching arms like Sanabia and this could be a rare time where their offense is not considerably worse than their opponent.

Add that all up and Miami appears to offer long-term value at this nice price at home on Monday.

[gameodds]3/227261/238-92-43-349-192/us[/gameodds]

MLB Pick: Marlins +156

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