MLB Pick: Underdog Value Play Monday

LT Profits Sports Group

Monday, July 22, 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.

There could be an upset in the works in the “Show Me” state Monday night when Scott Feldman and the Baltimore Orioles (56-43, 27-23 away) pay a visit to Wade Davis and the Kansas City Royals (45-50, 24-23 home) in the opening game of a four-game series from Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City, MO at 8:10 ET.

The posted money line at Pinnacle Sports has Kansas City as a small home underdog for this contest at current odds of +105.

The Orioles are certainly doing their best to prove that last year’s run to a wild card berth was not the fluke that most experts thought it was as they just finished off a three-game sweep of the Texas Rangers in Arlington while allowing seven runs in the three games, leaving Baltimore in third place in the American League East 3½ games behind the Boston Red Sox at a season-high 13 games over .500 while also now holding a wild card position.

Now the Orioles have certainly gotten good pitching while winning seven of their last eight games as they have seven Quality Starts during that span, and when Baltimore gets good pitching, it is hard to beat given that it averages 4.81 runs per game and is batting .264 as a team overall. However, the pitching has not been this good all year as the staff has an overall 4.33 ERA, 1.33 WHIP and a .258 batting average allowed, so we see regression coming soon.

The Orioles acquired Feldman from the Chicago Cubs in an attempt to bolster the staff, and while he had a very good 3.46 ERA and 1.14 WHIP while with the Cubs, he was outperforming his peripherals there as was pointed out on SBR Forum, and the move back to the American League does not appear to help matters. Feldman has a 3.76 xFIP and an ordinary 1.7 WAR overall and he has a 5.79 ERA in three starts for the Orioles.

Feldman did not fare particularly well in his 10 career starts vs. the Royals while he pitched in the American League for Texas, going 3-4 with a 4.03 ERA in those starts, and the young Royals’ offense has gotten better since George Brett took over as the hitting coach.

We actually like the Royals to rise in the American League Central standings the second half of the season, where they are currently in third place and seven games behind the first place Detroit Tigers, and they are off to a good start after taking two out of three from those Tigers this past weekend coming out of the All-Star break. Maybe now they can finally give Davis some run support!

Yes, Davis is 1-5 over his last 10 starts, but he certainly deserves a better fate than that considering that he allowed three runs or less in seven of those starts. He also has the support of an excellent Kansas City bullpen that is full of flame-throwers, as that unit is ranked second in the American League with a 2.97 pen ERA.

Add this all up and the Royals appear to offer good long-term value as underdogs at home on Monday.

[gameodds]3/239701/?r-1=238-92-43-349-192/us[/gameodds]

MLB Pick: Royals +105