MLB Pick: Underdog Value Play Monday

LT Profits Sports Group

Monday, September 9, 2013 4:00 AM GMT

Monday, Sep. 9, 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.

One pitcher is going for a landmark win, but the other pitcher is extremely close statistically and thus offers value as an underdog at home on Monday when Max Scherzer and the Detroit Tigers (82-61, 38-34 away) pay a visit to Chris Sale and the Chicago White Sox (57-85, 32-34 home) in the opening game of a three-game series from U.S. Cellular Field in Chicago, IL at 8:10 ET.

The posted money line at Pinnacle Sports has Chicago as a home underdog for this contest at current odds of +126.

These teams are certainly on the opposite side of the spectrum as the Tigers lead the American League Central by 5½ games over the second place Cleveland Indians despite entering this game in a bit of a slump having gone 1-4 in their last five games, while the White Sox are in last place 24½ games behind Detroit while owning the second worst record in the American League ahead of only the pathetic Houston Astros.

Still, this looks like a great pitching matchup with the 19-2 Max Scherzer making his third attempt at that landmark 20th win for the Tigers, but he is going up against another one of the better pitchers in the league in Chicago’s Chris Sale, the winning pitcher in the All-Star Game this season that would obviously have better than a 10-12 record if he did not pitch for the lowest scoring team in the AL.

Scherzer did not pitch well in his first attempt to win 20 games as he was roughed up for six runs on eight hits in just five innings by the Oakland Athletics with the Detroit offense bailing him out in a 7-6 Tiger win, but it was a different story vs. the Boston Red Sox in his second attempt as he allowed only two runs and five hits with eight strikeouts in seven innings, but he was outdueled by Jon Lester in a 2-1 loss to absorb just his second loss of the season.

As Scherer makes his third attempt at his 20th to win, he does so with sparkling numbers across the board as he has a 2.88 ERA, 0.94 WHIP and 209 strikeouts in 190.1 innings vs. 46 walks, along with a 2.73 FIP, 3.16 xFIP and 5.7 WAR.

All of those numbers are certainly impressive, but if you set aside Sale’s 10-12 record for a bit, his key numbers are actually quite comparable to those of Scherzer, as he has a 2.97 ERA, 1.06 WHIP and 199 strikeouts in 187.2 innings vs. 40 walks, along with a 3.09 FIP, 2.99 xFIP and 4.8 WAR. Based on that number comparison alone, Sale appears to offer value as a decided home underdog.

Sale has also held his form well as he comes off of another fine outing vs. the New York Yankees where he allowed two earned runs on just five hits in 7.1 innings with six strikeouts vs. one walk. The rub here of course is that the Tigers have the best offense in the American League while the White Sox have the worst, but if there is one pitcher on the Chicago offense that can neutralize the potent Detroit lineup, it is Sale.

And he has done just that in three starts vs. the Tigers so far this season, going 2-1 with a 2.66 ERA and 25 strikeouts vs. five walks in 23.2 innings.

With all of this in mind, Sale offers good underdog value at home on Monday.

[gameodds]3/242859/?r-1=238-92-43-349-192/us[/gameodds]

MLB Pick: White Sox +126

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