MLB Pick: Underdog Value Play Monday

LT Profits Sports Group

Monday, October 7, 2013 4:00 AM UTC

Monday, Oct. 7, 2013 4:00 AM UTC

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 underdog trying to stave off elimination could have the pitching edge on the road Monday night when Freddy Garcia and the Atlanta Braves pay a visit to Ricky Nolasco and the Los Angeles Dodgers in Game 4 of the NLDS from Dodgers Stadium in Los Angeles, CA at 9:37 ET in a game televised nationally on TBS.

The posted money line at Pinnacle Sports has Atlanta as a decided underdog for this contest at current odds of +136.

The Dodgers put the Braves in the brink of elimination with a 13-6 rout in Game 3 on Sunday to take a 2-1 series lead in this best-of-five series, and Los Angeles must love its position of having probable Cy Young Award winner Clayton Kershaw available for a possible Game 5 should it lose this game.

The Braves are obviously up against it, but the good news is that if they win tonight to extend their season, at least they would get to play Game 5 at home. But sticking to the task at hand tonight, the 37-year-old Freddy Garcia did look great albeit in only three September starts for the Braves, and if he could maintain his current form for one more night in his biggest game of the year, it would appear that Atlanta has a decided pitching edge despite its underdog tag.

Garcia did not make his first start in an Atlanta uniform until September 12th after being recalled from Triple-A, but he has looked like a godsend in his three starts while allowing a grand total of four runs and 22 baserunners in 19.2 innings with 16 strikeouts against just four walks! Garcia is a veteran of 10 post-season starts, so nerves should not be an issue with him starting an elimination game.

Now, while Garcia has gone at least six innings in all three of his starts, the Braves may be satisfied with five solid innings from him tonight before turning things over to their great bullpen, whose edge on the Dodgers’ bullpen may be the biggest advantage that Atlanta holds in this series. Given the way Garcia has looked, there is really no reason to believe he should not he effective again here.

On the flip side, Nolasco was just awful down the stretch and he is making his first career post-season start, which are reasons alone to be leery of backing him as such a decided favorite this game. After all, while Nolasco pitched well when he first came to Los Angeles from the Miami Marlins in July, we are now talking about a pitcher that allowed 19 runs (17 earned) in only 12 innings over his last three starts, resulting in a 12.75 ERA and 2.33 WHIP in those outings!

Nolasco did record a Quality Start in his only outing vs. the Braves this year allowing two runs and six hits in seven innings, but that was back on July 3rd while he was still with the Marlins. There is a lot more pressure on Nolasco this time around and his horrific form right now does not particularly exude confidence as a favorite.

With all of this in mind, Atlanta seems to present good long-term value at this price as it looks to extend its season in Monday.


MLB Pick: Braves +136

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