MLB Pick: Underdog Value Play Saturday

LT Profits Sports Group

Saturday, July 6, 2013 4:00 AM UTC

Saturday, Jul. 6, 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 Saturday.

A slumping team might actually be providing nice value with probably its best pitcher this year on the mound today when Jason Marquis and those San Diego Padres (40-47, 15-29 away) pay a visit to Jordan Zimmermann and the Washington Nationals (42-42, 25-18 home) in the second game of a weekend three-game series from Nationals Park in Washington, DC at 4:05 ET.

The posted money line at Pinnacle Sports has San Diego as a large underdog for this contest at current odds of +182.

The Padres had a nice recent run that saw them go from last place in the National League West all the way up to second, but they are currently having a terrible road trip that has seen them lose seven games in a row since winning the opener of the trip in Miami. San Diego proceeded to them lose the next three games at South Beach before getting swept in a three-game series by the Boston Red Sox and then losing the series opener 8-5 here in DC last night.

Luckily for the Pads, the first place Arizona Diamondbacks have not really been setting the word on fire either, so although they have dropped back into a last place tie with the defending World Champion San Francisco Giants, the Padres remain a manageable 5½ games out of first.

San Diego now gets a chance to get back on track with Marquis on the bump, as the veteran is a nifty 9-4 while pitching for a team seven games under .500 with a good 3.74 ERA. Marquis was never a big strikeout guy and he has only 66 in 101 innings this year, but he gets batters out by getting excellent sink on his pitches as he has a very nice 3.45 groundball-to-flyball ratio.

Marquis was a member of the Nationals in 2010 and for the first half of 2011 so he is familiar with many of the Washington batters, and he has nice career numbers against them while with other teams as he is 5-4 but with a 3.51 ERA. He is facing a Nationals’ team that is only averaging 3.74 runs per game overall this season, and Bryce Harper has not provided the offensive spark Washington expected since coming off the Disabled List, going just 1-for-19.

The Nationals do counter with one of the best young pitchers in the National League in Zimmermann, who is 12-3 while leading the league in wins and ranking sixth with his 2.46 ERA. Now, Zimmermann is no doubt very talented and has a great future ahead of him, but rather surprisingly he has just a 3.24 FIP and 3.40 xFIP. While those figures are still good, we say “just” because they are both running well behind his ERA so he may have a sight correction.

That bit of regression may have begun in his last start, when he was touched up for four earned runs and nine hits in six innings by the Milwaukee Brewers on Monday. Also the Washington bullpen has had its issues as of late, posting a disgusting 4.91 ERA over the last 10 games, so the Nats could be extremely vulnerable if Zimmermann duplicates Monday’s effort again today.

Conversely the Padres are ranked sixth in the National League with a 3.35 bullpen ERA, so take the Padres to end their losing streak at a big price on Saturday.


MLB Pick: Padres +182

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