MLB Pick: Underdog Value Play Sunday

LT Profits Sports Group

Sunday, August 18, 2013 4:00 AM UTC

Sunday, Aug. 18, 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 Sunday.

The humongous underdog could hold value Sunday when Erasmo Ramirez and those Seattle Mariners (56-66, 25-34 away) pay a visit to Yu Darvish and the Texas Rangers (71-52, 35-26 home) in the final game of a three-game weekend series from Rangers Ballpark in Arlington, TX at 3:05 ET.

The posted money line at Pinnacle Sports has Seattle as a huge underdog for this contest at current odds of +241.

The Rangers have a 1½-game lead in the American League West over the second place Oakland Athletics after pounding American League ERA leader Felix Hernandez in a 15-3 romp of the Mariners last night. That makes this the rubber match of this series after Seattle took the series opener 3-1 on Friday.

The Mariners are in third place in the West, but it is a distant third as they are 14½ games behind these Rangers. Still, they have exceeded most preseason expectations by being just 10 games below .500 at this point, especially considering that they are one game ahead of one of the off-season favorites to win the division in the Los Angeles Angels.

Now, Darvish is having a terrific season as he 12-5 with a 2.64 ERA and 1.00 WHIP while leading the Major Leagues by a fairly wide margin with 207 strikeouts. Darvish has amazingly recorded 46 of those strikeouts over his last four starts in only 26 innings, and he comes off of a masterpiece vs. the Houston Astros where an eighth-inning sole home run by Carlos Corporan was the only hit he allowed in eight innings while striking out 15 and walking one.

However, Darvish backers are now paying the price with these enormous odds attached to him today and the Mariners are one team that has given him trouble since coming over from Japan last season. He has made six total starts vs. Seattle and is just 3-3 with a lofty 5.00 ERA and 41 strikeouts but against 20 walks in 36 innings.

Now, Ramirez has not pitched nearly as well for the Mariners as he did last season, when he had a 3.36 ERA and 48 strikeouts vs. 12 walks in 59 innings, but yet he has somehow managed to go 4-0 despite not yet recording a Quality Start since his seasonal debut on July 11th, a debut that was delayed by a triceps injury suffered late in spring training.

The good news for Ramirez though is that he has 14 strikeouts vs. only one walk in his last 13 innings covering two starts and one relief appearance, so his arm strength may now be reaching the point where he might start rediscovering last season’s form. He does now have 28 strikeouts in 29.1 innings since his return and this will be his first start ever vs. Texas, which should work to his advantage.

When you add in that the 15 runs the Rangers scored last night matched their combined output from the previous five games, then Seattle may offer sick value at this price if the struggling Rangers’ offense returns to normal.


MLB Pick: Mariners +241

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