MLB Pick: Underdog Value Play Sunday

LT Profits Sports Group

Sunday, September 1, 2013 4:00 AM UTC

Sunday, Sep. 1, 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.

A very hot pitcher seems to give the underdog value on national television Sunday when Jonathan Niese and the New York Mets (62-72, 34-34 away) pay a visit to Ross Ohlendorf and the Washington Nationals (68-67, 39-31 home) in the final game of a weekend three-game series from Nationals Park in Washington, DC at 8:05 ET on ESPN Sunday Night Baseball.

The posted money line at Pinnacle Sports has New York as a road underdog for this contest at current odds of +128.

ESPN is probably not thrilled about this matchup as it does not appear to have any playoff implications with the Nationals trailing the Atlanta Braves by a whopping 15 games despite being second in the National League East, and also trailing the Cincinnati Reds by 7½ games for the last wild card spot with the Arizona Diamondback also ahead of Washington in that race, while the Mets are farther back in third place 20½ games behind Atlanta.

The Mets are going for a sweep here over a Washington team that seems to be disheartened after a disappointing season after winning the East last year. New York took the series opener 3-2 on Friday and then came back to win in a rout 11-3 on Saturday. They now go for the sweep with a very not pitcher on the mound.

Niese threw a masterpiece at the Philadelphia Phillies last time out as he recorded a Complete Game three-hit shutout with five strikeouts and just one walk while requiring only 113 pitches to finish the job. Niese is 6-6 for the season, but his ERA is now down to 3.69 as he also allowed exactly one run in each of his previous two starts.

That leaves Niese with a microscopic 0.82 ERA and 0.86 WHIP over his last three outings with 23 strikeouts vs. just five walks in 22 innings. He has also been brilliant in his last five career starts vs. the Nationals, allowing two runs or less on each occasion while allowing a grand total of four runs in 33.2 innings! The southpaw is facing a Washington lineup batting a dismal .226 vs. left-handed pitchers over the entire season.

Yes, Ohlendorf is 3-0 with a 2.49 ERA in four starts since entering the Nationals’ rotation, but we are talking about a 30-year-old journeyman pitcher that began this season at Triple-A where he had a 4.50 ERA, so do not expect Ohlendorf to go undefeated the rest of the way. That is especially true this evening with Washington not expected to give him much run support vs. Niese.

While we understand the Nationals being favored at home in this spot, the Mets appear to have a huge pitching advantage and consider also that New York is actually a.500 team on the road at 34-34, as most of the Mets’ hitting struggles have come at spacious City Field. The Mets are actually averaging a commendable 4.50 runs per game on the road, which compares favorably with the Nationals’ average of 4.17 runs at home.

Add this all up and it seems that the Mets offer long-term value as an underdog on Sunday.


MLB Pick: Mets +128

comment here