MLB Pick: Underdog Value Play Sunday

LT Profits Sports Group

Sunday, October 6, 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 Sunday.

The team that tied for the best record in baseball is trying to regain home field advantage Sunday when Joe Kelly and the St. Louis Cardinals pay a visit to Francisco Liriano and the Pittsburgh Pirates in Game 3 of the NLDS from PNC Park in Pittsburgh, PA at 4:37 ET in a game televised nationally on TBS.

The posted money line at Pinnacle Sports has St. Louis as a decided underdog for this contest at current odds of +150.

The Cardinals finished tied with the Boston Red Sox of the American League at 97-65 during the regular season, but that did not prevent the Pirates from getting what they wanted by gaining a split of the first two games in St. Louis with an easy 7-1 victory in Game 2 behind rookie Gerrit Cole after the Cards easily took the series opener 9-1 behind Adam Wainwright.

Now the Pirates certainly appear to have the pitching edge in Game 3 coming back home to Pittsburgh with their ace Liriano on the mound, especially since he pitched well vs. St. Louis this season, but the Cardinals still seem like a huge overlay for a team with a vast edge in post-season experience and the better starting lineup.

Granted, Liriano did pitch extremely well in the Wild Card Game vs. the Cincinnati Reds Tuesday allowing one run and four hits in seven innings, and as we alluded to earlier, he sparkled in his three starts vs. the Cardinals this year allowing a total of two runs and 10 hits in 24 innings with 20 strikeouts! He also finished 16-8 during the regular season overall with a 3.02 ERA and 163 strikeouts vs. 63 walks.

However, Liriano was not as consistent during the month of September as he was earlier in the year as he had a few very rough outings down the stretch, and while his stats vs. the Cardinals this year cannot be ignored, today’s start is unique compared to his regular season outings against St. Louis as he is now facing a veteran team that knows it can ill afford to fall behind 2-1 in this series with Game 4 also in Pittsburgh, and it will draw on its post-season experience here.

Besides, not only do the Cardinals have more playoff experience, but they also won the World Series two years ago so you know that they will not go down without a fight.

It also helps to have a hot pitcher of their own going in Kelly, who finished the season by allowing three earned runs or less in eight consecutive starts to end up 10-5 with a sparkling 2.69 ERA. Also, while everyone is talking about the success Liriano has had against the Cardinals here, there has been little notice to the fact that Kelly also faced the Pirates three times this season and allowed a total of two runs and 15 hits in 18 innings!

It is also worth noting that the Pirates are still batting just .238 vs. right-handed pitchers for the whole season, so while it may not be easy vs. a pitcher of the caliber of Liriano, St. Louis seems to offer great long-term value at this overlay price on Sunday.

[gameodds]3/246768/?r-1=238-92-43-349-192/us[/gameodds]

MLB Pick: Cardinals +150