MLB Pick: Underdog Value Play Thursday

LT Profits Sports Group

Thursday, May 23, 2013 4:00 AM UTC

Thursday, May. 23, 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 Thursday.

A pitcher that has had an uncanny knack for success vs. his opponents could give the underdogs value on Thursday when Scott Diamond and the Minnesota Twins (18-25, 9-12 away) pay a visit to Rick Porcello and the Detroit Tigers (25-19, 13-7 home) in the first game of a four-game series from Comerica Park in Detroit, MI at 7:08 ET in a game televised regionally on MLB Network.

The posted money line at Pinnacle Sports has Minnesota as a road underdog for this contest at current odds of +151.

The Twins are certainly reeling right now as they have lost eight straight games after getting swept in a three-game series by the Atlanta Braves to begin this road trip, leaving them in last place in the American League Central at seven games behind the surprising first place Cleveland Indians.

Now, under normal circumstances, trying to snap the losing streak on the road vs. one of the best lineups in baseball does not seem like an ideal situation. However, just about every team has at least one pitcher that it seemingly cannot hit no matter how favorable the matchup might look on paper, and for the Tigers, Diamond falls under that category.

This is not to say that Diamond does not have ability against other teams, as the southpaw was one of the few bright spots for a Minnesota team that finished last at 66-96 last season, going 12-9 with a nice 3.54 ERA and 1.24 WHIP in his first full season in the Major Leagues with a nice ratio of 90 strikeouts to 31 walks. However, he is just 3-4 with a 4.99 ERA and 1..44 WHIP this year after allowing 12 earned runs in 10 innings over his last two starts.

Still, he had tossed four straight Quality Starts prior to those two bad outings with one of those coming vs. the Tigers right here in this stadium on May 1st where he allowed two runs on only four hits in six innings in a 6-2 victory. Amazingly, that marked the fifth straight time that Diamond has held the Tigers to three earned runs or less, as he has a sporty 2.72 ERA and 1.16 WHIP in six career starts against them.

Perhaps most amazingly of all, Diamond has only allowed one home run in 39.2 innings vs. Detroit!

The Tigers could be a bit fatigued tonight after a late night in Cleveland last night while beating the Indians 11-7 and waiting out two rain delays. The game itself lasted 3:33 and the two rain delays totaled about two hours.

Porcello gets the nod for the Tigers tonight and he has made an annoying habit throughout his career of pitching very well in stretches and making the Detroit brass feel that he has finally figured things out, only to then watch him implode seemingly at a moment’s notice. Well, Porcello has allowed three earned runs or less in four straight starts although only three of those were official Quality Starts because he fell one out short to qualify by going 5.2 innings last out.

But again, this is Porcello we are talking about and his recent history makes it very hard to trust him as a big favorite like he is today. Also his last three starts vs. the Twins do not exactly exude confidence either, as he allowed a total of nine earned runs and a whopping 33 baserunners over only 15 innings for a 5.40 ERA and an atrocious 2.20 WHIP.

Add this all up and Minnesota seems to offer long-term value at this price on Thursday.


MLB Pick: Twins +151

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