MLB Pick: Underdog Value Play Thursday

LT Profits Sports Group

Thursday, June 27, 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 Thursday.

A team that has been overvalued for much of the season appears to be so again on Thursday night when Jonathan Pettibone and the Philadelphia Phillies (38-41, 19-23 away) pay a visit to Zack Greinke and those Los Angeles Dodgers (35-42, 22-20 home) in the first game of a four-game series from Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, CA at 10:10 ET.

The posted money line at Pinnacle Sports has Philadelphia as a nice road underdog for this contest at current odds of +167.

Yes, the Dodgers have suddenly won five straight games, first taking the last two games from the San Diego Padres on the road last weekend and then sweeping a three-game series from the San Francisco Giants here at home, wrapping up with a 4-2 win Wednesday. Even with this winning streak though, the Dodgers remain the worst bets in the National League this year as they are at –15.61 units based on wagering one unit on the closing odds at Pinnacle.

Los Angeles also still has a worse record than the Phillies and is in fact in last place in the National League West, and the Dodgers are only two games over .500 at home where they are averaging a paltry 3.50 runs per game. Yet, that did not stop the oddsmakers from installing the Dodgers as hefty favorites tonight.

Granted, much of that has to do with Greinke having some of the filthiest stuff in baseball when he is on top of his game. Unfortunately, he is also an emotional head case that has not really been on top of his game since donning a Dodger uniform. Granted, Greinke got his ERA below 4.00 by allowing just one run and four hits in eight innings in his last start Saturday, but he has been mostly erratic in his first season with the Dodgers.

He has an ordinary 1.30 WHIP overall and a high .270 batting average allowed, and he has just three Quality Starts in eight starts since coming off of the Disabled List after being sidelined for a month with a broken collarbone following a fight with Carlos Quentin of the Padres on April 11th.

The Phillies counter with Pettibone, and while he will certainly not overwhelm you with his 3-3 record and 4.14 ERA, he has managed to keep his team in the game more often than not as the stat that sticks out is that Philadelphia is 8-4 in games that Pettibone has started and 30-37 in all of its other games.

He did look sharp vs. the New York Mets in his last start on Saturday when he allowed one run in six innings on just five hits and one walk, as he had his sinker working with a 4.00 groundball-to-flyball ratio in that contest. He could have gone on longer but was pulled as a precautionary measure after complaining of some tightness in his lower back. Pettibone threw a full bullpen session Monday however and said he felt fine afterward, so he should be good to go.

This will also be the Southern California native’s first start ever vs. what could be considered his hometown team, which is usually to the pitcher’s advantage, so the Phillies should offer long-term value at this rather bloated price on Thursday.

[gameodds]3/237531/?r-1=238-92-43-349-192/us[/gameodds]

MLB Pick: Phillies +167