MLB Pick: Underdog Value Play Thursday

LT Profits Sports Group

Thursday, August 15, 2013 4:00 AM UTC

Thursday, Aug. 15, 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 Wednesday.

The underdog could be an overlay in a fairly even pitching matchup between two bad teams Thursday night when Andre Rienzo and the Chicago White Sox (46-73, 18-41 away) pay a visit to Mike Pelfrey and the Minnesota Twins (53-65, 27-29 home) in the first game of a four-game series from Target Field in Minneapolis, MN at 8:10 ET.

The posted money line at Pinnacle Sports has Chicao as a road underdog for this contest at current odds of +121.

The White Sox are in last place in the American League Central and they lost three out of four games to these Twins back home in Chicago last weekend, but they then went on to win two out of three against the division leading Detroit Tigers so perhaps they are now ready to extract a little revenge in Minneapolis.

The Twins have been a bit better than last season when they finished with the worst record in the American League at 66-96, but we still do not believe they are at the point to be decided favorites over anybody. After all, the Twins are just one spot above the White Sox in fourth place and 12 games under .500 in their own right, they are batting .237 as a team over the entire season and they have a shaky starting pitcher on the mound that Chicago hit well last time.

Pelfrey has had a few quality stretches this season where he pitched like the pitcher the Twins thought they acquired from the Mets, but he has been wildly erratic and the bottom line is that he is 4-10 with a 5.32 ERA, 1.58 WHIP and an ugly .305 batting average allowed, which does not inspire confidence in today’s favored role. Pelfrey has not recorded a Quality Start in any of his last three outings and he was the losing pitcher in the lone Chicago win last weekend.

Pelfrey allowed five runs in five innings in that start on Saturday, and although he allowed only four hits, he compounded matters by issuing five walks compared to only two strikeouts. He is a pitcher that usually pitches to contact given he has only 65 strikeouts in 108.1 innings, which is not a good thing when you do not have overpowering stuff.

This is actually a pitching rematch from Saturday as Rienzo made his third Major League start in that game, but he was not much better than Pelfrey allowing four runs on seven hits in 5.1 innings while getting a no-decision in a game the White Sox eventually won 5-4. However Rienzo began his career with two Quality Starts vs. two good offenses, so he may have more upside here in an underdog role.

First, Rienzo held the Cleveland Indians to three runs on six hits in seven innings in his Major League debut, and then he limited the great Detroit Tigers’ lineup to just two runs and four hits in six innings. He now faces a Minnesota lineup batting .235 vs. right-handed pitchers overall this year while averaging 3.84 runs per game against them.

All things considered, it looks like the White Sox offer long-term value at a decided underdog price on Thursday.


MLB Pick: White Sox +121

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