MLB Pick: Underdog Value Play Thursday

LT Profits Sports Group

Thursday, September 12, 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.

There could be a second upset in as many nights at Chavez Ravine on Thursday when Matt Cain and the San Francisco Giants (66-80, 29-42 away) pay a visit to Zack Greinke and the Los Angeles Dodgers (85-60, 45-29 home) in the first game of a four-game series from Dodgers Stadium in Los Angeles, CA at 10:10 ET.

The posted money line at Pinnacle Sports has San Francisco as a big underdog for this contest at current odds of +159.

We faded the Dodgers in this very stadium last night as favorites last night, and the Arizona Diamondbacks obliged us by beating Los Angeles 4-1 at +115 odds behind Patrick Corbin. We are coming right back with another fade of the Dodgers at much bigger odds tonight despite their position in the standings.

Los Angeles can probably go on cruise control at this point as they lead the second place Diamondbacks by 12 games in the National League West. Meanwhile, the defending World Series Champion Giants have gone from first place to last place, although they only trail the Colorado Rockies by one-half game and the San Diego Padres by one game in their attempt to escape the cellar.

What we find most intriguing about this game though is being able to get a pitcher that was considered a preseason contender for the Cy Young Award in Cain at a price like this. Obviously Cain has failed to live up to that billing at 8-9 with a 4.37 ERA, but a recent Disabled List stint with an arm injury following a shelling by Pittsburgh could help explain his off year.

However, Cain had an encouraging effort in his first start off the DL on Saturday when he held Arizona to two runs in 6.1 innings, and for all of Cain’s other troubles this season he does still have a very good 1.17 WHIP and a nice ratio of 143 strikeouts vs. 51 walks in 162.2 innings. His only start at Dodger Stadium this season was also a good one as he tossed six scoreless innings while allowing just four hits with eight strikeouts against one walk.

Now take nothing away from Greinke as he has been a great second starter behind Clayton Kershaw this year at 14-3 with a spiffy 2.79 ERA and 1.15 WHIP. He also comes off of his eighth consecutive Quality Start where he held the Reds to two runs in six innings at Cincinnati, making up for the eight hits he allowed by striking out nine against one walk.

However, he may not get that much run support here if Cain’s first start off of the Disabled List was not a mirage, and especially if Cain comes anywhere close to his first start in Los Angeles this year. On top of this Greinke was not particularly sharp in his only start vs. San Francisco allowing four runs (three earned) on seven hits in just 5.1 innings.

Add all of this up and the Giants look to offer long-term value with Cain at this price on Thursday.

[gameodds]3/243186/?r-1=238-92-43-349-192/us[/gameodds]

MLB Pick: Giants +159