MLB Pick: Underdog Value Play Thursday

LT Profits Sports Group

Thursday, September 19, 2013 4:00 AM UTC

Thursday, Sep. 19, 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.

In a game where both starting pitchers have similar numbers, the underdog also-rans could hold value Thursday night vs. a pennant contender when Kevin Correia and the Minnesota Twins (65-86, 34-43 away) pay a visit to Daniel Straily and the Oakland Athletics (89-63, 48-29 home) in the first game of a four-game series from Coliseum in Oakland, CA at 10:05 ET.

The posted money line at Pinnacle Sports has Minnesota as a huge underdog for this contest at current odds of +190.

The Athletics seem well on their way to a second straight American League West Division title as they have a commanding 6½-game bulge on the Texas Rangers despite losing two out of three games to the Los Angeles Angels to begin this week. At least Oakland is avoiding the drama of last season this second time around, as you may recall the A’s won the division on the final day of the regular season then by beating Texas head-to-head.

The Twins will probably avoid a second straight last place finish in the American League Central as they are in fourth place and six games ahead of the last place Chicago White Sox, but they are stumbling again as usual going 4-10 in their last 14 games, although they did salvage the final game of a three-game series vs. those last place White Sox 4-3 yesterday after dropping the first two games.

Correia is not a world-beater for Minnesota, but he is a serviceable innings-eater that is 9-12 with a 4.31 ERA. With that said Correia is actually in quite good form right now as he has allowed three earned runs or less in four of his last five starts including allowing two earned runs or less in three of those starts. He has not faced the Athletics since 2009, and with Oakland having a young team, the crafty veteran can take advantage of a lineup mostly unfamiliar with him.

Correia could also take advantage of the fact that while the A’s are on the verge of back-to-back division titles, they have still not hit right-handers well all year in this spacious stadium batting just .223 against them at home.

Straily’s overall numbers are really not that dissimilar to Correia as he is 10-7 but with a 4.11 ERA. Yes he is in good current form with a 2.04 ERA over his last three starts, but that is offset by Correia also pitching well as of late. So what we have here are two pitchers that are both in good form and that have similar year-to-date numbers, and yet the Twins are huge underdogs vs. a team that does not hit righties well at home.

On top of this, Oakland closer Grant Balfour is in a slump after blowing another save by coughing up a two-run ninth-inning lead to the Angels yesterday, leaving him with eight earned runs allowed in his last 8.2 innings, so all things considered, Minnesota appears to offer long-term value at this price on Thursday.


MLB Pick: Twins +190

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