MLB Pick: Underdog Value Play Tuesday

LT Profits Sports Group

Tuesday, May 21, 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 Tuesday.

The team with the best record in the National League could be an overlay Tuesday night when Adam Wainwright and those St. Louis Cardinals (28-16, 14-8 away) pay a visit to Edinson Volquez and the San Diego Padres (21-23, 13-10 home) in the second game of a three-game series from Petco Park in San Diego, CA at 10:10 ET.

The posted money line at Pinnacle Sports has San Diego as a home underdog for this contest at current odds of +129.

The Cardinals may still hold a 1½-game lead over the hard-charging Cincinnati Reds in the National League Central, but St. Louis discovered just how pesky San Diego can be at home when the Padres defeated the Cardinals 4-2 in the series opener last night while beating Rookie of the Year candidate Shelby Miller.

In fact, the Padres have now won the last five head-to-head meetings here at Petco Park, and the home teams are on an 8-0 run in this series. The Padres now look to extend that streak and get to just one game below .500, which is a nice accomplishment considering that San Diego began this season 5-15. It helps that the Pads have gone three games over .500 here at home.

Volquez has been inconsistent while going 3-4 with a 5.55 ERA and 1.58 WHIP, as he has either been great such as while allowing two runs or less in four of his last six starts, or terrible such as while allowing 10 runs in 10.2 innings in the other two outings. His underdog home price tonight though seems to make it worthwhile to expect the “good” Volquez to show up.

Volquez is familiar with the Cardinals as he was a member of their Central Division co-inhabitants the Cincinnati Reds before last season, and he has allowed three runs or less in four of his last five starts vs. St. Louis including both starts last season in his first year with the Padres.

Now, the Cardinals are certainly off to a great start, but they may be leveling off a bit as they are now just 2-3 in their last five games beginning with the final game of a series vs. the New York Mets on Thursday, and Wainwright was the losing pitcher in that game vs. New York.

Wainwright is having a fine season now that he is two years removed from having Tommy John surgery, as he is 5-3 but with a sparking 2.51 ERA and 1.01 WHIP overall. However he showed some chinks in the armor vs. the Mets while allowing four runs on six hits plus one walk in six innings, and his last start vs. the Padres last September was nothing special either as he surrendered five runs on five hits plus an uncharacteristic four walks in six innings.

He will be facing a San Diego offense that has been heating up a bit, as while the Padres are still batting a mediocre .246 vs. right-handed pitchers this season, that average has climbed to .259 over the last 10 games during which time the Pads are averaging a whopping 5.50 runs per nine innings against righties.

Finally, once the bullpens get involved San Diego would have a clear edge as the Padres are ranked fourth in the National League with a 2.90 bullpen ERA while owning a 1.15 WHIP and holding the opposition to a .219 batting average, while the St. Louis pen has an ugly 4.54 ERA, 1.37 WHIP and is generously yielding a .267 average.

With all of this in mind, back San Diego as a decided home underdog on Tuesday.

[gameodds]3/227388/238-92-43-349-192/us[/gameodds]

MLB Pick: Padres +129