MLB Pick: Underdog Value Play Tuesday

LT Profits Sports Group

Tuesday, May 28, 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.

A struggling starting pitcher may have the home favorite overvalued Tuesday night when Jeanmar Gomez and the Pittsburgh Pirates (31-20, 13-11 away) pay a visit to Rick Porcello and the Detroit Tigers (26-21, 12-11 home) in the second game of a two-game series from Comerica Park in Detroit, MI before the scenery shifts to Pittsburgh for the next two games. The first pitch Tuesday is at 7:08 ET.

The posted money line at Pinnacle Sports has Pittsburgh as a road underdog for this contest at current odds of +141.

The Tigers have now won six of their last seven games, a streak that began by winning the last two games over the Cleveland Indians on the road last week to help push past the Tribe and into first place in the American League Central, and Detroit has now opened up a 2½-game lead on Cleveland.

The Tigers are hitting the ball well as usual, leading the Major League with a .284 batting average while averaging 5.41 runs per game, but Detroit still would not be where it is if the pitching staff was not ranked fourth in the American League with a 3.73 team ERA. However, the weakest link of that starting rotation may be on the mound tonight.

Porcello has always been maddeningly inconsistent and he is at it again this season as he is now 2-2 but with an ugly 6.28 ERA and 1.42 WHIP with the league batting a robust .299 against him after he was roughed up for five earned runs on 10 hits plus one walk with only two strikeouts vs. the lowly Minnesota Twins last time out. Porcello will usually pitch to contact, as while he has only walked nine batters all year, he also has just 29 strikeouts.

Well, that is not a good thing when you are yielding a high batting average like Porcello is, and to make matters worse the Detroit bullpen has not been providing much relief with a collective 3.73 ERA. As great as the Tigers have been offensively, we simply find it extremely difficult to lay these kinds of odds with Porcello taking the start, as that usually means that the bullpen will also make a relatively early appearance.

The Pirates are off to another pleasantly good start at 31-20, only this time they are hoping to keep on winning right until the end of the year and not hit another wall like they have the last two seasons. They are even still two games over .500 on the road despite losing the series opener 6-5 here yesterday. The Bucs did collect 10 hits vs. Tiger ace Justin Verlander and two relievers, which bodes well for Pittsburgh’s chances vs. Porcello tonight.

Gomez has proven to be quite serviceable in his first year in a Pittsburgh uniform, as the former Indian has yet to allow more than three earned runs in is five starts while posting a 2.75 ERA and 1.17 WHIP over 36 innings overall. Gomez may not give you much in the stamina department, but he has the support of a Pittsburgh bullpen that is ranked third in the entire Major Leagues with a 2.83 ERA.

Now, the Pirates obviously do not have the offense that Detroit possesses with the exception of the face of the Pittsburgh franchise in Andrew McCutchen, but the pitching matchup should favor the Pirates from start to finish in this contest, giving the Pirates nice value at this price on Tuesday.

[gameodds]3/228192/238-92-43-349-192/us[/gameodds]

MLB Pick: Pirates +141