MLB Pick: Underdog Value Play Tuesday

LT Profits Sports Group

Tuesday, June 18, 2013 4:00 AM GMT

Tuesday, Jun. 18, 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.

There could be an upset in store in a battle of southpaws on Tuesday night when Ross Detwiler and the Washington Nationals (34-35, 16-22 away) pay a visit to Cliff Lee and the Philadelphia Phillies (34-37, 17-15 home) in the second game of a three-game series from Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia, PA at 7:05 ET.

The posted money line at Pinnacle Sports has Washington as a decided road underdog for this contest at current odds of +145.

The Phillies took the opening game of this series Monday night 5-4 to pull to within one game of the second place Nationals in the National League East and to draw to 8½ games behind the first place Atlanta Braves. Domonic Brown was the hero for Philadelphia with the game winning hit with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning after Washington had tied the game in the top of the ninth on a solo homer by Chad Tracy off of Jonathan Papelbon.

The Phils should be confident tonight with Lee on the bump as he has been their best pitcher so far this season, but this is far from a slam dunk for them as Detwiler is a very talented hurler in his own right that gives the Nationals good value at their current price.

Do not be fooled by Detwiler’s 2-4 record as he has a very good 3.02 ERA in nine starts covering 50.2 innings. The reason he has just nine starts is because he was on the Disabled List for a month with an oblique injury, and he made his comeback start last Thursday in Colorado and was serviceable while allowing three runs on six hits in five innings before being pulled after 77 pitches.

Detwiler should be stronger today with that start under his belt so he should be ready to be stretched out a bit more. He has still not allowed more than three earned runs in any of his starts this season, and although he was touched up for five runs in five innings the last time he faced the Phillies, he tossed 14.1 scoreless innings in his previous two starts against them and he is now catching a Philadelphia lineup batting .239 vs. left-handers over the last 10 games.

If Detwiler is in need of relief, the Washington bullpen has gotten better as the season has gone on as it has a 2.12 ERA over the last 10 games notwithstanding allowing that late run last night.

Now, Lee has certainly been terrific going 8-2 with a 2.55 ERA and 0.98 WHIP overall, but he has hardly been unhittable while allowing nine runs on 18 hits plus four walks over his last three starts and he is facing a Washington lineup that is heating up against southpaws, batting .278 and averaging a robust 5.70 runs per nine innings vs. left-handers over the last 10 games.

Lee took the loss the last time he faced the Nationals, allowing three earned runs on eight hits including two home runs in six innings, and he does not have a reliable bullpen supporting him as the Philadelphia pen ranks second to last in the National League with a 4.49 ERA, ahead of only the New York Mets (4.54). Furthermore that bullpen has actually been worse than that as of late with a 5.20 ERA and 1.52 WHIP while yielding an ugly .299 average the last 10 games.

With all of this in mind, look for Washington to pull the upset on Tuesday.

[gameodds]3/236644/238-92-43-349-192/us[/gameodds]

MLB Pick: Nationals +145

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