MLB Pick: Underdog Value Play Tuesday

LT Profits Sports Group

Tuesday, June 25, 2013 4:00 AM UTC

Tuesday, Jun. 25, 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 Tuesday.

There appears to be an undervalued underdog based on the current form of the starting pitchers Tuesday night when Edwin Jackson and the Chicago Cubs (31-43, 14-21 away) pay a visit to Kyle Lohse and the Milwaukee Brewers (31-43, 18-21 home) in the opening game of a three-game series from Miller Park in Milwaukee, WI at 8:10 ET.

The posted money line at Pinnacle Sports has Chicago as a road underdog for this contest at current odds of +122.

These teams are tied for fourth place in the National League Central at 15 games behind the first place St. Louis Cardinals, although the Brewers are considered the bigger disappointment of the two. That is primarily because Milwaukee has not been a dominant home team this year like in recent years, in fact sitting three games under .500 at Miller Park.

The Cubs were expected to be bad this year, so that has been basically in line with their predictions or maybe even a shade better at 12 games below .500. Now this rather inflated line seems based on Jackson’s season-to-date numbers, but he has actually been pitching well in his most recent starts.

Sure, Jackson is just 3-9 with a 5.49 ERA and 1.55 WHIP for the season, but he has improved to go 2-1 with a 2.95 ERA, 1.15 WHIP and 16 strikeouts in 18.1 innings his last three starts. Jackson has also pitched reasonably well vs. the Brewers, posting a 3.36 ERA in nine career starts against them despite a 3-4 record, with 41 strikeouts against just 17 walks in 59 innings.

Furthermore, Jackson has allowed one earned run or less in three of his last four starts against Milwaukee with the most recent start coming this season, and he is catching a Milwaukee lineup averaging only 3.54 runs per nine innings vs. right-handed pitchers over the last 10 games. It also helps Jackson’s cause that the Cubs are coming off of a season-high 14-run outburst on Sunday and that Alfonso Soriano is 20-for-53 with four home runs against Brewers’ starter Lohse.

The Brewers thought they were acquiring an ace-type pitcher when they signed Lohse just before spring training, as he went a remarkable 16-3 with a 2.86 ERA and 1.09 WHIP while limiting opposing batters to a .239 batting average as a member of the St. Louis Cardinals last season. Instead Lohse has been disappointing in a Milwaukee uniform, going 2-6 with a 3.68 ERA, 1.23 WHIP and a high .274 batting average allowed.

Lohse had a great relationship with the St. Louis pitching coaches, first Dave Duncan and most recently Derek Lilliquist, so perhaps this change in scenery was not in his best interest professionally despite a pay hike. Lohse has not pitched well vs. the Cubs in his career either, going 4-4 but with a 5.17 ERA, 1.44 WHIP and a .289 batting average against.

When you all this all up, the Cubs appear to offer good long-term value at this decided underdog price on Tuesday.


MLB Pick: Cubs +122

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