MLB Pick: Underdog Value Play Tuesday

LT Profits Sports Group

Tuesday, July 23, 2013 4:00 AM UTC

Tuesday, Jul. 23, 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.

We may see an upset by a last place team over a first place team on Tuesday night when Rick Porcello and the division leading Detroit Tigers (54-44, 25-25 away) pay a visit to Hector Santiago and the cellar dwelling Chicago White Sox (39-57, 21-23 home) in the second game of a long four-game series from U.S. Cellular Field in Chicago, IL at 8:10 ET in a game televised regionally on MLB Network.

The posted money line at Pinnacle Sports has Chicago as a home underdog for this contest at current odds of +112.

The Tigers took the series opener 7-3 on Monday in a battle of All-Stars with Max Scherzer improving to 14-1 while getting the best of Chris Sale. That increased Detroit’s lead in the American League Central to 2½ games over the Cleveland Indians, who lost in Seattle last night, while the White Sox are now 14 games behind Detroit while bringing up the rear.

Team moral could not have been too high in Chicago recently after upper management stated publicly that any member of the White Sox except Sale can be available to teams at the upcoming trading deadline, although to their credit the White Sox did then take two out of three from another first place team, the Atlanta Braves, coming out of the All-Star break before last night’s loss when the team could have easily thrown in the towel.

As long as the White Sox remain interested, then the Tigers could be vulnerable with probably the weakest link in an otherwise good pitching rotation in Porcello as a road favorite tonight. Granted, Porcello has suddenly reeled off three straight Quality Starts seemingly out of the blue to finally get his ERA below 5.00. Porcello remains just 6-6 with a 4.80 ERA with opponents batting a high .272 off of him.

The problem with Porcello is that his entire career has been full of inconsistency, and this is not the first time that he put together a string of good starts to tease the Tigers’ organization into thinking that he had turned a corner, and he then almost always imploded again in the past. Will the same thing happen again here or, more importantly, do you trust him to have a fourth straight good start now that he is a road favorite?

After all, Porcello’s 12 career starts vs. the White Sox have all come over the last three years and have been unspectacular, as he is 6-5 but with a 4.92 ERA and only 37 strikeouts in 75 innings. As bad as Chicago as been offensively while averaging only 3.80 runs per game overall this year, the offense has improved since the harsh words from management, averaging 5.10 runs overall in the last 10 games and batting .310 while averaging 5.43 per nine innings vs. righties in that time!

The White Sox starter Santiago shows nice promise despite being 3-5 and the White Sox going 3-9 in games that he started, and he may finally get some run support this time given the currently hot Chicago bats. Santiago has made 12 starts and 11 relief appearances this season but he seems set in the rotation for now. And why not considering that he has a 3.30 ERA and 1.25 WHIP while yielding a .221 average with 91 strikeouts in 87.1 innings vs. 39 walks?

Santiago has allowed three runs or less in six of his last seven starts despite going just 2-1 in those outings, and while he has never started vs. the Tigers, he does have a nifty 1.64 ERA and a .189 batting average allowed in 11 relief innings against them.

Santiago has obviously pitched better than his record, and as long as the improvement of the Chicago offense continues, the White Sox have a nice upset chance vs. Porcello on Tuesday.


MLB Pick: White Sox +112

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