MLB Pick: Underdog Value Play Tuesday

LT Profits Sports Group

Tuesday, July 30, 2013 4:00 AM UTC

Tuesday, Jul. 30, 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.

With the favorite having a couple of slumping All-Stars, the humongous underdogs could have value with one of their better starting pitchers possibly auditioning for a playoff contender Tuesday night when Bud Norris and those Houston Astros (35-69, 17-32 away) pay a visit to Wei-Yin Chen and the Baltimore Orioles (58-48, 30-22 home) in the first game of a three-game series from Camden Yards in Baltimore, MD at 7:05 ET.

The posted money line at Pinnacle Sports has Houston as a huge underdog for this contest at current odds of +228.

The Orioles are very much in the playoff hunt for the second straight season despite having their critics, and they would be the second wild card if the season ended today, although they have just a one-half game lead on the Cleveland Indians there. Baltimore is in third place in the American League East Division race, 4½ games behind the second place Red Sox and five games behind the new division leaders as of Monday night, the Tampa Bay Rays.

The Astros have no such playoff scenarios to be concerned with as they are in last place in the American League West with the worst record in all of baseball in their inaugural season in the American League. However, hope is not lost for them tonight at this enormous price with Norris on the hill, who has every incentive to put forth a strong performance here.

Norris bounced back from a couple of sub-par outings to record a Quality Start allowing three runs on only four hits in 6.1 innings vs. the division leading Oakland Athletics in a no-decision last Wednesday, leaving him at 6-9 while pitching for a team that is 34 games under .500 with a commendable 3.93 ERA, and that has made him the subject of trade rumors in recent weeks.

Norris would probably love nothing better than to leave this last place team for a title contender, and he did pitch well in his only other start vs. the Orioles this season, allowing just three runs in seven innings of an unlucky 3-1 loss with seven strikeouts on June 6th.

He now gets a chance to duplicate or even top that effort vs. a Baltimore lineup that has seen Major League home run leader Chris Davis strike out 20 times the last 10 games and Manny Machado get mired in a 3-for-28 slump.

The Orioles have been winning with smoke and mirrors for the last two years in the eyes of many experts, as last season they had an unbelievable record in extra-inning and one-run games and this season they are 13th in the America League with a 4.32 ERA.

Granted, Chen has not been a big part of the Baltimore pitching problems as he is 5-3 with a 2.78 ERA in 11 starts in a season that included a two-month stint on the Disabled List. Still, is that enough to justify this bloated price tag usually reserved for ace types, regardless of the opponent? Besides, Chen does not have particularly great peripherals, with a downright bad xFIP of 4.71 and a mediocre WAR of 1.4, albeit over only 68 innings.

The Astros simply look like a huge overlay when considering the starting pitchers in this game and Norris’s added incentive, so Houston seems to offer long-term value on Tuesday.


MLB Pick: Astros +228

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