MLB Pick: Underdog Value Play Tuesday

LT Profits Sports Group

Tuesday, August 6, 2013 4:00 AM UTC

Tuesday, Aug. 6, 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.

The top two teams in the National League East Division get together on national television Tuesday night when super rookie Julio Teheran and the Atlanta Braves (68-45, 30-30 away) pay a visit to the normally steady Gio Gonzalez and the Washington Nationals (54-58, 31-26 home) in the second game of a three-game series from Nationals Park in Washington, DC at 7:05 ET in a game televised nationally on MLB Network.

The posted money line at Pinnacle Sports has Atlanta as a small underdog for this contest at current odds of +109.

Of course, the fact that these are the top two teams in the National League East is a mere formality as the first place Braves now lead the Nationals by a bloated 13½ games after Atlanta beat Stephen Strasburg 3-2 behind Mike Minor in the series opener on Monday and they have been in first place longer than any other team in the majors, while the second place defending division champions from Washington are actually four games under .500.

The scary part for the rest of the league is that the Braves seem to be correcting a couple of weaknesses they had earlier on, namely their offense and their play on the road. Atlanta has a .293 team batting average while averaging 6.50 runs over the last 10 games, and while the Braves have had the best home record in baseball all year and still do at 38-15, they are also now 4-0 thus far on this current road trip to even up their road mark at 30-30.

Teheran was one of the most highly regarded pitching prospects in all of baseball prior to this season and he continued to show why while striking out 11 Colorado Rockies and allowing only five hits on an 11-2 win last Thursday. The 22-year-old Columbian native probably deserves better than his 8-5 record, as he has a 3.02 ERA and 1.18 WHIP while showing great command for someone so young, with 117 strikeouts vs. just 28 walks in 131 innings.

If you like consistency, consider that Teheran has now allowed three earned runs or less in 16 of his last 18 starts! He is also obviously in great current form, allowing a grand total of two runs and 11 hits over his last three starts covering 18 innings with 23 strikeouts, and he is facing a Washington offense batting only .237 while averaging 3.71 runs per game overall this season.

Gonzalez finished third in the National League Cy Young voting for Washington last season, and deservedly so, and after a slow start this year, he had appeared to have straightened himself out by allowed three runs or less in 10 straight starts prior to his last outing. But then came that outing vs. the Detroit Tigers in Motown where Gonzalez became just the third pitcher in the history of the Montreal/Washington franchise to allow at least 10 earned runs in a game!

Obviously, Gio is a much better pitcher than the one that was lit up for 10 earned runs on 11 hits while lasting only 3.1 innings last Wednesday, but keep in mind that he has also had his struggles with the Braves this season, going 0-2 with a 7.31 ERA and 1.63 WHIP in three starts against them including allowing seven earned runs in five innings the only time he faced them here in DC, and as mentioned the Atlanta offense may be the best it has been all year right now.

All things considered, Atlanta appears to offer long-term value at an underdog price on Tuesday.


MLB Pick: Braves +109

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