MLB Pick: Underdog Value Play Tuesday

LT Profits Sports Group

Tuesday, August 13, 2013 4:00 AM GMT

Tuesday, Aug. 13, 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 a nice upset in store down in Tampa on Tuesday night when Erasmo Ramirez and the Seattle Mariners (54-63, 23-31 away) pay a visit to Chris Archer and the suddenly struggling Tampa Bay Rays (66-50, 37-21 home) in the first game of a three-game series from Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, FL at 7:10 ET.

The posted money line at Pinnacle Sports has Seattle as a nice underdog for this contest at current odds of +165.

The Rays are still in second place in the American League East at three games behind the Boston Red Sox and they are two games ahead of the Baltimore Orioles for the second and last wild card spot, but they are returning home from an 0-5 road trip vs. the National League West while their offense is starting to struggle again like earlier in the season.

Tampa Bay scored two runs or less in three of the five losses out west, and they scored a grand total of two runs over the last two losses to the Dodgers. It does not help matters that cleanup batter Evan Longoria is battling a prolonged slump, as he is batting a dismal .176 since June 23rd including going 5-for-40 over the last 10 games. On top of that, the Rays’ starting pitcher tonight is in suspect health.

The rookie Archer has done a good job going 6-4 with a 2.71 ERA and 1.10 WHIP, although his command numbers have not been great with 52 strikeouts against 29 walks in 76.1 innings. Archer is approaching his professional career high for innings pitched in a season if you combine his 76.1 Major League innings with his work at Triple-A, and that may be taking its toll as he was removed from his last start vs. the Arizona Diamondbacks with forearm tightness.

He now gets to face an improving Seattle offense that is averaging 4.50 runs over the last 10 games compared to 4.04 runs per game overall, and while the Mariners are batting a modest .248 while averaging 4.35 runs per nine innings vs. right-handers for the entire season, that is still considerably better than the .226 they are batting and 3.23 runs per game they are averaging vs. southpaws.

The Mariners have exceeded expectations this year by being in third place and only nine games under .500, especially considering they are one game ahead of the Los Angeles Angels with a fraction of the Halos’ payroll! They are coming off of a 2-0 shutout of the Milwaukee Brewers on Sunday with “King” Felix Hernandez allowing four hits in eight innings.

Tuesday’s starter Ramirez pitched well for the Mariners last season while posting a 3.36 ERA, 1.00 WHIP and a .217 batting average allowed with a great ratio of 48 strikeouts vs. 12 walks in 59 innings, but he has not pitched nearly that well this year despite his 3-0 record in a season that was delayed due to a triceps injury.

Still, Ramirez does have 21 strikeouts vs. eight walks in 24 Major League innings this year, and he now has a good chance to lower his .292 batting average allowed in 2013 when you combine Tampa Bay’s current offensive funk with the fact that this is Ramirez’s first start ever against the Rays.

Therefore, Seattle appears to offer good long-term value at this inflated price on Tuesday.

[gameodds]3/241295/?r-1=238-92-43-349-192/us[/gameodds]

MLB Pick: Mariners +165

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