MLB Pick: Underdog Value Play Tuesday

LT Profits Sports Group

Tuesday, August 20, 2013 4:00 AM UTC

Tuesday, Aug. 20, 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.

A pesky underdog could pull of an upset on Tuesday night when Joe Saunders and the Seattle Mariners (57-67, 26-35 away) pay a visit to rookie Sonny Gray and the Oakland Athletics (71-53, 39-23 home) in the second game of a three-game series from Coliseum in Oakland, CA at 10:05 ET.

The posted money line at Pinnacle Sports has Seattle as a decided underdog for this contest at current odds of +170.

The Athletics have won four of their last five games including surviving the series opener vs. the Mariners 2-1 last night, leaving Oakland one-half game behind the Texas Rangers in the American League West. Seattle is apparently unimpressed though as the Mariners still have an 8-5 lead in the season series.

In fact, the Mariners have probably exceeded season expectations by being only 10 games under .500 at this relatively late stage of the season and in third place in the American League West, albeit a non-threatening third at 14½ games behind the Rangers. Seattle also seems determined in having a say in who wins the division, as besides the Mariners’ success vs. the A’s this year, they just took two out of three from the Rangers in Texas this past weekend.

The Seattle starter Saunders is having an uneven campaign at 10-12 with a 4.86 ERA, but he has always had success vs. the A’s and that success has continued this season. Saunders is 15-6 with a 3.36 ERA lifetime vs. the Athletics while allowing three runs or less in seven of his last eight outings against them, and the last two of those came this year when he allowed one run on each occasion, surrendering a total of two runs and 10 hits with 10 strikeouts in 13.1 innings.

The veteran southpaw is facing an Oakland offense batting only .239 vs. left-handed pitchers over the entire season, which has probably helped him continue his uncanny success against Oakland while mainly struggling with the rest of the league.

The Athletics are turning to the rookie Gray in the heat of a pennant race, as he will be making his third Major League start since being recalled from Sacramento on August 10th. Then again, that confidence may be warranted in the 2011 first round draft pick, as Gray allowed a scant two earned runs and eight hits in 14 innings in those two starts with 14 strikeouts.

However, is that really a large enough sampling for Gray to now merit this much favoritism? He is certainly facing a feisty team that continues to play hard, as after the Mariners gave Texas fits all weekend including beating Yu Darvish on Sunday, Oakland needed a ninth-inning run to prevail last night.

Add in Saunders’ successes vs. the A’s and Seattle appears to offer long-term value at this bloated price on Tuesday.


MLB Pick: Mariners +170

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