MLB Pick: Underdog Value Play Tuesday

LT Profits Sports Group

Tuesday, April 8, 2014 4:00 AM GMT

Each day LT Profits Sports seeks an MLB overlay that has a better chance of cashing than its odds, offering long term value. Here is their Underdog Value Play for Tuesday.

There could be value in an interleague underdog Tuesday night when reigning Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer and the Detroit Tigers (4-1, 0-0 away) pay a rare visit to Dan Haren and those Los Angeles Dodgers (5-3, 1-2 home) at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, CA at 10:10 ET.

The posted money line at Bet365 has Los Angeles as a small underdog for this contest at current odds of +105.

This was a potential World Series matchup last season but both of these teams were eliminated in their respective league championship series. Now the Tigers are one of the favorites to win the World Series this season after the signing of Joe Nathan to stabilize the bullpen, which was the biggest weakness of an otherwise excellent team last season that had most of the other championship parts in place, especially great hitting and awesome starting pitching.

In fact this game and series could be a preview of the World Series this year, as the Dodgers are the favorite to win the world championship at quite a few sportsbooks right now. This team took off after the recall of Yasiel Puig last year and ended up winning 92 regular season games when it appeared that Manager Don Mattingly was on the hot seat before the Cuban phenom’s arrival.

Speaking of Cuban phenoms, the Dodgers added another one this off-season in second basemen Alexander Guerrero, which was just about the only move the Dodgers made in an otherwise quiet winter other than picking up tonight’s starter Haren, who sparkled in his Dodger debut by not allowing an earned run in six innings while allowing four hits and striking out six Padres!

Haren has faced the Tigers 11 times in his career as he spent time in the American League, and he is 5-4 with a 3.82 ERA and a 1.15 WHIP in those starts. Most recently, he has allowed two runs or less in three of his last four starts vs. Detroit including two Complete Games and one shutout, and he has allowed three runs or less in four of his last five starts against the Tigers. He could prove a shrewd acquisition when you combine his abilities with spacious Dodger Stadium.

As for Guerrero, he has been optioned to Triple-A Albuquerque to polish his game, but the Dodgers do have Matt Kemp back now to give them yet another potent bat, and Kemp showed just how healthy he is by blasting two home runs vs. the San Francisco Giants Sunday night.

Meanwhile there was some talk about the Tigers possibly trading Scherzer while his stock was at his highest following his Cy Young season last year, as he is a pending free agent after this season. And he may be traded yet after turning down a six-year, $144 million dollar contract late in spring training. The Tigers have announced publicly that there will be no more in-season negotiations and that they will no longer comment on the matter.

So will all of this be a distraction to Scherzer? Well, it did not appear so in his first 2014 start when he got an unfortunate no-decision despite tossing eight scoreless innings and allowing only four hits with seven strikeouts vs. the Kansas City Royals.

Still, Scherzer has not pitched well in his last two starts vs. the Dodgers, and while the first of those bad starts came when he was a member of the Arizona Diamondbacks, he was also bombed here at Dodger Stadium as a member of the Tigers for six earned runs on nine hits in six innings. Furthermore, the Dodgers may have a better offense than last season right now when Kemp and Puig are in the lineup simultaneously.

Finally, the Detroit bullpen has not yet shown the expected improvement with a collective 6.08 ERA and 1.65 WHIP with even Nathan having a blown save already, and Scherzer does not work deeply into games as he does not have a Complete Game in his career. Thus, we are going with the value of the Dodgers as home underdogs on Tuesday.

[gameodds]3/261347/?r-1=43-238-92-349-192/us[/gameodds]

MLB Pick: Dodgers +105