MLB Pick: Underdog Value Play Tuesday

LT Profits Sports Group

Tuesday, April 22, 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.

Although we fell short with the team with the worst record in the Major Leagues as our Underdog Value Play yesterday, we are coming right back with them Tuesday night as Brandon McCarthy and those Arizona Diamondbacks (5-17, 4-6 away) pay a visit to Jason Hammel and the Chicago Cubs (6-12, 4-6 home) at Wrigley Field in Chicago, IL at 8:05 ET.

The posted money line at Pinnacle Sports has Arizona as a small underdog for this contest at current odds of +103.

The Diamondbacks were unable to hit Cub southpaw Travis Wood on Monday as he allowed one run and six hits in seven innings and Arizona went on to lose 5-1 as one bad inning by Snakes’ starter Bronson Arroyo where he gave up four runs in the second inning was enough for Arizona to again taste defeat and fall to a Major League worst 5-17 for the season.

The Cubs meanwhile still have the second worst record in the National League at 6-12 even after the victory last night. They also will not have the starting pitcher Wood to help the offense after he blasted a three-run homer and drove in four of the five Chicago runs last night in addition to his fine work on the mound! In fact, if you take away that decisive second inning, the Cubs only had one run (driven in by Wood) and five hits themselves over the rest of that contest.

Now this may seem like a pitching mismatch on paper as Hammel has pitched well in his first three starts in a Cub uniform going 2-1 with a 3.05 ERA and a microscopic 0.73 WHIP. He is a perfect three for three in Quality Starts as he allowed just three runs and five hits in seven innings in his first loss vs. the New York Yankees last time out.

A couple of things are in play here though, beginning with is Hammel really as good as he has looked so far? Remember, this is a guy that is now 31 years old and whose best season until now was when he went 8-6 with a 3.43 ERA with the Baltimore Orioles two years ago, his only Major League season where he had an ERA below 4.33!

Secondly, even if he does pitch well again, will the Chicago offense support him enough to get a win? The Cubs are batting .227 vs. right-handed pitchers this season and are averaging a modest 3.50 runs per game overall. As mentioned previously, the regular starting eight did not do much offensively in the win last night either when the pitcher Wood was like a one-man show.

The Cubs’ struggles against right-handers should help McCarthy, who is an awful 0-3 with a bloated 7.11 ERA and 1.42 WHIP with the Diamondbacks as a team going 0-4 in the games that he has started. Now we are not saying that McCarthy is a superstar or anything like that, but he has shown enough throughout his career to demonstrate that he is not nearly this bad, and he did start to return to form by allowing only three runs vs. the New York Mets last time out.

Also, Arizona is hitting a bit better vs. right-handers (.246) than vs. left-handers (.212) this season, so the D-Backs may find Hammel more to their liking than they did the southpaw Wood last evening. Besides, Arizona’s Paul Goldschmidt (.333 batting average, .914 OPS) and Mark Trumbo (leads majors with seven home runs) are both probably better hitters than anyone in the Chicago lineup.

With all of this in mind, Arizona appears to offer value at an underdog price at Wrigley Field on Tuesday.

[gameodds]3/262563/?r-1=238-92-43-349-192/us[/gameodds]

MLB Pick: Diamondbacks +103