MLB Pick: Underdog Value Play Tuesday

LT Profits Sports Group

Tuesday, June 24, 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 a nice upset Tuesday night when southpaw Jose Quintana and those Chicago White Sox (35-42, 14-24 away) pay a visit to right-hander Miguel Gonzalez and the Baltimore Orioles (40-35, 17-17 home) in the second game of a three-game series from Camden Yards in Baltimore, MD at 7:05 ET.

The posted money line at Pinnacle Sports has Chicago as a road underdog for this contest at current odds of +126.

The Orioles are very much alive in the American League East race as they are in second place and only 1½ games behind the first place Toronto Blue Jays, and they have won five of their last six contests, as they took the last two games against the Tampa Bay Rays before taking two of three from the New York Yankees and winning the series opener here vs. the White Sox last night in dramatic fashion 6-4 on a walk-off three run homer by Chris Davis.

The White Sox meanwhile were off to a surprisingly good start this year, but they have now dropped all the way back to last place in the American League Central as they have lost nine of their last 11 games including the last five in a row. Chicago was swept in a four-game series by the Twins in Minnesota before Monday’s disappointing walk-off loss here in Baltimore. The good news is that the White Sox are still just a manageable 7½ games behind first place Detroit.

The surprising aspect about the Orioles’ success this early-season is that they have not gotten much of a contribution for the disappointing Gonzalez after he showed nice promise the last two years. Gonzalez has slumped to 4-4 with a 4.41 ERA and 1.42 WHIP this season, and his weak sabremetrics validate those common stats as he has a 4.73 FIP and 4.33 xFIP.

Gonzalez is not really showing signs of improvement either, as he allowed four earned runs on eight hits plus two walks in just five innings vs. the normally weak-hitting Tampa Bay Rays last time out last Tuesday. He has had control issues this season with 3.27 walks per nine innings and he is a pronounced flyball pitcher with a low groundball rate of 39.6 percent. Thus, it is no surprise that he has allowed 10 home runs in 63.1 innings over 11 starts.

He is facing a White Sox offense that has been better than expected after being one of the worst hitting teams in baseball last year, and that has been truer vs. right-handed pitchers against whom Chicago is batting .256 while averaging a solid 4.54 runs per nine innings.

Now, we have felt for a couple of years that Quintana is underrated and he very quietly posted a 3.51 ERA over 200 innings last season while going 9-7, as he became the King of the No-Decisions with the Sox giving him so little run support. Still, finishing two games over .500 for a team that had the second worst record in the American League ahead of only the Houston Astros is certainly commendable, especially with that ERA.

Now, on the surface, it appears that Quintana has regressed this year as he is 3-7, but the fact of the matter is that he has allowed three earned runs or less in nine of his last 11 outings and in 12 of his 15 starts overall, still leaving him with a 3.87 ERA. Quintana also has a good ratio of 75 strikeouts vs. 26 walks, helping lead to a much better 3.01 FIP and 3.53 xFIP which is almost always a good sign.

Furthermore, Quintana excelled in his two starts vs. the Orioles last season allowing a grand total of three runs and nine hits in 14 innings with 15 strikeouts vs. only two walks!

Thus, the White Sox appear to have the starting pitching edge in this contest, seemingly giving them very good value at this underdog price in Camden Yards on Tuesday.

MLB Pick: White Sox +126