MLB Pick: Underdog Value Play Tuesday

LT Profits Sports Group

Tuesday, July 8, 2014 4:00 AM UTC

Tuesday, Jul. 8, 2014 4:00 AM UTC

Each day the LT Profits Sports Group seeks out an MLB total that does not add up and offers the most value that day. Here is their Total Value Play of the Day for Tuesday.

The underdogs could hold value in an interleague battle of first place teams Tuesday night when southpaw Hyun-Jin Ryu and the Los Angeles Dodgers (51-40, 29-17 away) pay a visit to right-hander Justin Verlander and the Detroit Tigers (48-37, 23-22 home) in the first game of a brief two-game series from Comerica Park in Detroit, MI at 7:08 ET in a game televised nationally on MLB Network.

The posted money line at Pinnacle Sports has Los Angeles as a small underdog for this contest at current odds of +102.

Many experts predicted that this would be the World Series matchup this season, and while that may indeed be the case neither team has been as impressive as expected so far this year. The Tigers were expected to run away with the American League Central, but their lead over the second place Kansas City Royals is only 3½ games after losing the last three games to the Tampa Bay Rays here at home this past weekend.

The Dodgers meanwhile were looking up at the San Francisco Giants for most of this early season, but with the help of a major Giant slump the Dodgers have now taken over the National League West lead by one game. That is not to say that Los Angeles has not done its part, especially on the road where the Dodgers are 29-17, which is the best road record in the Major Leagues.

Sadly, Verlander’s best days may be behind him as he will probably never regain the form that earned him two Cy Young Awards earlier in his career. Granted Verlander comes off of three starts Quality Starts over which he allowed seven earned runs in 19 innings, but he has hardly been overpowering while doing so and his fastball is averaging only 93.4 MPH this season.

We say “only” because while most pitchers would not mind averaging 93.4, that figure is a career low for Verlander and he has not been clocked at 100 MPH since 2012 after hitting that magical mark many times previously. As a result, his strikeouts are way down this year to just 6.87 per nine innings and, just as disturbingly, his walks are up to 3.32 per nine.

He is facing a Dodger lineup that is batting .270 vs. right-handed pitchers on the road this season, where they are averaging 4.57 runs per game against them.

Ryu meanwhile is having an excellent season going 9-4 with a 3.08 ERA, 1.19 WHIP and a fantastic ratio of 81 strikeouts vs. 19 walks. More importantly, he has done a great job of maintaining that form as he enters this contest off of four straight Quality Starts, allowing two runs or less in three of those outings and three runs in seven innings in the other.

Granted the Tigers are second in the Major Leagues in batting at .275 and fourth in runs scored at 4.64 per game, but they are batting a more “normal” .258 vs. left-handed pitchers over the last 10 games, over which their scoring is down a tad at 4.40 runs per contest.

Therefore, we feel that the Dodgers have the pitching edge here and when you factor in their Major League best road record, Los Angeles appears to nice value at a small underdog price on Tuesday.

MLB Pick: Dodgers +102

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