MLB Pick: Underdog Value Play Wednesday

LT Profits Sports Group

Wednesday, May 15, 2013 4:00 AM UTC

Wednesday, May. 15, 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 tern value. Here is their Underdog Value Play for Wednesday.

A rookie starting pitcher may have crossed over into overvalued status on Wednesday night when veteran Shaun Marcum and the New York Mets (14-22, 5-10 away) pay a visit to that rookie Shelby Miller and the St. Louis Cardinals (25-13, 11-6 home) in the third game of a four-game series from Busch Stadium in St. Louis, MO at 8:15 ET.

The posted money line at Pinnacle Sports has the Mets as a road underdog for this contest at current odds of +184.

The Cardinals currently own the best record in the Major League after winning the first two games of this series, although their .658 winning percentage is lower than you would expect for a team to be leading the majors at this stage of the season. Nonetheless, St. Louis took the series opener 6-3 on Monday and followed up with a 10-4 victory last night.

The Cardinals have been getting outstanding pitching this season as they lead the majors with a 3.08 staff ERA, and all five of their starters have an ERA of 2.88 or better. The bullpen has struggled though and their starting pitcher tonight Miller seems like a prime “bounce” candidate at this fat price.

Now do not get us wrong as Miller has been terrific, as he is 5-2 with a miniscule 1.58 ERA and 0.88 WHIP while holding opponents to a .179 batting average and he tossed a masterpiece vs. the Colorado Rockies Friday hurling a Compete Game one-hit shutout with 13 strikeouts and no walks.

However, keep in mind that we are talking about a pitcher that made a quick ascent through the St. Louis minor league system after being selected with the 19th pick of the first round in the 2009 MLB Draft, and he enters this contest with all of 13 Major League starts. Yes, he has been brilliant this season but tonight marks the second time this year that he has been installed as a -200 favorite, and the first time it happened he lost 9-0 to the Pittsburgh Pirates.

The moral there is that as great as Miller has been, it still may be too soon to coronate him with these kinds of price tags, and the fact that the youngster has thrown 113, 106 and 113 pitches in his last three starts respectively could mean we could see the Cardinals’ bullpen fairly early tonight. That could easily swing things in favor of the Mets at a great price, considering that unit has an ugly 4.99 ERA and 1.39 WHIP while yielding a high opponents’ batting average of .266.

Yes, Shaun Marcum has been awful in his three starts for the Mets, but Manager Terry Collins indicated he may have rushed Marcum back too soon after beginning the year on the Disabled List with both a neck injury and right biceps tendinitis, and Marcum recently added a brand new thumb injury, although X-Rays came back negative.

Marcum should improve with more work as he is now seemingly healthy given those X-Ray results, and when Marcum is right he is a good control pitcher with a career 3.84 ERA and 1.24 WHIP. He showed no indication of slowing down while with the Milwaukee Brewers last season, going 7-4 with a 3.70 ERA, 1.27 WHIP and 109 strikeouts vs. 41 walks, so he could provide nice value at this price vs. a rookie starter.

This play looks to have long term value so back the Mets at a big price on Wednesday.


MLB Pick: Mets +184

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