MLB Pick: Underdog Value Play Wednesday

LT Profits Sports Group

Wednesday, July 10, 2013 4:00 AM GMT

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

The underdogs may hold the value in a potentially good pitching matchup of southpaws on Wednesday night when the hot Gio Gonzalez and those Washington Nationals (46-44, 19-26 away) pay a visit to Cliff Lee and the Philadelphia Phillies (45-46, 23-19 home) in the third game of a long four-game series from Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia, PA at 7:05 ET.

The posted money line at Pinnacle Sports has Washington as a road underdog for this contest at current odds of +118.

The defending National League East Champion Nationals appeared ready to put some pressure in the division leading Atlanta Braves when they won the last four games of their just concluded home stand, but instead the division race has gotten really interesting with the Phillies winning the first two games of this series, leaving the second place Nationals six games behind the Braves and with only a 1½-game lead on the third place Phils.

Perhaps most disappointing is that Washington has scored a total of four runs the last two nights while losing by scores of 4-2 and 3-2 respectively after scoring 32 runs during the aforementioned four-game winning streak. The pitching has been fine in this series though and the Nats should be in good hands in that department again tonight with Gonzalez on the bump.

You may recall that Gio finished third in the National League Cy Young Award voting last season behind R.A. Dickey and Clayton Kershaw, but he had a disappointing first two months of this season. However, he has regained his 2012 form in his seven starts since June 1st, going 3-0 with a 2.11 ERA and 1.02 WHIP with 49 strikeouts against just 15 walks in 48 innings in those outings!

That leaves Gonzalez at 6-3 with a 3.14 ERA and 1.16 WHIP for the season with 109 strikeouts vs. 45 walks in 111.2 innings, and Gonzalez has been terrific in his five career starts vs. the Phillies, all coming since the beginning of last season, going a perfect five for five in Quality Starts while posting a 2.53 ERA, a tiny 0.97 WHIP and holding Philadelphia batters to a scant .175 batting average.

Granted the Phillies have their own stud pitcher going here in Lee, who is 10-2 with a 2.73 ERA, but he has looked more hittable than usual lately, especially in his last start vs. the Atlanta Braves where he allowed four earned runs on eight hits in 6.1 innings despite escaping with the 5-4 victory. That leaves Lee with a more human-like 3.80 ERA over his last three starts.

Even if you call this starting matchup even, it would still mean that Washington holds the value at an underdog price, but on top of that the Philadelphia bullpen has been a liability for most of the season, ranking dead last in the National League and second to last in the entire Major Leagues with a 4.65 ERA, leading only the last place Houston Astros (4.97).

Thus, the Nationals appear to offer long-term value at these positive odds on Wednesday.

[gameodds]3/238486/?r-1=238-92-43-349-192/us[/gameodds]

MLB Pick: Phillies +118