MLB Pick: Underdog Value Play Wednesday

LT Profits Sports Group

Wednesday, July 31, 2013 4:00 AM UTC

Wednesday, Jul. 31, 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 term value. Here is their Underdog Value Play for Wednesday.

The team with the worst record in the Major Leagues looks to offer value vs. a pennant contender Wednesday night when Erik Bedard and the Houston Astros (35-70, 17-33 away) pay a visit to Miguel Gonzalez and the Baltimore Orioles (59-48, 31-22 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 Houston as a big underdog for this contest at current odds of +200.

We backed the Astros as even bigger underdogs on Tuesday but they failed to hold a 3-0 lead and lost 4-3 at +228. We would have made the same play again at that price with Wei-Yin Chen on the mound for Baltimore, and we feel the same way tonight with Gonzalez laying such an enormous price.

Yes, the Orioles are in third place and only five games behind the Tampa Bay Rays in the American League East and just as importantly they currently hold the second and last wild card spot by one-half game over the Cleveland Indians, while the Astros are playing .333 baseball in their first season in the American League, but this line simply does not support this pitching matchup.

That is not a knock against Gonzalez, as he is a fine 8-4 with a 3.69 ERA and 1.22 WHIP and is 3-1 in his last five starts. But while those numbers are solid, they are not ace-like numbers and those are usually the kinds of pitchers that these types of lines are reserved for. Gonzalez does not have great command numbers either with 79 strikeouts vs. 35 walks in 112.1 innings and he also has just a 4.00 ERA over his last three starts.

That is mainly because Gonzalez only lasted 4.2 innings in his last start Thursday while getting roughed up by the Kansas City Royals for six earned runs and eight hits while not striking out a single batter. Furthermore the Baltimore bullpen is also in a slump with a 4.09 ERA over the last 10 games.

Bedard was atrocious over the first month or so in this, his first season with the Astros, and he is still just 3-8 with a 4.28 ERA. However, he has come a long way since his ERA sat at 8.01 following a May 1st start vs. the New York Yankees, as he has nicely allowed three earned runs or less in 12 of his 15 starts since then including allowing two earned runs or less in each of his last three outings.

Bedard was an unlucky loser vs. the Toronto Blue Jays his last time out on Thursday despite allowing one run on only three hits with six strikeouts against one walk. Remember also that Bedard’s best seasons came as a member of the Orioles, so he should have extra incentive vs. his former teammates. Of course, it helps the southpaw’s case that Baltimore is batting only .223 vs. left-handed pitchers over the last 10 games while averaging a pathetic 1.45 runs against them.

Similar to last night, we will back Houston as an enormous underdog with a competent pitcher vs. a hurler that has no right being this big of a price.


MLB Pick: Astros +200

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