MLB Pick: Underdog Value Play Wednesday

LT Profits Sports Group

Wednesday, August 7, 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 look to have value at home in a fairly even pitching matchup between a couple of second place teams Wednesday night when Chris Archer and the Tampa Bay Rays (66-46, 29-25 away) pay a visit to Randall Delgado and the Arizona Diamondbacks (57-55, 31-24 home) in the second game of a brief two-game interleague series from Chase Field in Phoenix, AZ at 9:40 ET.

The posted money line at Pinnacle Sports has Arizona as a home underdog for this contest at current odds of +113.

The Rays have been treading water since starting a two-week stretch of interleague games last week going only 3-3 in six games vs. the National League so far including dropping the series opener here in Phoenix 6-1 Tuesday, and that inability to pick up ground vs. the supposedly inferior league leaves Tampa Bay with a 1½-game deficit behind the first place Boston Red Sox in the American League East, although the Rays do lead the wild card race.

The Diamondbacks were in first place in the National League West for much of this season, but that changed when the Los Angeles Dodgers caught fire and zoomed on by. Arizona is still hanging in though at five games back while being the only other team in the division that is over .500. The Diamondbacks also trail the Cincinnati Reds by a negotiable 4½ games for the second and final wild card spot.

Delgado has done a fine job since entering the Arizona starting rotation, and it was probably his success that made Ian Kennedy, who went 21-4 just two short seasons ago, expendable at the trading deadline. Granted Delgado is coming off of his worst start in an Arizona uniform vs. the Red Sox in Boston, but even there he was charged with just four earned runs in six innings after allowing three earned runs or less in each of his first eight starts.

That leaves Delgado at a deceptive 4-3 as he has a 3.17 ERA and a very nice ratio of 45 strikeouts against just 11 walks in 59.2 innings. He is facing a Tampa Bay lineup that has struggled a bit as of late while averaging only 3.10 runs over the last 10 games, including batting a modest .240 vs. right-handed pitching during that time.

Now the Rays’ rookie Archer has also pitched very well as he is 6-4 with a spiffy 2.65 ERA and 1.08 WHIP in 12 starts, and like Delgado, Archer is also coming off of a rather sub-par outing where he allowed four earned runs in seven innings of a 4-1 loss to the Giants. Still, considering the similarities in the two seasons these young hurlers are having, do Archer and the Rays deserve to be road favorites here?

Another factor in this contest is that while neither bullpen has been lights-out lately, the Arizona pen has still be considerably better with a 3.21 ERA over the last 10 games compared to an ugly 4.76 ERA, 1.55 WHIP and a simply brutal .305 batting average allowed by the Tampa Bay pen over that same span.

Thus, after winning at odds of +109 last night, look for Arizona to pull its second upset in as many nights while appearing to offer nice long-term value as a slightly bigger underdog on Wednesday.

[gameodds]3/240766/?r-1=238-92-43-349-192/us[/gameodds]

MLB Pick: Diamondbacks +113