MLB Pick: Underdog Value Play Wednesday

LT Profits Sports Group

Wednesday, May 14, 2014 4:00 AM GMT

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

A short-handed lineup for the home team Wednesday may help the visitor’s ace get back on track when Francisco Liriano and those Pittsburgh Pirates (16-22, 4-11 away) pay a visit to Wily Peralta and the Milwaukee Brewers (25-14, 13-9 home) at Miller Park in Milwaukee, WI at 8:10 ET.

The posted money line at Bet365 has Pittsburgh as a road underdog for this contest at current odds of +111.

The Brewers have been the biggest surprises in baseball as in a National League Central Division that sent three teams to the playoffs last year in St. Louis, Cincinnati and their opponents here from Pittsburgh, it is the Brewers that lead the Central by 5½ games over the second place Cardinals after winning their third straight game in the series opener 5-2 on Tuesday.

The Pirates have had a disappointing start that leaves them at six games below .500 and in fourth place, 8½ games behind these Brewers. The loss last night may have taken away some momentum, but the Bucs have been playing better as of late as they had won four of their last five prior to Tuesday including two out of three from the Cardinals this weekend.

Liriano’s start has mirrored that of the Pirates in terms of disappointment, as the veteran southpaw has yet to win a game at 0-3 with a rocky 4.64 ERA and 1.45 WHIP. And this is from the staff ace that went 16-8 with a 3.02 ERA and 1.22 WHIP while leading Pittsburgh to it first playoff appearance in 21 years last season, and who started and won the Wild Card Playoff Game vs. Cincinnati that allowed the Pirates to go to the NLDS.

Still, the news is not all bad for Liriano as he does have 42 strikeouts in 42.2 innings, an indication that there is nothing wrong with his “stuff”, and this could be a nice spot to turn things around as the Brewers may have a bit of a depleted lineup.

Granted Ryan Braun made his return from the Disabled List for Milwaukee last night, but at the same time Aramis Ramirez went on the DL yesterday with a strained hamstring and then, in perhaps the biggest blow of all, Carlos Gomez was forced to leave the game Tuesday with back tightness and is questionable for this game. Gomez has nine home runs, 21 RBI and seven stolen bases in addition to providing great defense, so he would be a key loss.

Peralta is off to a fast start for the Brew Crew at 4-2 with a 2.17 ERA and 1.14 WHIP, but perhaps that start has been too good for a pitcher that has never sustained that kind of form for a long period before. And the wheels may be starting to come off despite Wily managing to escape with allowing two runs in six innings vs. the Arizona Diamondbacks last time out as he was nicked up for 11 hits with just three strikeouts in those six frames.

Peralta does not knock anyone out in the command department with 6.90 strikeouts and 1.77 walks per nine innings with a rather high six home runs allowed in 45.2 innings, which equates to 1.88 dingers per game. All of that leads to a mediocre 3.93 FIP, suggesting negative regressions in inevitable given his current ERA.

Thus look for both Liriano and the Pirates as a team to start turning their seasons around with an underdog win in Milwaukee on Wednesday.

[gameodds]3/264011/?r-1=43-238-92-349-192/us[/gameodds]

MLB Pick: Pirates +111