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 Thursday.
A favorable pitching matchup could gives one of the worst teams in the league value Thursday vs. a team still hoping for a playoff run when rookie Chase Anderson and the Arizona Diamondbacks (52-68, 27-29 away) pay a visit to fellow right-hander and come-backing veteran Brad Penny and the Miami Marlins (59-61, 33-29 home) in the first game of a four-game series from Marlins Park in Miami, FL at 7:10 ET in a game televised regionally on MLB Network.
The posted money line at Bet365 has Arizona as a road underdog for this contest at current odds of +113.
Still Within Playoff Reach
The Marlins come off of a 5-2 loss to the St. Louis Cardinals last night, although they still won the series as they won the first two games. Despite being two games under .500, Miami still trails first place Washington by a reasonable seven games in the National League East and just as importantly is just 4½ games out of a wild card spot. All things considered, Manager Mike Redmond has done a fine job despite losing Jose Fernandez early on and a slew of other injuries.
The Diamondbacks do not have such wild card hopes as they are in fourth place in the National League West and 16 games under .500 while trailing the first place Dodgers by 16 games. Oddly, Arizona has actually been a decent MLB pick on the road this year at 27-29, as most of the Diamondbacks’ troubles have come at home in Phoenix where they own a Major League worst 25-39 home mark.
Bright Spot in a Dull Season
The rookie Anderson has been a rare shining light in what has been a lousy year for Arizona, as the youngster has gone 7-4 with a sparkling 3.06 ERA, and he is in great current form having allowed a grand total of six runs in his last five starts, allowing exactly one run in four of those outings and two runs on the other occasion!
This nice streak began with a start vs. these Marlins in Phoenix when Andeerson allowed one run on seven hits with eight strikeouts in six innings on July 7th. He has 30 strikeouts vs. nine walks over the five starts and a good ratio of 69 strikeouts vs. 26 walks since making his Major League debut on May 11th.
We see no reason why Anderson cannot have continued success here vs. a Miami offense that has been abysmal vs. right-handed pitchers as of late, batting a mere .201 while averaging just 2.91 runs per game against them over the last nine games.
Coming Out of Retirement
So desperate were the Marlins to add a healthy body to the starting rotation that they lured Penny out of retirement. Granted Penny was only charged with two runs with just one of them earned in his return to the Major Leagues vs. the Cincinnati Reds on Saturday, but that was only over five innings and he was hardly sharp, issuing four walks compared to three strikeouts.
We are not quite ready to back the 36-year-old as a favorite just yet, not even vs. a bad team, especially considering that the Diamondbacks have actually been competent in the road. Also, Penny’s stay in the rotation could be short-lived anyway with the Marlins expected to activate Henderson Alvarez from the Disabled List very soon.
Arizona Success in Miami
And speaking of the Diamondbacks being competent on the road, they have enjoyed their visits to the Sunshine State going 8-2 in the last 10 head-to-head meetings between these teams here in Miami.
Given this pitching matchup, look for that pattern to hold up for at least one more game and with Arizona at an underdog price in Miami on Thursday.
MLB Pick: Diamondbacks +113