MLB Picks: Cardinals vs. Indians Featuring Value Underdog Price

Joe Gavazzi

Tuesday, May 12, 2015 2:52 PM GMT

Isolating MLB odds underdogs at a value price is the name of the game in MLB. Tonight's Cardinals vs. Indians includes a situation that is 9-0 (100%) with winning margins of 56-21.

St. Louis Cardinals (Lynn) vs. Cleveland Indians (Carrasco) (-115) 6:05 ET
This is a bit of a head-scratching MLB odds line considering that St. Louis has the best record in baseball at 22-9, while only Oakland has a worse record than Cleveland’s 11-19 mark in American League action.  Considering the previous game results of these two & tonight’s pitching matchup, you will understand why this play represents solid value.  Further inspiring the Cards is that this Indians team is the only team against whom they have failed to capture a series win in all of MLB.

I've noticed a direct correlation between a team’s hitting OPS and pitching OPS with their won/loss record.  In this matchup, St. Louis has a .747 to .719 OPS batting advantage and a .647 to .761 pitching advantage.  Those are huge edges which are directly responsible for the dichotomous won/loss records of these two.  In the previous two seasons, Cleveland won a combined 177 games.  Again this year, they were projected to be a winning team, challenging Detroit for Central Division superiority.  But, victories have been few and far between for Cleveland, who enters tonight on a run of 0-9 following a victory.  In fact, 8 of those 9 losses have all come by 2 or more runs and by a cumulative margin of 56-21.  With Cleveland having just defeated Minnesota on Sunday, it puts this situation in action.  Carrasco, with his 4.71 ERA, does not figure to be the stopper to reverse this trend.  

St. Louis is in the opposite situation, having just dropped a pair of games to the Pirates this weekend.  They have been the most resilient team in baseball in recent seasons and have not lost 3 consecutive games this season.  In fact, in the previous 2+ years, St. Louis is an MLB best 100-56 following a defeat.  With the bats still booming, they have scored 6.1 RPG with a .295 BA in their previous 7 games.  

With the fundamental edges in place, confirmed by the respective OPS numbers for these teams and the huge dichotomy in these teams’ records following a win and a loss, we can only side with the Cards here at this value underdog price.  By the way, should this line swing to St. Louis as a favorite, consider a run line MLB picks in this game, knowing that all 8 St. Louis road wins have been by 2 or more runs, while 10 of 11  Cleveland home losses have been by 2 or more runs.

MLB Picks: Take St. Louis Cardinals +107 at Pinnacle