Each day LT Profits Sports seeks an overlay side that has a better chance of cashing than its spread, offering long term value. Here is their Side Value Play for Wednesday.
While the three-time Cy Young Award winner has looked more like himself lately, we simply feel that there is too much value to pass up Wednesday night when Wandy Rodriguez and the Texas Rangers (35-30, 20-14 away) pay a visit to fellow southpaw and reining Cy Young winner Clayton Kershaw and the Los Angeles Dodgers (37-28, 25-10 home) for the first of two games from Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, CA at 10:10 ET in a game televised regionally on MLB Network.
The posted money line at Pinnacle Sports has Texas as a humongous road underdog for this contest at current odds of +245.
Rangers Won Last Two Nights in Texas
The Rangers took the first two games of this home-and-home series back home in Arlington, winning the opener 4-1 on Monday and then prevailing 3-2 last night, losing a 2-0 lead in the ninth inning on a two-run homer by Justin Turner but then winning in the bottom half on a walk-off homer by Robinson Chirinos. Texas has been one of the hotter teams in baseball as it is now up to second place in the American League West and only 2½ games behind Houston.
The Dodgers maintain a 2½-game lead in the National League West over the defending World Champion San Francisco Giants in second, but Los Angeles has now been the losing MLB pick in three of its last four games and it has cooled down considerably since a terrific start during a home-dominated early part of the schedule. The Dodgers do still own the second best home record in baseball at 25-10, trailing only the St. Louis Cardinals (26-7).
Kershaw Looking More Like Kershaw…
Now do not get us wrong, we have all the respect in the world form Kershaw and we knew that he would return to his vintage form eventually. Clayton still does not have his typical numbers that we are used to as he is 5-3 with a 3.21 ERA and 1.06 WHIP, but his last four starts have been more like it as he has allowed a total of three runs and 14 hits in 28.2 innings with 39 strikeouts vs. six walks!
With that being said, he did uncharacteristically walk three San Diego Padres in 6.2 innings in his last start Friday while tossing a season-high 117 pitches, leaving open the possibility that he may not be as sharp as usual tonight, which is a concern at monstrous odds like these. And because Kershaw is usually a prohibitive favorite, the Dodgers are actually showing a small loss of -0.09 units in the games that he has started this season despite an 8-5 team record.
But the biggest reason not to lay these big odds with Kershaw in this spot is because his mound opponent has been just as hot lately.
…But Rodriguez on a Nice Roll Too
Rodriguez is 3-2 with a 3.03 ERA and 1.18 WHIP overall this season and he comes off of another nice outing vs. the Minnesota Twins where he allowed just one run and three hits in 6.2 innings. That marked the third straight start that Wandy allowed two earned runs or less, leaving him with a 1.86 ERA and 1.09 WHIP over those three outings with 14 strikeouts vs. three walks in 19.1 innings.
Taking things back a bit further, Rodriguez has allowed three runs or less in five consecutive starts as well as in eight of his 10 starts overall in his first season with the Rangers, making a seamless transition from the National League where he has spent his entire career before this year.
And because is spent so much time in the NL, he has faced the Dodgers often and although he is only 5-5 in 13 career appearances including 12 starts against them, he does have an excellent 2.64 ERA over those outings and a sparkling 1.45 ERA in his career here at Dodger Stadium in seven appearances, which in itself may make Rodriguez worth grabbing at this price regardless of his mound opponent!
At Their Best vs. Better Teams
Finally, the Rangers have had an uncanny knack for playing at their best vs. the better teams in the league as they are now 29-9 in their last 38 games vs. teams with a winning records.
As great as Kershaw is, we feel that the Rangers offer tremendous value at this price with as hot as Rodriguez has been, so look for those Texas winning ways vs. teams with winning records to continue while visiting those Los Angeles Dodgers on Wednesday.
MLB Pick: Rangers +245