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 Tuesday.
The defending World Champions are finally showing some life lately and they could offer good underdog value Tuesday when the recently acquire Joe Kelly and those Boston Red Sox (52-65, 25-34 away) pay a visit to fellow right-hander Mat Latos and the Cincinnati Reds (60-58, 32-27 home) in the first game of a brief two-game interleague series from Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati, OH at 7:10 ET in a game available on NESN.
The posted money line at Bet365 has Boston as a road underdog for this contest at current odds of +114.
Red Sox Showing Life
The defending World Champion Red Sox have probably been the most disappointing MLB picks in baseball this year as they have gone from the pinnacle of the sport last season to now going nowhere this year while in last place in the American League East, a distant 15½ games behind he first-place Baltimore Orioles. However Boston is actually showing some life since the trading deadline and just took two of three from the Los Angeles Angels in Anaheim.
Unlike the Red Sox, the Reds are still in a playoff hunt trailing the division leading Milwaukee Brewers by only 5½ games despite being in fourth place in the National League Central and sitting 2½ games out of a wild card spot. However, the offense is still struggling with Joey Votto and Brandon Phillips on the Disabled List and Jay Bruce becoming a non-factor as the only legitimate threat in the lineup with pitchers now able to be careful with him.
Kelly Sparkles in Debut
The Red Sox had no life before the trading deadline and it became apparent that they starting taking a look at next season when they traded away starting pitches Jon Lester and John Lackey when that time came. However, instead of completely throwing in the towel the Red Sox have actually starting playing better, perhaps ecstatic about the fact that they received Major League players on return for those pitchers in Yoenis Cespedes, Allen Craig and Joe Kelly.
And Kelly sparkled in his Red Sox debut vs. the team that just traded him, the St. Louis Cardinals, in a World Series rematch last Wednesday where he allowed just one run and three hits in seven strong innings, although he did not factor in the decision in a game Boston ultimately won 2-1, beginning its current 3-2 spurt where all three wins were at nice underdog prices.
Remember also that Kelly is very familiar with the Cincinnati lineup having come over from the NL Central, and he allowed only one run on a solo home run in six innings in his only start vs. the Reds last year when their lineup was at full strength.
Season-High Pitch Count
Latos began this season on the 60-day Disabled List with a damaged elbow for the Reds and did not make his seasonal debut until June 6th. He did not seem bothered by the elbow while getting off to a nice start, but it has since become apparent that his velocity is not what it was as the 90.6 MPH his fastball is averaging this year is nearly two miles per hour less than the 92.5 MPH it averaged just last season.
Latos is 4-3 with a 3.12 ERA, but that is deceptive as his strikeout rate is way down to only 42 in 66.1 innings and he is currently pitching to a weak 4.28 xFIP. Moreover, it will be interesting to see how the elbow reacts with Latos coming off of a season-high pitch count of 113 vs. the Cleveland Indians on Wednesday.
Trouble Beating Righties
The Reds have had trouble vs. right-handed pitchers all season batting just .237 and averaging 3.62 runs per nine innings against them, and playing in this hitter’s ballpark in Cincinnati has not helped much either as they are still batting .237 while averaging 3.84 runs in the Queen City. Furthermore the Reds are now 6-15 in their last 21 games vs. right-handed starters.
With all of this in mind, Boston appears to offer good road underdog value in Cincinnati on Tuesday.
MLB Pick: Red Sox +114