Wednesday's MLB Picks: Why Are These Pitchers Underdogs?

Doug Upstone

Wednesday, May 27, 2015 1:30 PM UTC

Wednesday, May. 27, 2015 1:30 PM UTC

For our Wednesday MLB picks & Pitcher’s Report, we will review a trio of starting pitchers who have been very good this season yet according to the sportsbooks MLB odds are underdogs.

Mariners vs. Rays: Archer a Home Underdog
Tampa Bay has tumbled out of first place in the AL East by losing four in a row. Chris Archer (5-4, 2.40 ERA) will get call to end the Rays frustration and his last start of May will close a wild ride for him. Archer started this month 0-2 with a bloated 8.68 ERA, which was completely out of character after the way he performed in April. Since that time he’s looked like Tampa Bay ace again with a 1.96 ERA, winning twice and the Rays being 3-0.

Tonight Archer and Tampa Bay have betting odds of +110 underdogs at The simple reason for this is the Rays are taking on Felix Hernandez (7-1, 2.19) who tries to become baseball’s first eight-game winner before June. As a baseball handicapper using simple logic, if you compare the two teams from a traditional 25-cent money line for the home team (-125) and compare the two squads based on record and talent, Seattle is probably seven or eight cents better than Tampa Bay. This suggests Hernandez is worth over 25 cents more than Archer on the ML, which does seem high.

However, Seattle is 8-1 in the King’s starts and 4-0 on the road, compared to the Rays 6-4 when Archer is the starter and 3-3 at the Trop. Also, let’s be honest, Mariners players are more confident when Hernandez is their guy and plays better and with this being a matinee, King Felix and his court (teammates) are 11-0 in days games since last season.

Disadvantage – Archer and Tampa Bay


Tigers vs. Athletics: Detroit and Simon Dogs in Oak-Town
Alfredo Simon (5-2, 2.67) has been everything Detroit could have asked for and he has a 1.31 ERA over his last three starts. Despite this and the record disparity between the Tigers and Oakland, the Tigers are +115 road underdogs in the series finale MLB odds. It would certainly not appear Scott Kazmir (2-3, 3.09) is the difference for the A’s being favored at this rate since he is 0-3 with a 5.32 ERA in his last four starts.

However, when making MLB picks you often have to dig a little deeper and Simon has a 4.40 ERA in away games and Detroit record reflects this at 2-3. While Kazmir has not been in sync, last season he gave up two runs in over 14 innings to the Tigers and with Detroit only having 10 total hits in this series, he might be able to keep them down.

While we are Kazmir fans, Oakland is 6-15 at home and has tallied only 2.7 RPG in their last seven and Detroit is 8-3 versus southpaw starters, which is why we will back the underdog.

Advantage – Simon and Detroit


Astros vs. Orioles: Houston Even Underdog with McHugh
The Astros evened the series with Baltimore last night and goes after the series triumph in late afternoon action. Houston will use their solid No. 2 starter in Collin McHugh (5-2, 4.06), who after a lengthy winning streak has lost twice in his past three outings, with only five K’s in those starts.

Houston is around a +110 road pooch which is fine with them as they are 15-7 in away games and 11-5 as ML road underdogs.

When you here the name Ubaldo Jimenez (3-3, 2.82) the first thing that pops into most sports bettors heads is his inconsistency. This season his often unruly delivery has not been his undoing as he is 3-1 with a 1.29 ERA at Camden Yards. Jimenez has nine previous starts against Houston and none of them were against an Astros club as good as this, yet you still have account for Jimenez 4-0 record with a 2.24 ERA and he has not allowed more than one run in six of the past seven adventures against Houston.

This is certainly a contest which could go either way and while the value appears with the underdog, AL home teams with a starting pitcher whose WHIP is 1.100 or better, against an opposing AL starting pitcher whose WHIP is 1.200 or better, are 108-53 since 2011.

Disadvantage – McHugh and Houston

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