Wednesday's Underdog Value Pick Lies in Verlander & Tigers +143 vs. Rays

Charles Stark

Tuesday, July 28, 2015 11:45 PM GMT

This is just too much value for me on one of the best pitchers of this last decade, add that to the fact he is pitching for one of the best hitting teams and I think we have a solid play to back the Tigers.

MLB Odds
Although I think this game is a no-brainer to take the Detroit Tigers, I can see the position the MLB odds makers are in making the Tampa Bay Rays the favorite in this spot, basically they have to make them the favorite. They came out with the Tigers as a +134 underdog and right now the line is really different at several different sportsbooks. The best odds I have seen are at Sportsbetting and BetOnline, that both have the Tigers at +145. that's very good value on Verlander and the Tigers.

 

All-Star Pitchers
For the Tigers, Justin Verlander takes the mound with a 5.57 ERA and a 1.38 WHIP, and he has been hot and cold in just seven starts after coming back from injury. His road ERA is solid at 3.22 with a 1.07 WHIP, and in his last two road starts he has only allowed two runs total in 16 innings pitched. The reason his ERA is so high is that he had three very tough outings, but that was against the Yankees, the Blue Jays, and the Orioles, three of the best hitting teams in the major leagues. This line has too much value as far as the matchups are concerned with Verlander against the Tampa Bay offense.

For the Rays, Chris Archer gets the start with a 2.67 ERA and a 1.02 WHIP. He is simply one of the best pitchers in the American League, but in his last five games there have been two times where he struggled a bit, allowing five earned runs in just six innings against the Red Sox and nine earned runs in just six innings against the Royals. So although he can be lights out at times, good hitting teams can get to him as well. On top of this is the fact that Archer probably won't pitch deep into the ballgame as that has been Tampa Bay's strategy this year.

 

Hitters
Even without Miguel Cabrera Detroit is still a formidable offense and don't be surprised if they get a few runs off of Archer. They are much higher ranked offensively than Tampa Bay in every offensive category across the board. Detroit ranks fourth in runs scored per game, third in OPS, and are tops in the major leagues in batting average batting .275 as a team. On the flipside, Tampa Bay ranks last in runs scored per game, 25th in OPS, and 27th in batting average.

On the offensive side there is a huge disparity between these two teams, but I understand that in baseball, unlike other sports, those kind of statistics don't guarantee which team is going to win.

So it comes down to a combination of the pitching matchup, offenses, and the value. When we put those three things together I think this is a solid play on Detroit. I understand that Justin Verlander has not come back as strongly as anticipated and Chris Archer is one of the best pitchers in the American League. But on value alone I am backing the Detroit Tigers with one of my MLB picks today against the Tampa Bay Rays. 

MLB Pick: Tigers +143 at 5Dimes

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