White Sox the MLB Pick to Slow Tigers Division Quest

LT Profits Sports Group

Monday, September 22, 2014 5:29 PM GMT

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 Monday.

 

There could be an upset in Motown Monday night with a rookie seemingly overvalued for the favorites as right-hander Chris Bassitt and the Chicago White Sox (71-84, 32-46 away) pay a visit to southpaw Kyle Lobstein and those Detroit Tigers (86-69, 41-33 home) in the first game of a three-game series from Comerica Park in Detroit, MI at 7:08 ET in a game available on CSN-Chicago.

The posted money line at Bet365 has Chicago as a decided road underdog for this contest at current odds of +153.


Tigers on the Verge
The Tigers may need to guard against a letdown here after going on the road this weekend and taking two out of three from their closest pursuers in the American League Central, the Kansas City Royals. That leaves the Tigers with a 1½-game lead in their quest for a fourth straight divisional title, and they seem to be in very good shape regardless of tonight’s outcome with their last seven games being against the also-ran White Sox and Twins.

The White Sox are not going anywhere once the regular season ends this Sunday, but at least they have been improved MLB picks this season after finishing in last place in the AL Central at 63-99 last year. The biggest improvement has come on offense, where Chicago has gone from scoring the fewest runs in the American League in 2013 to ranking seventh in that department this year with 4.14 runs per game.


Lobstein at This Price?
Yes, the Tigers are 4-0 as a team in every start made by Lobstein since his recall on August 28th, but is that enough to justify this enormous price on the rookie? And oh by the way, this is easily the most he has been favored by as his biggest price over his first four starts was -120. After all, it is not as if he was some super-hot prospect when he was called up and this may without exaggeration be the biggest start of his life, so there is no knowing how he’ll react.

Besides, it is not as if he is the reason that Detroit is unbeaten in his four starts as he has a rather ordinary 3.58 ERA through 27.2 innings with bad command numbers, as he has a low 18 strikeouts vs. a rather high 11 walks.

It also hurts Lobstein’s cause that the aforementioned improved White Sox offense is batting .264 vs. left-handed pitchers over the last 10 games while averaging 4.42 runs against them in that time.


Bassitt Not All That Either
Now granted, the fellow rookie Bassitt has not done much in his three starts for the White Sox either, although the one good start he had was a very good one as he held the Oakland Athletics to one run on five hits with five strikeouts in six innings. Unfortunately the youngster was unable to build off of that effort as he struggled vs. the Royals last time out surrendering three earned runs on six hits plus four walks while laboring through 94 pitches in 3.2 innings.

Bassitt may have more upside than Lobstein though as the 25-year-old had a 1.56 ERA, 1.15 WHIP and a nice ratio of 36 strikeouts vs. 14 walks in 34.2 innings at Double-A at the time of his recall. At the worst, this starting pitching matchup between two rookies seems like a wash that would make this big price unjustified.


Better Bullpen
And with that said, it is the underdog White Sox that have had the better bullpen as of late as the Chicago pen has a respectable 3.33 ERA over the last 10 games while the Detroit pen is struggling as usual with a 4.44 ERA in that same 10-game span.

Add this all together and the White Sox seem to offer good underdog value at this nice price in Detroit on Monday.

MLB Pick: White Sox +153