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June 19, 2015 (Posted at 6:00 PM ET)

Tonight's pick is another 2% wager.

Sports Profit System is now 12-4 in June after the Brewers fell just short as underdogs.

Profiting from MLB is all about going where the odds present the most value and that's often on underdogs, short favorites and totals. Therefore while we will lose a portion of our underdog bets throughout the course of the season, they will ultimately be a very lucrative proposition because of their high payouts.

Take Tampa Bay Rays as big underdogs (+157) on the Money Line against Cleveland Indians risking 2%.
(Karns and Carrasco must start for wager to have action)

As we have stated many times, MLB is as much about value as it is about picking winners and on tonight's card there is no bigger value on the board than the Tampa Bay Rays regardless of the final score. The Cleveland Indians are currently listed as hefty favorites, however we feel the line is somewhat unwarranted. This number has been inflated simply due to Carlos Carrasco and his somewhat impressive looking 8-5 record on the season compared to Nate Karns who stands at just 3-3. The perception of these two pitchers are skewed however because of their records when in fact it has been Karns who has statistically been the better overall pitcher this season despite his record not reflecting that. 

Karns is among the pitchers that have actually performed better on the road than at home this season. Through 5 games on the highway this year, Karns has produced a 1-0 record with an ultra-impressive 1.95 ERA. Despite how well he has pitched, the Rays are just 2-3 when he has taken the mound on the road. That has been Karns' story all season long. He has proven to be a reliable pitcher however has not always gotten the added run support needed to translate those outings into wins. Eventually we expect the Rays to start backing the pitcher that has proven to produce when on the hill. It’s worth mentioning that the Rays themselves have been a much better team away from Tropicana Field going 20-13 on the highway. 

While Karns has been the victim of some unfortunate luck, the opposite has been true of Carrasco. He's a good pitcher but not as good as his record suggests. He is one of the few in the league that has actually performed worse at home this season than on the road. At Progressive Field, Carrasco has a 5.28 ERA and has been fortunate that his offense has bailed him out multiple times when he has had a poor outing. His good fortune cannot hold all season and his mistakes on the mound will soon catch up to him when his offense is unable to bail him out. 

The Indians will be hoping that they can get a quality start out of Carrasco tonight and if they don't they could likely find themselves in trouble. Danny Salazar lasted less than 5 innings in yesterday's matchup and Shaun Marcum only 2 innings the day before! There are absolutely no fresh arms in Tribe bullpen as Terry Francona used 9 pitchers on Wednesday and 5 pitchers again last night! That's a huge load on what was already not an impressive bullpen. With every pitcher having been used and extensively in fact over last 48 hours and that could spell disaster for the Indians in the later innings of this contest. In our opinion Tampa should be no more than a +125 underdog here so the fact that they are hefty dogs means there is ample value in taking them!

Tampa is one of the most complete teams in the league. They have great hitting and great pitching, the only thing lacking at times has been their offense. Tampa has the 2nd best pitching in the American League. Only the Kansas City Royals have allowed fewer less runs! Their bullpen also has more saves than any other AL club with 30 saves on the season already showing they can win those close games and often have! Defensively and Fielding-wise they are also among the best in the Majors as they've only committed 31 errors on the season!

Another reason we believe the Rays can take this game tonight is the fact that the Tribe know they have a good chance to take tomorrow's game with strike-out machine Corey Kluber on the mound tomorrow. Trevor Bauer has also been pitching well and he'll get the start in the finale of this 3-game set. What that means is that a loss for this team tonight is almost meaningless since they will likely have the edge in the upcoming games. On the other hand, Tampa knows that this could arguably be their best chance for a win in this series and should give a maximum effort tonight. This is a game that the Rays have a solid chance of winning and at this price they are certainly worth the risk. 

Other notable facts to consider:

  • Indians are just 10-20 after a win this season!
  • Tampa is 12-5 in the month of June this year.
  • Cleveland is a dreadful 0-12 since 2011 when Carlos Carrasco starts and they used 5 or more pitchers the day before!  

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