We are far enough into the baseball season by now that we can start to draw some conclusions based on what we have seen. Sample sizes are large enough that the betting performances of pitchers so far have at least some meaning. Some of the names at the top of the list in terms of profit generating this year are far from surprising - Strasburg, Kershaw, Cueto, Sale, Arrieta. There isn't a lot of value in betting on a player like that in most situations. There are other guys at the top of the list, though, that are providing some very nice returns for bettors, and they are doing it without gathering a whole lot of attention. Those are guys that can be very useful to bettors because of the value they can offer.
Here are five under-the-radar guys providing very nice betting performance so far this season:
Colin Rea, San Diego Padres: The team is only 7-6 when Rea starts, yet he has produced significant profits this season. The reason for that is obvious - the Padres are really terrible, so they are frequently big underdogs. Four times he has won at +170 or more. You wouldn't be blamed for not knowing anything about Rea. He's 25, but his entire career before this year consisted of six starts late last season. The team was 4-2 in those starts, so he's just continuing his hot betting streak right now. He has produced a win in two of his last three but had failed in three before that, so you can't just blindly trust him at this point. In the right spot, though, he's obviously useful.
Williams Perez, Atlanta Braves: Perez is on the DL right now with a rotator cuff injury, so you need to be patient with him, and he may not be useful again this season. He's worth keeping a close eye on, though, for one big reason - he plays for the worst team in the National League, yet the squad is 6-3 in his nine starts. The team is totally forgettable, he's only in his second year in the league, and his stats aren't eye-opening enough to draw attention, so this is just the kind of guy who can slip under the radar and get missed by casual bettors.
Rich Hill, Oakland Athletics: Hill is 36, so his story is different than the first two on this list. He hasn't had any more starting experience in recent times than the first two, though - before this season he had started just four games since 2009. Beyond that he's just been in the bullpen - and sporadically at that. The move back to the rotation is treating him very well, though. He has an 8-3 record in his 11 starts this year, with a stellar 2.25 ERA and a K/BB ratio of better than 3/1. He has given up only two deep balls in 64 innings, too. Who knows if it can last, but it's worth trying to ride the wave as long as it does.
Josh Tomlin, Cleveland Indians: Tomlin had a decent season in 2011 and has had some bright moments from the bullpen and in limited starting since. He was 7-2 in 10 starts last year, so this success this year isn't entirely new. He has a very nice 8-1 record in 13 starts, though, and the team is 11-2 in those games. The Indians, sitting atop the AL Central, are one of the biggest surprises of the season, and Tomlin is a big reason for that. Given his success, it's no surprise that he is the sixth-most-profitable pitcher in the whole league by the moneyline this year.
Michael Fulmer, Detroit Tigers: Fulmer is a 23-year-old rookie for a thoroughly-forgettable team who didn't even start the season in the major leagues, so it's no wonder that he has avoided a lot of public attention. He is delivering serious value, though - he has a 7-2 record, and the team is 8-2 in his starts. For a team that is just barely above .500 that's a very impressive record. He's been getting more attention lately, though - on June 17 a scoreless streak of more than 33 innings finally came to an end. If he can pitch about as well as he has been without doing things to make headlines like that team record then he could really be useful for bettors.
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