It doesn't take a baseball handicapping savant to figure out that there is money to be made this year betting on guys like Dallas Keuchel, Clayton Kershaw, Chris Sale or Stephen Strasburg. What is far more interesting, though, is to look at guys who are producing profits at similar or better rates than those superstars, and are doing it while drawing a whole lot less attention. Those are the guys that can deliver some nice prices and decent value to people who are paying attention. Here are seven MLB betting tips with advice for under-the-radar profit superstars up to this point in the season:
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CC Sabathia, New York Yankees: Sabathia is different than the other guys on this list because he has been a star in the past - a superstar. He went a combined 32-39 over the four seasons before this one, though, and was 9-12 last year. So, if you saw what he is doing this season coming then you are either psychic or remarkably more optimistic than I am. Sabathia is 7-2 so far, and the team is 10-2 in his starts. He is a difference-maker like he hasn't been since at least 2012 - which is also the last time he had an ERA lower than it is now. As a result, Sabathia is the second-most-profitable pitcher in baseball, just a hair behind Lance McCullers in Houston.
Kyle Freeland, Colorado Rockies: It's no surprise that the Rockies are prominent on this list. They have been the biggest surprise in baseball. Freeland is the fourth-most-profitable pitcher in baseball. Not bad for a rookie. He is 7-3. And the team is 9-3 in his starts. He was the eighth overall pick in the 2014 Draft, so it's not like he has come from nowhere. You certainly can't always expect a rookie to come out of the gate like Freeland has, though, and he shows no signs of slowing down - the team is 4-1 in his last five.
Antonio Senzatela, Colorado Rockies: The Colorado front office really deserves credit for their talent development - Senzatela made his Major League debut one day before Freeland did. His record is actually better than Freeland's at 8-2, but the team is 9-4 in his starts compared to 9-3 for Freeland. He hasn't been as sharp as Freeland recently, though - the team is just 2-3 in his last five outings.
Matt Shoemaker, Los Angeles Angels: Shoemaker had a spectacular 16-4 season as a rookie in 2014. He has gone a combined 16-23 since and has struggled just like his Angels have. He's still not pitching to the level he was three years ago, but he is 6-3 so far, the team is 9-4 in his starts - which is impressive for a squad that is just .500 overall, and he rounds out the Top 10 in profitability on the season among a bunch of guys more successful or celebrated than this 30-year-old journeyman.
A.J. Griffin, Texas Rangers: Griffin had a strong start to his career in Oakland, going a combined 21-11 in 2012 and 2013. He missed the next two seasons recovering from Tommy John surgery, tough, and the A's cut him loose in the end. Last year with Texas he was 7-4 in 23 starts, and this year he is 4-2 in eight starts, and the team is 6-2. His ERA has been too high both years - over five - and he has lost his last two, but as soon as he comes off his current DL stint it will be worth watching if he can keep up his winning and profitable ways.
Ariel Miranda, Seattle Mariners: We got a hint of what to expect last year when Miranda was 5-2 in 10 starts as a rookie for the Mariners. This year he has kept on rolling, going 6-2, and leading the team to an 8-5 mark in his starts. He defected from Cuba and joined the Orioles, and then was traded for Wade Miley - a trade Seattle certainly isn't shedding any tears over. The team had won three straight starts of his before a loss to Toronto last time out. Miranda was still strong in that outing, though, and is one to watch closely.
Jeff Hoffman, Colorado Rockies: Let's do something novel and finish off with a young Colorado pitcher. Unlike Freeland and Senzatela, Hoffman had a little prior experience - but not much. Last year he appeared in eight games, starting six and compiling an 0-4 record with a 4.88 ERA. Hardly inspiring. This year, though, he is a different guy - at least when looking at a small sample size. He has appeared five times, with the last four being starts. He is 4-0 in those starts and has slashed his ERA to less than half what it was. He was another high draft pick, taken one spot behind Freeland in 2014 by the Blue Jays. He wound up in Colorado in the Troy Tulowitzki deal.
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