Baseball Betting Expert Advice: MLB Underrated Pitchers
For a lot of baseball bettors, handicapping is decidedly not a sophisticated process. They pick the good teams and bet on them when they have a big-name pitcher going against a lesser name. But the problem with that is that the big names don't always deliver as they should, and there are plenty of guys they might not have heard of - often on bad teams - that are delivering big bucks. Here are seven guys this year that are delivering big profits for bettors while staying well under the radar.
Mike Fiers, Detroit: Fiers has been mostly a forgettable starter in Milwaukee and then in Houston. And in his first year in Detroit he hasn't exactly reached a new level - he is still only 5-3 with a 4.01 ERA. But the team is 8-4 in his starts, which is particularly striking for a team that is 32-37 overall and 24-33 when he does not play. That has him sitting as the fifth most profitable pitcher in baseball, behind breakout stars like Eduardo Rodriguez, Gerrit Cole and Mike Leake. Detroit has won four of his starts in a row, and six of seven, so he is definitely hot right now - and that could be useful for bettors.
Tyson Ross, San Diego: Ross is a guy you could easily feel bad for. Since 2010 he has been a solid pitcher and sometimes a little more than that. But he has played for bad teams in Oakland and San Diego and has not had nearly the success he should have had. He's still on a bad team, and at 5-3 he's not tearing up the league, but the squad is a stellar 10-3 in his starts and just 23-34 when he doesn't start. And the team has won his last six starts. Injuries have cost him most of the last two seasons, so it is good to see him back and having this success - and bettors who have paid attention have cashed in nicely.
Chris Stratton, San Francisco: Stratton had appeared in just 20 games and started just 10 in his two-year Major League career entering this season, so it was tough to be too optimistic. And the Giants haven't been playing great, and his 4.56 ERA isn't stellar, so it would be easy to keep ignoring him. But the Giants are 10-4 in his starts and 5-1 in his last six. Needless to say, that has produced some fine profits.
Matthew Boyd, Detroit: Fiers isn't the only Detroit starter performing beyond expectations. After a 13-22 record as a starter since 2015, it would have been easy to have a negative outlook of Boyd entering the season. But his 3.23 ERA is by far a personal best, and the team has gone 8-5 in his starts. He is the 11 th-most-profitable pitcher in baseball. He and Fiers are a combined 16-9 in their starts, and they are 16-28 when they don't start. These are two valuable and unexpected performers - for the Tigers and for bettors.
Dylan Covey, Chicago White Sox: Last year Covey made 12 starts and 18 appearances as a rookie, and he was 0-7 with a brutal 7.71 ERA. It would have been very easy to completely write him off in terms of expectations this year. But in six starts this year he has gone 3-1 with a tiny 2.29 ERA, and the White sox have won four of his six starts and four of his last five. He has been an underdog in every start this year, so the profits are piling up nicely - he is the 12 th-most-profitable pitcher in baseball despite having half as many starts as many guys. It's especially impressive given that the White Sox are a pathetic 24-42 overall, so his success is particularly impactful.
Marco Gonzales, Seattle: Seattle has their best record since 2007, and the pitching has been unexpectedly strong to lead the way. Gonzales had had just 14 mostly unremarkable starts since 2014 heading into this season, so expectations were very low. But he is 7-3 with a 3.42 ERA and 69 strikeouts against just 19 walks, and the team is 10-4 when he starts. Seattle has been one of the great stories of the season, and Gonzales has played a big part in it.
Dan Straily, Miami: Straily is the definition of a journeyman. He has been pitching since 2012, and plenty of time in the minors and a decent season in 2016 for Cincinnati are what he has to show for it. And winding up in Miami is hardly where pitchers go to reach a new level - especially this year when the team has dealt away every decent player they had. But in eight starts this year the team has won five and all as underdogs. That has produced some nice profits. Don't get too excited, though - the Marlins have lost his last three starts, so the good times could be fading.
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