One of the biggest mistakes baseball bettors – and especially those who only play the sport casually – make is to only pay attention to the pitchers with names and reputations that they know when baseball betting. Sometimes starting pitchers with names don’t perform up to those names. More significantly, there are a lot of pitchers out there that casual fans have never heard of who are providing serious boosts to the wallets of fans. Here’s a look at eight guys who aren’t exactly household names, but who should be based on the profits they have been producing this year:
Trevor Cahill, Oakland – Cahill, a 22 year old righty, is in his second full season as a starter for the A’s. The extra year of seasoning has made a world of difference, though. Last year he was an underwhelming 10-13 with a pedestrian 4.63 ERA. This season that ERA has dropped all the way down to 2.88, and the record has ballooned to 7-2. The team is 9-3 when he starts as well. The success is no fluke – his WHIP is a stellar 1.08. He hasn’t recorded a loss since May 16, and the A’s have lost just once in his eight starts since.
Kris Medlen, Atlanta – Righty Kris Medlen has spent his time with the Braves the last two years going back and forth between the bullpen and the rotation. His last eight appearances have been starts, though, and if he keeps pitching like he has been then the bullpen will only be a distant memory. The Braves are 8-1 when Medlen starts. Like Cahill, Medlen’s success is obvious when you look at his solid 1.14 WHIP.
C.J. Wilson, Texas – Wilson, 29, was able to convince the Rangers to give him another shot in the starting rotation after four full years in the bullpen and he has made the most of the opportunity. The team has won 11 of his 15 starts as he has posted a solid 6-3 record with a 3.35 ERA. The Rangers have been red hot recently, and Wilson is a part of the reason for that – the team has won his last five starts.
Mitch Talbot, Cleveland – Talbot made one start and three appearances for the Rays in 2008, but this is essentially his first season in the majors. He’s looking like an old hand, though. The Indians are 9-6 when he starts – and 18-41 when he doesn’t. None of his stats particularly jump ff the page, but he’s reliable and better than what the Indians have otherwise, and he’s almost always a solid underdog when he pitches.
R.A. Dickey, Mets – Dickey is an amazing story – he’s the definition of a journeyman. The 35 year old made his major league debut with the Rangers in 2001, but never managed to put things together. In 2006 he converted to being a knuckleballer, but the major league debut of his new pitch was a disaster and he was back in the minors. He bounced a little with Seattle and Minnesota, but was making no traction. He started great in Triple A for the Mets this year, though, and earned the call up. Since then he’s 6-0 with a stunning 2.33 ERA, and the team is 6-1 when he starts. This story has the makings of a Disney movie if he keeps winning.
Jonathon Niese, Mets – Dickey isn’t the only surprise success on the Mets’ rotation. After spot action the last two years, Niese earned a rotation spot in training camp this year, and the team is an impressive 9-4 in his 13 starts. The team has won his last five starts as well, so he’s been a part of their hot streak.
Tommy Hunter, Texas – Hunter is a 23 year old that the Rangers are bringing along slowly. He was 9-8 in 22 starts heading into this season. This year he didn’t make his debut until June 5. That was an eye-opening complete game win, and he hasn’t looked back since. He’s 4-0 with a 2.15 ERA, and the team has won all five of his starts.
Mat Latos, San Diego – Latos is a 22 year old who made 10 starts last year. This year he is a key piece in the rotation for the first place Padres. The team is 10-5 when he starts. Three of those five losses were only by one run as well, so Latos is as reliable as a kid his age can be. If you are a fan of the WHIP like I am then Latos is a particular gem – it’s at just 1.00. That’s fantastic.