September 7, 2013

Best Money Pitchers in Baseball (Updated 9/7/13)

And down the stretch we come! Most starting pitchers only have around four starts left to the season to change their fortunes, and some of these men are clearly doing it better than others are. Join us today at Bang the Book, as we zero in on some of the best pitchers that MLB betting action has brought us over the course of the whole 2013 season.

For the first time in quite some time, we aren’t talking about Patrick Corbin as the top money pitcher in the game. Corbin and the Diamondbacks have fallen upon hard times, as the southpaw has been beaten in three straight starts as -127, -175, and -148 favorites. He also had a pair of losses back at the end of July and the beginning of August, and in the end, he is now just 21-7 for the team in his 28 starts this year with a profit of $1,138. Corbin is still ranked fourth in the league for profits, but a lot of that has been product of what happened at the start of the year instead of what has happened over the course of the last several weeks. Not surprisingly, as Corbin has faltered, so too have the D’Backs, who have completely fallen out of the chase for the Wild Card and the NL West in the National League.

A total of seven pitchers at this point have profits of at least $1,000 this year. The man who is in front of it all is Zack Greinke. Greinke has been nuts this season, going 14-3 with a 2.78 ERA. Those numbers aren’t good enough to make him the ace of his own staff (that goes to Clayton Kershaw, who is sure to win the NL Cy Young Award this year), but it does make him the most profitable pitcher in the game. Greinke has led the Dodgers to wins in seven straight starts and in 13 out of 14, and he is now up $1,543 for the year.

The man who is going to win the Cy Young Award in the American League, Max Scherzer is still proving to be the best money man in the AL as well. Scherzer has now been beaten for a second time on the season, and he hasn’t been nearly as dominating over the course of the last several starts as he was in his first 25 or so, but there is no doubt that this is one of the most feared pitchers that we have in the game right now. A 19-2 record, a 2.88 ERA, and 209 strikeouts in 190.1 innings of work don’t lie. Scherzer has been flat out amazing.

Sometimes you’d rather be lucky than good, and if that’s the case, Jorge De La Rosa has been a lot more fortunate that anything else. Sure, De La Rosa hasn’t given up more than three runs in a start in seven straight, but he is still playing for a Colorado team which really hasn’t been good at all over the course of the last few months. Alas, De La Rosa is quietly 16-6 with a chance to still win 20 games this year, and he has gotten the victory in his last six straight starts thanks to his offense. Still, this has quietly been a massive year for the Colorado southpaw, and in the end, he has netted $1,145 in profits for his team.

The biggest surprise of the bunch is the fact that there is a member of the Miami Marlins even on this list. Jose Fernandez might be the best young pitcher in baseball though, and he has to be good to have taken the Fish to a 17-10 record in his 27 starts. The youngest All-Star has a profit of $1,075 thus far this year, and though the oddsmakers have caught up and have started lining him as a huge favorite on a bad team every time he is on the mound, it’s not making much of a difference. Fernandez allowed one hit over seven frames in a 7-0 victory over the Nats last time out, and that brought him to 11-6 with a whopping 2.23 ERA this season. Oh yeah, and he has 182 strikeouts in 165.2 innings of work as well. Did we mention that he only just celebrated his 21st birthday?

Rounding out the list of the $1,000+ pitchers, we have Chris Tillman and Hyun-Jin Ryu. Ryu and Greinke make up the only two teammates on this list, while Tillman has consistently found ways to win games for the Orioles this season. Ryu has some back problems that might keep him out of his next scheduled start, but we can’t take away from the fact that this rookie is 13-5 on the season with a 3.02 ERA. Tillman probably has the worst numbers of anyone here in the Top 7 in the game, as that 3.71 ERA isn’t exactly pretty, but he is 15-5 to show for his work, and he has been one of the most consistent pitchers that we have seen all season long in the AL East.

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Adam Markowitz

is a staff writer living in the Orlando area. He has covered NFL, MLB, college football, CFL, AFL, NBA, college basketball, NASCAR, golf, tennis, and the NHL for a number of various outlets in his career, and he has been published by a number of different media outlets, including the Orlando Sentinel and the Wall Street Journal.

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