Casual fans love betting on star pitchers. That is a fact. Every fifth day when guys like Justin Verlander, Roy Halladay and Clayton Kershaw take the mound, bettors are more than willing to take the favorite with no regard to their true value. But if those aces aren’t the best pitchers to put your money on, who is?
Last season, bettors of Ian Kennedy, Jason Marquis, Aaron Harang and Rick Porcello would have made a combined 43 units. The best pitcher on that highly regarded Phillies staff? With a 16-5 record and 8.1 units won in his 21 starts, Vance Worley was actually a better value than teammates Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee or Cole Hamels.
So who have been are the best pitchers to bet on during the 2012 season? The answers may surprise you. The table below — with line data used from Pinnacle — shows the five best hurlers to bet on this season.
|Pitcher||ERA||Team Record||Units Won||Next Game|
|Bud Norris (HOU)||3.14||8-1||8.6||5/26 at LA Dodgers|
|Gio Gonzalez (WAS)||1.98||8-1||8.1||5/27 at Atlanta|
|James Shields (TB)||3.63||8-2||5.8||5/29 vs. Chicago White Sox|
|Wei-Yin Chen (BAL)||3.35||6-2||5.8||5/26 vs. Kansas City|
|R.A. Dickey (NYM)||3.45||6-2||5.6||5/27 vs. San Diego|
As you can see, four of the five pitchers listed will take the mound this weekend. Those games are all worth keeping an eye on, as both the public and oddsmakers alike have been slow to adjust their lines to reflect these pitchers surprising performances — although based on recent public betting data, many bettors are starting to buy the Orioles hot start.
We all know that past performance does not always guarantee future results, but it will be interesting to see how linemakers adjust to these early returns. Norris, Chen and Dickey have been underdogs in a majority of their games and their opening lines this weekend bear monitoring.
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