5 Under The Radar Pitchers To Bet On In 2011

Now that the 2011 Major League Baseball Betting season has arrived, it seems like the perfect time to zone in on some underrated pitchers that we feel will pitch much better than the odds offered on them this season.

As usual, this list will NOT include proven studs such as Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee or Chris Carpenter, as those great hurlers are generally overvalued. That is contrary to what we are looking for with these pitchers, which is value.

Chris Narveson (Brewers): Narveson was awful in the first half last season, but he showed after the All-Star break why the Brewers are so high on him. He posted a 3.89 ERA and a terrific 1.17 WHIP through 14 starts over the second half while limiting opponents to a .231 batting average, and he had 66 strikeouts as opposed to just 24 walks in 81 innings after the break as well. That is the Narveson we expect from start to finish this season, and he could be a major surprise with the Milwaukee offense helping him snag a number of wins.

John Danks (White Sox): It is surprising that Danks is not better known than he is, as he pitches in a major market. In the last three seasons, he has posted ERAs of 3.72, 3.77 and 3.32 respectively and WHIPs of 1.22 1.28 and 1.23 respectively. He also had a career high in strikeouts last season with 162, and he had a better than 2:1 strikeout-to-walk ratio with 70 walks. Perhaps people are turned off by his 40-31 record in those three years, but Danks should get more run support this year with the addition of Adam Dunn.

Also see: 2011 World Series Odds & Vegas MLB Expert Picks

R.A. Dickey (Mets): Dickey seemingly came out of nowhere last season to go 11-9 with a fantastic 2.84 ERA and 1.19 WHIP in 174.1 innings. Some may consider Dickey a flash in the pan, but we disagree because the keys to his success were that his knuckleball makes him unique nowadays. He had an exceptional ground ball/fly ball ratio and he had great control for a knuckleballer. He allowed only 13 home runs due to his heavy ball and he issued just 42 walks. Those traits do not disappear overnight, so we are looking for more good things from Dickey in 2011.

Jaime Garcia (Cardinals): Garcia was a godsend in the Cardinals rotation last season, and the key thing is that he is just 24 years old, so he has enormous potential. Garcia was shut down in mid-September after tossing 163.1 innings, and we think that was a wise move as we are looking for more big things this year. Garcia finished 13-8 in 2010 with a 2.70 ERA, and he had 132 strikeouts vs. 64 walks for a better than 2:1 ratio while surrendering a lowly nine home runs.

Ricky Nolasco (Marlins): The Marlins seem to always have good young pitching, and Nolasco fits that description quite well. You may not have noticed, but Nolasco has amassed 27 wins in the last two years. His strength has been his control, as the righty issued just 33 walks through 157.2 total innings of work last season with 147 strikeouts. Nolasco has a very good career WHIP of 1.26 in 723.1 innings mainly due to that control, and he is now the Marlins’ second starter after stud ace Josh Johnson.

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MLB Betting Tips: Back The White Sox, Marlins, Twins This Season

The 2011 Major League Baseball Betting season has begun, so this is the perfect time to take a look at three teams that we feel are undervalued and will thus be nice bets most of the year.

Keep in mind that these are not the best teams in baseball, as teams like the Phillies, Red Sox and Yankees will undoubtedly be overvalued most of the time. Rather, these are three teams that tend to fly under the radar and offer good value for those partaking in the daily grind of betting on the Boys of Summer.

Chicago White Sox: The White Sox can score a lot of runs and they have a nice starting pitching staff. As long as they stay healthy and Matt Thornton can adapt to his role as closer in place of the departed Bobby Jenks, who was erratic last season anyway, then Chicago will win many more than they lose and contend for the American League Central title.

Paul Konerko batted .312 last season with 39 home runs and 111 RBI with very little protection in the lineup after Carlos Quentin got hurt. Well, the Sox brought in one of the most feared hitters in baseball in Adam Dunn, who has amazingly averaged 40 homers and 100 RBI over the last seven years. The duo of Dunn and Konerko as well as a healthy Quentin should ensure that this team will not have many offensive slumps this season.

Then there is the pitching staff that has one of the best quartet of starters in baseball right now in Mark Buehrle, Edwin Jackson, John Danks and Gavin Floyd, and that staff will only get better when Jake Peavy is ready to return.

Also see: 2011 World Series Odds & Vegas MLB Expert Picks

Florida Marlins: They may not be household names with the possible exception of Josh Jonson, but the Marlins young top three starters, Johnson, Ricky Nolasco and Anibal Sanchez were all great last season and all give the Marlins a chance to win on any given night.

If another youngster on the offensive end in Mike Stanton can live up to his billing and help offset the power numbers lost with the defection of Dan Uggla to the division rival Braves, the Marlins will surprise a lot of people this season. Stanton certainly looked like the real deal last year when hitting 20 home runs in 100 games, and he is projected to be the clean up hitter this season, where batting behind Hanley Ramirez can only help.

Minnesota Twins: The Twins are almost always one of the least appreciated teams in baseball, and such was the case again last season when they went 94-68 with very few people giving notice. This is because Minnesota is better known for its post-season failures than for its fine regular seasons, but that is just fine with us because they are often undervalued during the year.

Remember also that they just missed having the best record n the American League last year without Justin Morneau for the second half of the year. Morneau is back and healthy now and closer Joe Nathan is also back as the closer after missing last season following Tommy John surgery. Neither of those two has had any setbacks so far, so look for another fine season put forth by the Twinkies.

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5 reasons why the Colorado Rockies will win the National League Pennant in 2010


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1. The Rockies are for real

Many viewed the Colorado Rockies as a one-hit wonder after the club came out of nowhere in September of the 2007 campaign to begin an improbable run to the World Series. In the previous 14 years of the franchise, Colorado had never won more than 83 games in a single-season. The 2008 Rockies promptly regressed back to a 74-88 record. However, Colorado was able to return to the postseason in 2009. With two playoff trips in the last three years, the Rockies have some credibility to work with heading into 2010.

2. Dodgers dysfunction

Colorado’s easiest path to the World Series is by winning the 2010 NL West title. While the Los Angeles Dodgers have won the last two NL West crowns, the franchise and team have some issues to deal with heading into this year. The owners of the club are involved in a messy divorce proceeding. Because of this, the finances of the team have been restrained during the winter and spring heading into 2010. The Dodgers failed to re-sign veteran left-hander Randy Wolf. This has left the rotation a little thin heading into this year. Also, Manny Ramirez is heading into a free agent year. He proved to be a major distraction in Boston two years ago under similar circumstances.

3. Jim Tracy

While the Rockies won the pennant in 2007 under manager Clint Hurdle, he struggled to keep Colorado’s momentum going forward. After 2008’s struggles, the Rockies started slowly again last season. With an 18-28 record after 46 games, Colorado axed Hurdle. He was replaced by veteran MLB skipper Jim Tracy. His style was a little more detailed than Hurdle’s laid-back approach. The Rockies caught fire to post a 74-42 record the rest of the way. Tracy should be able to keep Colorado’s focus on the right track in his first full season as manager of the squad.

4. Offensive thunder

Colorado’s offensive depth puts constant pressure on opposing pitching staffs. Half of the club’s everyday lineup had 23 or more homers a year ago. In addition, longtime franchise player Todd Helton (15 HR’s, 86 RBI’s, .325 AVG. in 2009) is still a big threat in the middle of the lineup to compliment the talented younger bats. Shortstop Troy Tulowitzki has emerged in recent seasons to become one of the top young players in all of baseball. He clubbed 32 homers in 2009 while driving in 92 runs.

5. The return of Jeff Francis

The Rockies managed to reach the postseason a year ago despite the absence of one of its top hurlers. A shoulder injury kept lefty Jeff Francis on the shelf for the entire 2009 campaign. He is healthy heading into 2010. From 2005-07, Francis averaged 15 wins per year for the club. At 29, he should have many good years ahead of him. With his return, a solid, young rotation should be able to compliment the club’s talented offense.

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MLB Betting: Young Pitchers to Watch in 2010

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The Major League Baseball season finally throws out the first pitch on Sunday night from Fenway Park, as the Boston Red Sox tangle with the New York Yankees. No one is going to be underestimating the value of either Boston’s RHP Josh Beckett or New York’s LHP CC Sabathia, but here at BetVega, we’ve assembled a list of the pitchers that you need to keep an eye on that you may be able to get some nice prices on at the outset of the MLB betting campaign.


Wade Davis, Tampa Bay Rays: Unfortunately for Davis, the value on the Rays really went by the boards after the phenomenal 2008 season. However, after proving that it belongs in the discussion with the Yankees and Red Sox in the AL East, Tampa Bay will have consistent odds this year.

However, Davis is really the one totally unknown commodity on this staff.

Last season, Jeff Niemann came out and won 14 games for the Rays to lead the squad. He was considered one of the top pitching prospects in the organization at the time that he came to the majors. Davis was a higher rated kiddy in Tampa Bay’s stacked farm system. In limited action last year, Davis went 2-2 with a 3.72 ERA, including pitching a complete game shutout at Baltimore in September.

Ricky Nolasco, Florida Marlins: At 27 years old, Nolasco really isn’t a kid anymore, especially by Florida’s standards, but if the oddsmakers are just paying attention to his full season numbers from a year ago (13-9, 5.06 ERA), you may be able to get some real value on him, particularly at the start of the year.

Nolasco opened up last season in awful shape, as he was optioned to the minors before the summer was even in full swing. However, he came back with vengeance in the second half of the year, going 7-2 with a 4.39 ERA and averaging 7.0 strikeouts per start. He’s a power pitcher that has pinpoint control and rarely walks batters, and with the big park in Florida to work with, odds have it that his ERA will come soaring down in a hurry.

Although once he catches fire, his value will disappear, so be sure to jump on him early!

Luke Hochevar, Kansas City Royals: Yeah, yeah, yeah. We know. Hochevar had a 6.55 ERA last year and has only gone 13-25 over his L/2 baseball betting seasons. So why are we promoting the #3 starter on the Royals?

For the first time in his career, Hochevar has a competent catcher behind the plate calling games for him in veteran C Jason Kendall, and his lineup should be able to help him out. Hochevar has shown some signs of brilliance in the past, most notably in his complete game shutout of the White Sox on September 18th of last season. He was the #1 pick in the 2006 draft, and it’s high time that he starts to pitch more like his fellow high draft pick and teammate Zack Greinke and less like a man that belongs pitching in AAA for his entire career.

Don’t be shocked to see him cash a lot of +170 tickets early on in the season.

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