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MLB Trend Report – Undervalued Starting Pitchers – AL East Edition

Baseball is a numbers game

The mountains of data offered to fans can sometimes be intimidating, but once in a while a gem appears that can help us to make sense of what we can expect to see out on the diamond.

Here is a look at three pitchers that look to be undervalued and are worth keeping an eye on in the coming weeks.

Josh Johnson, SP, Toronto Blue Jays / Mark Buehrle, SP, Toronto Blue Jays

The Toronto Blue Jays entered the 2013 season with very high expectations after a number of high profile offseason moves thrust the team into the spotlight. A slow start to the season saw many fair-weather supporters jump off the team’s bandwagon, but things are beginning to turn around north of the border.

Generally speaking, not much went right for the Blue Jays in April. In May, the bats came around. Now that the calendar has flipped over to June the team is beginning to see live in their rotation, and that means value for the alert-bettor who hasn’t completely written the team off.

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A slow start to the season for the team’s re-built pitching staff had many Jays supporters questioning general manager Alex Anthopoulos’s decision to bring in veteran hurlers like Josh Johnson and Mark Buehrle, but if we look past their base numbers, the two have provided the Jays with some solid outings.

Johnson was hit hard in Detroit in his second start as a Blue Jay, allowing six earned runs in just 1 1/3 innings pitched, and Jays fans have had a tough time looking past his 4.38 ERA. However, if we remove that start from his stat line, Johnson’s ERA is 3.11, a very respectable number by A.L. East standards.

The Jays lost two of Johnson’s three starts since he returned to the lineup after a DL stint that saw him miss all of May. However, Johnson posted a 1.86 ERA with a 1.14 WHIP in those starts. If he continues to pitch well, the wins will come.

It’s also worth noting that Johnson is pitching for a contract as he is due to become an unrestricted free agent after the season.

As for Buehrle, he’s had an up-and-down season but has gotten back on track and may be playing the best ball of his career. Buehrle’s time in Toronto got off to a rocky start with a pair of lousy outings that saw his ERA balloon up to 10.24. That number has steadily dropped, but his base ERA remains at 4.60 which is high enough to scare off the uninformed bettor.

GTBets

Over his last six outings, Buehrle has posted a 2.13 ERA with a 1.16 WHIP. The Jays are 5-1 in those games.

The Jays have far more talent than their record indicates. As the team works to right the ship the rest of the way, there will be money to be made for the opportunistic bettor.

Chris Tillman, SP, Baltimore Orioles

There may not be a team in all of baseball as snake-bitten when it comes to producing quality starting pitchers as the Baltimore Orioles have been. The club has paraded out failed prospect after failed prospect in an attempt to supplement their always potent offense.

The franchise’s outlook took a major turn for the better in 2012 when the team was able to get some quality starts from a few unlikely sources. Now Baltimore is building a winning tradition under manager Buck Showalter and they are right in the thick of things in the A.L. East race once again this year.

One player worth keeping an eye on from a betting perspective is starting pitcher Chris Tillman. Tillman’s career got off to a rocky start as he went 7-15 with a 5.58 ERA in his first three years with the big club, and given Baltimore’s track record with starting pitchers it was easy to write him off.

In 2012, Tillman made some changes to his mechanics before a July call-up and went on to go 9-3 with a 2.93 ERA the rest of the way. His success has carried over into this season as he is 8-2 with a 3.71 ERA.

What is of note for our purposes is the success he has had on the road. Tillman is 11-2 with a 2.91 ERA and a 1.16 WHIP in 16 road starts over the last two seasons. The Orioles are 13-3 in those 16 starts, including a perfect 7-0 this season. Further to that, the Orioles have been priced as underdogs in 10 of those games, including five times this season.

Those numbers are certainly worth filing away for future reference.

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About Gino Bottero

Gino is new to CappersPicks.com but NOT new to the online gambling industry.He's got an AMAZING knack for discovering hidden gems when it comes to betting on sports. Stick with him as he predicts when a team will have a letdown! Check Gino out for NBA, NHL, NFL, and MLB betting articles all season long!


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