Ten underpriced MLB pitchers worth backing

May 25, 2022 07:27 AM
USATSI_18230333

A couple of weeks ago, I focused on 10 MLB starting pitchers that bettors should be giving up on or fading. Since then, the results have been mixed on the list, with some, like Patrick Corbin, continuing to flounder, and others, like Zack Wheeler, perhaps taking motivation from my slighting. Of course, for every struggling player in a given sport, there figures to be one on the opposite end thriving. That is the group I’m going to zero in on today, specifically looking at starting pitchers that have been quite effective in the early going yet still seem to be underpriced by oddsmakers. That in itself equals betting value. 

The guys I will be focusing on aren’t the big-name pitchers we’ve come to expect huge results from year after year, such as Gerrit Cole, Max Scherzer or Justin Verlander, all three of whom have produced nice profits for bettors in 2022. These are starters that seem to have caught fire this season, perhaps the start of bigger careers forthcoming. In that regard, they could be considered hidden gems if their elite performances continue. These are pitchers I’ve been backing consistently in the last few weeks and I feel will continue performing at a high level. 

These pitchers generally have not commanded respect in the past, which is making them underpriced right now. The situations surrounding each can vary. In some cases, the pitcher is solid and benefitting from an improving team. Others are pitching in the shadows of bigger stars and, therefore, are not taken as seriously. Regardless, let’s take advantage while we can: 

Chris Bassitt (New York Mets) 

Despite starting last year’s All-Star Game for the American League, Bassitt began this season with the NL’s Mets in the middle of the starting rotation depth chart. That immediately brings a bit of an undeserved downgrade, as if pitching behind Jacob deGrom and Scherzer makes him a lesser pitcher. He has been solid since his first start for New York, going at least 5 2/3 innings in all eight outings. The Mets are 6-2 in those starts, good for + 3.9 units of profit. In only two of the starts was Bassitt favored by more than -145 as well, so quite the value when compared with that of deGrom or Scherzer. With a WHIP of 1.089 and K/9 rate of 9.1, he is right around the career-high numbers he set last season in Oakland, proving himself a solid addition to his first-place team’s rotation. 

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