Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Young Guns You Can't Ignore

When placing a bet on a baseball game there is a lot more to look at than how the teams have recently played or what their overall records are going into the match-up. Opposing pitchers, line-ups and weather conditions all factor in but many of us don't have the time to check all of that out while placing a quick bet on our phones. Here is a look at the top pitchers to put your money on, or to stay away from if your favorite team is facing these guys.

Johan Santana, CC Sabathia, Roy Halladay, Josh Beckett. Yea, yea, we've heard enough about them prior to and during the season. Everyone knows the big name, older men on the mound, but not many know the younger guys that are on the prowl, lighting up their opposition. Here is a look at ten of the best hurlers in the league that are under 25 years old.

The youngest of the group is Rick Porcello. Only 20 years old, Porcello is putting his name out there as possibly one of the best prospects in the league. He has gone 2-1 in August with a 2.45 ERA and seems to be getting better and better as time goes on. He is still very, very young and needs some work but if Detroit is playing anyone other than the Yanks or the Red Sox, there is a good chance he leaves with a win.

Mostly everyone knows the emotional 23-year-old in the Bronx, but still people don't believe he is a reliable starter. Joba Chamberlain has gone 8-3 overall and is 6-1 with three no decisions since June 24. This is the time of the year that Joba shines and no one should put their money down against the future of the Yankees rotation.Also just 23-years-old, Felix Hernandez is making a name for himself on the mound.

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The Mariners' young gun is 12-4 overall with a 2.72 ERA and is 3-0 this month. Hernandez is a gem, plain and simple, and he rarely puts out a bad performance. Chances of Seattle winning when he is scheduled to make a start are always good and everyone should be rushing to place a bet when they see his name on the card.

A more obscure starter is Tommy Hunter from the Rangers. Texas has gone 6-2 in the last eight games that Hunter (23) has started and he has gone 3-1 in August. He also holds a 2.64 ERA and the Rangers have a decent enough offense to put some runs on the board behind Tommy. A quick glance at the betting lines, most are tempted to go against the faltering Cleveland Indians. Don't be too quick to make that wager though, especially when Aaron Laffey (24) is taking the hill. Laffey is 3-0 (1.35 ERA) in August and 7-3 overall. The kid is killing it and the heat seems to bring out the best in him.

The 25-year-old group has the biggest names of the bunch with Tampa Bay's Scott Kazmir, San Fran's Tim Lincecum and Florida's Josh Johnson.Kazmir is 3-1 in his last four starts and has proven to be a consistent pitcher. Lincecum is 12-3 overall with a 2.19 ERA and has 205 Ks on the year. He is also 3-1 in his last four appearances and has a 1.52 ERA so far in August.

As for Johnson. He is 5-0 in his last six starts and is 2-0 in August. Johnson is 12-2 overall record and a 2.85 ERA. Ubaldo Jiminez (25) has turned it up as of late with the Rockies and has gone 3-0 this month while posting a 1.19 ERA. His overall record is unimpressive at 10-9 but as we enter the final stretch, Jiminez should put up some good numbers for Colorado.

Lastly, Giants' Matt Cain (24) has had a solid year with a 12-4 overall record and a 2.49 ERA. Although he is 0-2 in August, that shouldn't turn away any betters when he takes the mound for San Fran.Anyone looking to place a bet, or just watch the future stars of the league, should keep an eye out for this group of young men. They aren't guaranteed winners, but they are as close as you will get in the final months of the season.

Written By Brian Radewitz

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