April Propositions: Will There be a No-Hitter or Perfect Game?

jake arrieta

Wednesday, March 15, 2017 1:42 PM GMT

Major League Baseball’s Opening Day is fast approaching! 5Dimes has released a handful of monthly propositions for unlikely events to happen in April. Let’s look at odds for a no-hitter and/or perfect game.

The 2017 MLB season begins Sunday, April 2, with three games, highlighted by the Chicago Cubs taking the field as World Series champions for the first time since 1909. They play at rival St. Louis, which signed a key to that Cubs World Series run, outfielder Dexter Fowler, in free agency.

Rather surprisingly, just one no-hitter was thrown in baseball last season – after seven of them in 2015 – and it was by Cubs right-hander Jake Arrieta. That was on April 21 in Cincinnati, a 16-0 Cubs rout. Arrieta struck out six, walked four and allowed only six balls hit out of the infield. The 16-run margin was almost the most-lopsided no-hitter in major-league history. The record was in 1884 when Pud Galvin and Buffalo beat the Detroit Wolverines 18-0 in the National League.

It came just 11 regular-season starts after Arrieta's first career no-hitter, which was Aug. 30, 2015, at the Los Angeles Dodgers. Arrieta joined Max Scherzer, Justin Verlander, Tim Lincecum and Homer Bailey as pitchers with two no-hitters this decade. The Reds hadn't been no-hit in a regular-season game since 1971, when Rick Wise did it for Philadelphia at Riverfront Stadium. It was the 15th career no-hitter by a Cub. Arrieta, who likely is pitching his final season as a Cub because he will command big dollars as a free agent after the season, is scheduled to make his 2017 debut in St. Louis on April 4.

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5Dimes gives MLB odds of +180 that a no-hitter will be thrown in April with none at -260. Pitchers generally are considered ahead of hitters in the first month of the season, and there are plenty of cold-weather games early in April, which theoretically works against hitters. However, the last April no-hitter before Arrieta's was by the White Sox's Philip Humber on April 21, 2012, against the Seattle Mariners – and it was a perfect game. Humber is on the short list of worst-ever pitchers with a no-hitter/perfect game as he retired with a career 16-23 record and 5.31 ERA.

There have been 295 no-hitters in major-league regular-season history. The San Diego Padres are the only current team to never have one.

There have been just 23 perfect games. You can also bet whether there will be a perfecto in April, with yes at +1400 and no -3600. The last one in MLB was by Seattle's Felix Hernandez on Aug. 15, 2012, in a 1-0 home win over the Tampa Bay Rays. That was one of three perfect games that season. Humber and San Francisco's Matt Cain had the others.

Washington's Scherzer nearly had a perfect game on June 20, 2015, as he retired the first 26 Pittsburgh Pirates. However, he then hit pinch-hitter Jose Tabata on a 2-2 count – many believe Tabata leaned into the pitch – and would have to settle for a no-hitter. The most famous perfect game was by the Yankees' Don Larsen in a 2-0 win over the Brooklyn Dodgers in Game 5 of the 1956 World Series.

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