1. Clay Buchholz (Red Sox) – Two weeks ago when I wrote the premiere edition of Pitchers Likely to Make You Money, Clay Buchholz was in the top spot and here he is again. He sputtered for the first time all season in his latest outing with a decidedly mediocre performance against the Twins where he allowed four runs on seven hits yet the Sox still won. Buchholz is 6-0 with a 1.60 ERA and a 1.03 WHIP. The only downside is the lumber you have to lay.
2. Felix Hernandez (Mariners) – King Felix struggled a little bit early this season but you just knew the pride of Valencia, Venezuela would be comin’ like a freight train. And if you backed him over his last four starts, that train would be delivering C-Notes directly to your wallet. Expect more of the same from this perennial All-Star.
3. Matt Moore (Rays) – Like Buchholz, Moore is 6-0 and his team has won each of his seven starts. I’m putting him third because I’m a bit leery of his propensity for allowing walks. He was in and out of danger in his last start but still limited the damage to only two runs but he was done by the 6th inning, tossing 104 pitches. The oddsmakers will make you pay a heavy price to back Moore going forward so caveat emptor.
4. Jeremy Guthrie (Royals) – The nine-year veteran has always flown under the radar because he has pitched for some lousy teams. But at 34-years-old he’s turning heads with a 5-0 record and a 2.28 ERA. He’s an attractive pitcher to tail because he plays on the lightly regarded Royals and you can often get a +EV price.
5. Yu Darvish (Rangers) – The knock on Darvish is that you’ve got to lay the heavy lumber because he’s not only a stellar pitcher but is backed by a potent Texas lineup. Nevertheless, the guy is a strikeout machine and he keeps notching wins for Texas and our sport picks.
1. Matt Harvey (Mets) – The young Mets ace was first in our rankings last time and he’s done nothing to diminish that achievement since. Though he may only be 4-0, the Mets have won six of his seven starts and last time out he was brilliant, allowing only one hit in a complete game no decision that turned out to be a victory over the White Sox. He’s not exactly a well-kept secret so you will be laying big chalk on a great pitcher but a subpar team.
2. Jordan Zimmermann (Nationals) – I had Zimmermann listed at number five in our premiere edition but he has vaulted to our second spot in the cash money rankings. The young man is en fuego, boasting a dazzling 1.59 ERA and sporting a 6-1 record. Lay the lumber and cash your ticket with this kid.
3. Patrick Corbin (Diamondbacks) – Patrick who? Yeah, it’s Patrick Corbin, a 23-year-old 2nd round draft pick in 2009 and now absolutely dominating major league hitters at a park near you. He outdueled Cole Hamels in his last start and you can still get him at a decent price at the MLB odds windows.
4. Lance Lynn (Cardinals) – Lynn recorded his first loss of the season after getting bested by Cubs starter Travis Wood but don’t let that hiccup deter you from tailing Mr. Lynn. He’s holding opposition batters to a .192 batting average and there’s nothing to say he won’t continue mowing them down and lining our pockets.
5. Kyle Kendrick (Phillies) – Kendrick is not routinely mentioned in the rarified air of elite pitchers but it’s hard to argue with what he’s done lately. He is 4-0 in his last four starts and shutdown the World Champion Giants en route to a 6-2 victory as +130 underdog.