The weekly report card identifies contrarian opportunities in MLB. Combined with the NL and AL team reports, the report and respective plays are released on Tuesdays and Wednesdays each week and includes featured contrarian opportunities based on public sentiment and net money won.
Summary results of recommended plays
Last week, I recommended playing
against the Mets and R.A. Dickey in their home game at Citi Field versus the
Miami Marlins. This game proved to be a losing one as R.A. Dickey won the game, 6-1, and extended his record to 16-3 for the season. The Marlins were installed
as +146 dogs.
In the other games, I recommended fading Jeff Francis and the Colorado Rockies in his two starts. The first
start was against the Dodgers last Wednesday, and Francis pitched decently but
lost 6-4 to the Dodgers. The Dodgers were installed as -200 favorites in that
game. In his next start, Francis got plenty of run support in his 9-6 upset win
over the Brewers, who were installed as -140 favorites. So, not the best of
weeks, losing two of three recommended plays for a net loss of 0.40 units per
one unit wagered.
The bottom line
To date, contrarian starter plays have produced an 18-18 record, making 0.81
units per unit wagered. So, with each play graded for 5 units, a net gain
of 4.05 units; not the best, but better than a huge loss.
The week ahead starting
Wednesday August 15, 2012
There are five starting pitchers who have had fantastic seasons and made over 10.0 units per unit
wagered in their starts. Gio Gonzalez has the best team record with 18 wins and
has made 10.90 units per unit wagered. He is commanding a higher and
increasingly more overvalued line in his starts. In his last start, he was
installed as just a +106 dog at San Francisco, which the Nationals won 14-2. In
his second to last start, he was installed as a big -210 favorite at Houston, escaping with a 4-3 win. Over his last two starts, he has thrown 216
pitches, matching his highest of the season. Fatigue becomes a bigger
factor at this point of the season, especially with more diminutive starters like Gonzalez. Not taking a thing away from his incredibly successful
season, I nonetheless suggest that, since the Nationals are leading in the NL
East, playoff bound, and Gonzalez has flashy stats, the
public is to blame for the overvalued lines. This presents an
opportunity to fade him in his next two starts.
Gonzalez will start next against
the Mets and Young this Sunday starting at 1:35 PM ET. I fully expect this line
to be at -200 or perhaps even higher. I recommend a 5* (normal) play on the
Mets in this game.
His next start after that will more than likely
occur on August 24 at Philadelphia, a team that begun playing the spoiler of late.
Philadelphia took two of three games from the Cardinals and have pitched
back-to-back shutouts in the first two games of the Marlins series. This is
also an opportunity for the Braves to close in on the 4 ½ game gap that the
Nationals currently enjoy in the NL East.