Look at biggest profit makers in MLB during opening months
June 06, 2017 3:01 AM
by Ian Cameron
Each and every Major League Baseball season has its own stories that tend to develop by the time we get two months deep into a new season as we are right now. In this week’s column, I will look at some of the biggest profit makers in MLB after the opening couple months of the season and whether or not we can expect them to keep rewarding their backers.
Three surprise teams have emerged as Top 5 teams in terms of profitability. Colorado, Milwaukee and Arizona are ranked 2nd, 3rd and 4th respectively for most units won to this point of the season. The Rockies have banked over 15 units of profit this season if you have been backing them in every single game.
Colorado has been able to do it with a strong offense that is averaging 5.08 runs per game (4th in MLB) led by Charlie Blackmon, Mark Reynolds, Nolan Arenado and DJ LeMahieu, who all have a batting average of .285 or better.
Their starting pitching has been a pleasant surprise with Kyle Freeland, Jeff Hoffman and Antonio Senzatela in particular sporting sub 4 ERA’s and the Rockies bullpen has been a strength for them all season with key late inning relievers Adam Ottavino, Chris Rusin, Jake McGee and closer Greg Holland all putting up zeroes coming out of the pen.
A big reason for Colorado’s success is their new manager Bud Black. The former Padres manager is a massive upgrade from Jim Tracy and Walt Weiss – the two most recent managers in Colorado.
Milwaukee is up over +9 units of profit on the campaign. The Brewers’ starting pitching started the season inconsistent but they have received solid outings in recent games from the likes of Junior Guerra, Chase Anderson, Jimmy Nelson and Zach Davies, who have all delivered quality starts in each of their most recent trips to the mound.
The bullpen has been better of late since Corey Knebel took over the closer spot from the struggling Neftali Feliz and the lineup has pounded out 4.98 runs per game making them a Top 10 squad in runs scored that includes a monster career resurgence for Eric Thames.
Arizona is currently close to +9 units of profit this season and the Diamondbacks have done it with a solid amount of run production, averaging 4.8 runs per game, but it is their starting pitching that has really gotten it done for them. Arizona’s starters have a collective 3.62 ERA putting them 3rd in the Majors in team ERA, and they are 5th in MLB in quality starts from their starting pitching. Robbie Ray and Zack Greinke have led them with both of them possessing an ERA of slightly more than 3 on the season.
The bullpen for the Diamondbacks was a massive problem area for them last season but has also seen major steps of improvement in 2017.
Of all the teams that have improved the most in that group, Arizona and Colorado have the potential to stay in the mix in the NL West this season in my opinion, especially with San Diego and San Francisco having rough seasons.
The LA Dodgers are still the favorite to win the NL West Division but I think there are still opportunities to make money and cash tickets in support of both the Rockies and Diamondbacks in the weeks to come.
I’m not sure I feel that way about Milwaukee. The majority of arms in the Brewers’ starting rotation have not been able to string together a long streak of quality starts in a row and their bullpen could be taxed a bit moving forward by the fact their starters often struggle to pitch deep into ballgames and eat up innings.
I’m also not convinced the production from Milwaukee’s lineup will maintain at the same clip as it has to this point. Ryan Braun has been on and off the DL this season and there have already been signs of a regression in recent weeks from Eric Thames at the plate after his torrid beginning to the season.
In this bettor’s opinion, I envision Arizona and Colorado as teams that can maintain a solid semblance of profitability in the near future. I’m not sure that same potential exists for the Brew Crew in Milwaukee.