Major League Baseball just completed the 2015 MLB betting edition of its Midsummer Classic – the All-Star Game. The American League won for the third year in a row, and Los Angeles Angels outfielder Mike Trout took home the game’s MVP award for the second season in a row. However, there are some players this year who were expected to have quality seasons but, at least in the first half, are the dregs of the major leagues at each position.
Brief Look at the 2015 MLB Betting Anti All-Stars
How Players Performance Influenced MLB Betting Odds for the All Star Game
Catcher: Rene Rivera (Tampa Bay)
So far, Rivera is batting .178 with five home runs and 21 runs batted in. Rivera had long been a backup in the major leagues until his breakout season in 2014. He hit .252 and slugged 11 home runs in San Diego. However, Padres GM A.J. Preller realized that Rivera was probably having an outlier season and shipped him to Tampa Bay as part of the Wil Myers trade back in December. Now that Rivera is putting up a strikeout-to-walk ratio of 57 to 8 at the plate, that’s looking like a smart deal.
1B: Ryan Howard (Philadelphia)
Howard was the National League MVP and hoisted a World Series title in 2008. However, he blew out his left Achilles tendon at the end of the 2011 season. The Phillies signed him to a five-year $125 million deal, and that is just one reason why what was a bit of a dynasty is now down in the NL East basement.
2B: Chase Utley (Philadelphia)
Are you seeing a trend of bad things happening in Philadelphia? Chase Utley has had some leg injuries over the past four seasons, missing about 40 games each year on the disabled list. However, he did play 155 games in 2014, but an off-season ankle sprain has caused ongoing inflammation that has him on the disabled list now. It’s time for the Phillies to help Utley get out of town gracefully.
SS: Danny Santana (Minnesota)
In the middle of 2014, Santana nabbed the starting center field job in Minnesota, even though he had only appeared in 24 minor league games out there. His defense was adequate, and his batting was terrific, with a .319 average. His 98:19 strikeout-to-walk ratio showed that his swing might have issues. Now that Byron Buxton is getting ready for major league ball, the Twins slid Santa back to his natural position. However, now he’s only hitting .213, with 57 strikeouts against four walks (one intentional, if you can believe that).
3B: Pablo Sandoval (Boston)
This hero of the 2014 World Series has been a disaster in the first year of his five-year $95 million contract in Boston, a year in which he’s making $17 million. He also showed a lack of focus by going back into the clubhouse during a game and liking photos on Instagram instead of putting his attention into the game. His hitting is well below his career averages, and on defense has bee 12 runs below average per DRS.
LF: Jayson Werth (Washington)
This year, Werth is making $21 million. At the age of 36, Werth has only played 27 games because of arthroscopic procedures on his right shoulder and a fractured left wrist. When he has been in the lineup, his batting has been awful, and his fielding has been -5 DRS. That wrist almost ended his career in 2005, and it might never heal fully.
CF: Angel Pagan (San Francisco)
Pagan only appeared in 187 games between 2013 and 2014 because of injuries, but his play was good when he was in the lineup. This season, he appeared to be healthy and ready to go, and he hit .336 through May 13. However, since then his average has been .206. His fielding is at a -8 DRS, and he has the worst metrics of all of the center fielders in baseball.
RF: Alex Rios (Kansas City)
The irony is that Rios came perilously close to starting in the American League outfield in the All-Star game, because Royals backers plugged his name on All-Star ballots. Rios did have a fractured hand that held him out for seven weeks, but after his return he has only batted .197. Now that the Royals’ Alex Gordon is on the disabled list, the Royals need to trade for another bat in their outfield if they want to hang on in the American League Central race.
Starting Pitcher: Bud Norris (Baltimore)
His numbers so far: 2-9, 6.98 ERA, 1.58 WHIP. His strikeouts are plummeting and he gives up two home runs per nine innings. As a result, his ERA has almost doubled from his 2014 numbers. If Norris weren’t taking up space in the rotation, Kevin Gausman could be getting starts.
Closer: Fernando Rodney (Seattle)
In 2014, Fernando Rodney had 48 saves to lead the American League. This year, he is 2-3 with a 5.29 ERA. He did convert 12 of his first 14 save situations, but he’s since lost the closing job to Carson Smith.