Top 5 pitching rotations in MLB

Pitching is the ultimate power for a baseball team to harness. Having the ability to stifle and shutdown bats is an “X factor” – many teams have great batters, and have several guys who can hit HRs and chip away. But to have a one man who can win the game, if your team is off, or if your team hasn’t been particularly strong on the batting end. That’s the power.

These are VTD’s top 5 pitching rotations in the MLB, as of 6.17.2021.

5- Los Angeles Dodgers / Record; 41-27
* Clayton Kershaw / Lefty / 6-4
W/L; 8-5
ERA; 3.39
K’s;  95
Kershaw can throw it, and throw it really well – he has been putting up great numbers on a Dodgers team for many years, and his ability to sit batters is still awesome.

* Julio Urias / Lefty / 6-0
W/L; 9-2
ERA; 3.54
K’s;  90
If you’re looking for a budding rockstar – look no further than Julio Urias. With their starting staff – Los Angeles have been able to keep their pitchers well rested on a consistent basis, because they have several guys they feel confident with putting on the bump, the Dodgers have great confidence, and they should, especially Urias who has been putting up some really good winning numbers.

4- Milwaukee Brewers / Record; 38-30
* Freddy Peralta / Righty / 6-4
W/L; 6-1
ERA; 2.25
K’s;  98
Strong armed 21 year old Peralta and their pitching squad gives manager Craig Counsell a lot of looks to work with.
I continue to be amazed by his awareness when pitching, his potential is unparalleled.

* Brandon Woodruff / Righty / 6-4
W/L; 5-2
ERA; 1.52
K’s;  97
These 2 keep batters confused and a steady dish of K’s on a consistent basis for Milwaukee. These are factors supporting Milwaukee as having one of the best pitching rotations in baseball today. Woodruff’s arm is an elite cannon without question with his fastball, and his sinker is nasty. Freddy Peralta, and Brandon Woodruff round out an impressive group for Milwaukee.

3- New York Yankees / Record; 35-32
* Gerrit Cole / Righty / 6-4
W/L; 8-3
ERA; 2.31
K’s;  113
Cole has been devastating on the mound, especially the past 3 seasons, posting over 70% win pct over those seasons. Since 2018 he has been a lockdown pitcher who can solely win games on his arm – that’s nothing to forget.

* Jonathan Loaisiga / Righty / 5-11
W/L; 6-2
ERA; 1.78
K’s;  27
Jonathan Loaisiga has shown that he can pull a low scoring, 3-1 win out, and he knows when to pitch aggressively and when to make batters swing. The Yanks lack of bats gets a lot of the blame for their struggles, and at some point a team’s offense has to win close games. 

2- Chicago White Sox / Record; 43-25
* Carlos Rodon / Lefty / 6-3
W/L; 6-2
ERA; 1.89
K’s;  97
Whatever problems that Rodon was having last season, definitely appear to have been worked out – as his pitching game has been stellar.

* Lance Lynn / Righty / 6-5
W/L; 7-2
ERA; 1.51
K’s;  80
Chicago had a pretty strong pitching staff even before they signed Lynn – now with the 6-5 righty, the White Sox have a group that can dominate teams, as shown by their 3.16 team runs against average.

1- New York Mets / Record; 35-25
* Jacob deGrom  / Righty / 6-4
W/L; 6-2
ERA; 0.56
K’s;  103
deGrom has a 1.91 ERA in 556.0 innings over the last 4 years – along with 739 K’s. He had a 1.70 ERA and a lethal 0.912 WHIP in 2018 – he appears to be coming back stronger than ever showing off his experience and great pitching ability on the bump.

* Taijuan Walker / Righty / 6-4
W/L; 6-2
ERA; 2.12
K’s;  72
New York have been very reliable with their pitching unit, especially in the late innings. The Mets, without question, have one of the best ERAs in baseball, at 3.12 as a team, currently putting them at the top spot in the majors. Walker has been an ace in the hole. They have several legitimate options on this team, including Walker and deGrom in particular. Personally, I would not want anyone over the Mets staff, as they are the ultimate assurance.

Who is more valuable to their team – Dodgers Justin Turner or the Reds Nick Castellanos

The Los Angeles Dodgers and the Cincinnati Reds are both playing well this season. The Dodgers are sitting in the 1st spot in the NL West  – and Cincinnati is sitting proudly in the top slot in the NL Central. Cincinnati has been a struggling team over the last handful of seasons – and the Dodgers have been a steady threat since 2015 – but this year has been different so far. Baseball is a numbers game – and every guy on the field is responsible for their own production as well as the team’s production as a unit.  Justin Turner and Nick Castellanos are both sitting as top hitters in the MLB this season so far.

In the 2021 baseball season – which of these players has been the bigger key for their teams early success?
Let’s take a look.

Justin Turner / 3B / .412 avg / 2 HR / 9 RBI / 1.183 OPS /  .447 OBP / .735 SLG
Los Angeles Dodgers

Justin Turner has been rock solid for Los Angeles since he put on cleats for them in 2014. His bat has been awesome and his power is underrated. He takes charge on the field and has been great getting well timed hits when needed. He hits when guys are in scoring position as well as anybody at .333 and can bring his guys in as shown with his 8 RBI. Turner has always been very patient on the plate – taking an average of 3.94 pitches per plate appearance – he has been on point as well with 3.91 this season.

Turner has hit over .300 in 5 seasons, and an average of 21 home runs since hitting age 30 and getting 365 or more at bats.
So he has had a career of being a good player, and has always been more than willing to send the ball deep to drive home guys – he is unselfish

The 36 year old vet has been key with getting hits – with a .293 career batting avg. He has been lights out this season with a hefty batting average – on pace for 120+ hits and 30 HRs – helping the Los Angeles Dodgers to a top notch record. He gets his job done on the field.

Nick Castellanos / RF / .364 avg / 4 HR / 7 RBI / 1.248 OPS / .400 OBP / .848 SLG
Cincinnati Reds

Castellanos has been red hot this season – he has been a solid player since entering the majors – but his 2021 start is looking more in tune as a HOf’er. His career best season was back in 2019 – when he hit .289 and had 27 dingers – this season so far, he is on his pace for 30+ HRs and 120+ runs and Cincinnati are in 1st place in the NL Central.

Castellanos didn’t come to Cincinnati with much spark when he arrived in 2020 – but so far in his second season – he has shown more than the expected magic that Cincinnati was hoping for when he was picked up with his 27 HRs and hitting .289 in 2019.

Nick has shown the uncanny ability to connect with the ball – he has hung 7 games with a hit or more as of 4.10.2021 – that is something that is definitely a positive. Castellanos also doesn’t hit into double plays very frequently – he makes teams earn their outs, as he has only hit into an average of 8 double plays over the last 5 seasons, so he doesnt help defenses out.

The Reds were only 31-29 last year – this year they are playing high octane offense and have been wrecking teams. If Cincinnati can get into the playoffs again this year playing like they have been – it could be fun. Castellanos played down last year – and the Reds were not a good team – this year, he is playing top notch baseball and sharp – and the Reds are looking very good and competitive so far.

It’s a long season, but Castellanos has been excellent for Cincinnati so far. It is obviously too early to say who will be the biggest key for their team – but as of now, at the very early stage of the year – it’s hard to not say Nick Castellanos. The season will determine which team is better in the end but anyone who doesn’t see Castellanos as a highly competitive and excellent reason for the Reds success is just blind.

Nick Castellanos has a career .275 batting average – so his white hot start is more unlikely. Justin Turner has a career .293 batting average – so him ending with a .300 or higher batting avg is far more likely – as his teams have been top threats in his career – one has to think that the current game of Nick Castellanos this season so far, has to be the key. Castellanos has been clutch and highly surprising, Justin Turner has not been able to make the difference quite as much as Castellanos has. With that being said – I find it very hard to say Turner is more valuable to Los Angeles than Castellanos is to the Reds. If I had to choose between Justin Turner and Nick Castellanos right now – give me Nick Castellanos – he will get on base more and be able to make plays for my entire team.

Mike Handzelek’s Late Summer MLB’s & Football Summary

Late season MLB action.

Clayton Kershaw’s has been MORE than excellent @ home. He’s been even tougher against the patsies! The Los Angeles Dodgers can hit much better than last year’s rendition. In fact, they’ve pulverized RHP over the long haul going 42-9 @ home. There’s no Monday hangovers for Kershaw as witnessed by a superb 23-7 record on Tuesdays. He’s also looked super-sharp his last 3 outings posting a 3-0 slate accompanied by a get-out-of-my-way 1.35 ERA! On the flip side, the Blue Jays are a PERFECT 0-6 in inter-league play along with a no-show 2-12 versus the NL West. With Toronto 26-54 versus LHP, we’ll gladly go to Dodger Stadium in Chavez Ravine to lay & play the LOS ANGELES DODGERS as my 8* MLB Earlybird Dependable!

The St. Louis Cardinals look to solidify their momentary percentage-point hold on 1st place in the NL Central over Chicago. They have MORE than a great chance here when they take on a team with an exhausted pen – the Milwaukee Brewers. Things are looking up with Dakota Hudson & the Cards who are 4-0 their last 4 when he takes the hill. Over the long haul, Hudson is responsible for a super-solid 13-3 St. Louie run in his last 16 starts. The flip side of the coin finds Zach Davies on the mound for the Brew Crew. Davies’ mechanics have looked more than shabby over his last 3 starts posting a ballooned 11.77 ERA. When it counts, he not only struggles mightily versus winning teams going a putrid 4-12 his last 16 but also has lost his last 3 starts versus these same Red Birds. The kicker for us has to be St. Louis being the 2nd-best team in overall pitching among the NL along with holding bragging rights to the #1 bullpen in ERA in the Senior Circuit. Let’s gladly go to Busch Stadium to play the ST. LOUIS CARDINALS as my 9* MLB Earlybird Dependable!

Don’t forget to sign up for a football package that best suits your needs. Last season, we finished 1st in NFL win percentage @ VegasTopDogs with 64% (31-18) along with ALSO ending the CFB season in a 3-way tie for best win percentage @ 62% (29-18). Review articles from Week 1 on for accurate records.

Mike’s MLB Record the last 6: 6-0 100%

MLB World Series Pick

World Series Picks

October is in full swing and while some of the sports world is tuned into the NFL other fans are concentrating on the old classic of fall baseball. Since this is the case, it is important to realize the battle for the World Series berth is definitely going to be a great struggle and one that only one team from the AL and one from the NL will reach. So which two of the teams are going to be making it to the World Series and which ones are going to be left sitting to watch the rest of the series?

AL Winner – Cleveland Indians

The Indians are not a favorite team for a lot of expert handicappers or even the odds makers in Vegas. However, the scrappy way the Indians were playing in the games all season definitely will lend to some credence of the Indians being able to pick up a few wins and make it to the series. Not to mention, the Indians have a fairly well balanced offense that is not relying on a single hitter to get the winning runs in for them. With the way the Indians play small ball as well, it will really help the Indians out as the ball will not fly out of the part as often in October.

The Red Sox and Yankees  are good teams and could pose a serious threat for the Indians, but they are teams that really seem to have worn themselves out in the regular season. You just have to look at some of the Yankees starters to see they lost a lot of velocity on pitches in September to see the long season wore on the pitchers.

NL Winner – Los Angeles Dodgers

The Dodgers have been able to battle through a lot of teams this year and even had to win a one game championship win for the NL West title. Not to mention the Dodgers have a younger pitching staff that was not really overworked at all during the regular season. Not to mention the Dodgers have been consistent in hitting on the year so far it is easy to see the Dodgers coming out of the NL swinging.

When you look at the Brewers or the Rockies you will notice that the only team between them that could challenge the Dodgers would be the Rockies. However, the Rockies were dominated in the regular season by the Dodgers and the Brewers, they simple to not have a pitching staff that will be able to stand up to the rigors that are seen in the playoffs.

Baseball Betting Made Fun with Total Runs Scored First Four Innings

Betting on Major League Baseball can be one of the most profitable sports to bet on in all of pro sports and the “wise guys” make a very good living doing just that. Baseball is built for the long haul so if you are looking for a gambling quick fix, this may not be your sport. If you are looking for a game that can make you a ton of money over the course of a season, then baseball is definitely your game.

When betting baseball two very important points come to mind, that is have a budget and by budget we mean, know what you can spend nightly and have a plan as to how much you want to spend on each game; stick to it.

Three Good Ways to Buy Bitcoins at an Online Sportsbook


Baseball is a demanding sport to bet on and as a bettor you must be prepared to lose. This is the one sport that you must budget for loss. It’s very simple, in baseball, you are going to win a lot and lose many games over the course of a season. The reason for this is a “loss factor”. Baseball is an extremely long season with 162 games in a schedule. The best of the best in baseball win around 100 games and lose around 50-60 games each season. As a gambler, you must pick your spots.


Find a great online baseball sportsbook. Bookies are a dime a dozen on the internet, everyone wants your money but is everyone willing to pay out quickly when you beat them? There are bookies that cater to baseball and baseball bonuses, do your homework and find the ones that cater to baseball and that cater to American players.


A few of tonight games are a great example of the difficulties in betting baseball such as the Dodgers taking on the Marlins with Kershaw on the mound and Vegas posting an early line of -360 the Astros taking on the Angels with Verlander at -220. With these kinds of numbers it’s hard to win anything. Not many gamblers want to spend $3.60 to win a dollar or $2.20 in the Astros case. Both of these numbers are huge and it’s a risk that most simply won’t take.


Pay Per Head’s Live In-Game MLB Betting Options

This leads to a great example of how to beat Vegas at their own game. We know that Kershaw and Verlander are pitching tonight’s games and we know the reputation for both of these guys. Although Kershaw hasn’t opened the season in grand fashion as he sits ate 1-3 on the year, you can count on him breaking out of this funk and finding a rhythm sooner than later. It’s bound to happen and it will. Verlander has started the season off in grand fashion at 3-0 and he looks like the same ole trusty and reliable Verlander. He is tough to beat and will be hard to beat tonight.

Playing totals in the first four innings can be lucrative and well worth your time and picking your spots is important. Tonight is one of those nights. Verlander is taking on the Angels who happen to be hitting well and have opened the season at 16-8, the Dodgers and Kershaw are taking on the Marlins and Vegas has piled it on tonight thinking that the Marlins have no chance. There is no guarantee of anything in baseball and anything can happen.

Play it safe and jump on the first five inning totals. Verlander and Kershaw are not going to surrender many runs through the first four against anybody. Check with your favorite bookie for the latest lines and odds and have fun.



Well the weather is getting warmer which could only mean two things…One, you should have started your diet earlier and two, BASEBALL has arrived. Say what you want about the popularity of football, and the personality of basketball but baseball is still the national past time. Each spring we look at our fantasy leagues, we open our season tickets, and we look to see how our favorite team will finish. But for the real, true bettors, baseball is the sport in which you can make your most green. If you take 100 sports players in a room, all 100 will bet football, 80 will wager on hoops, and about 50 will play baseball. But it is this 50% that are not just fans but are “in the know.” They have the discipline and the sense to understand that betting isn’t about winning but about value. And baseball offers just that.

You can be 1-4 and still be in the plus column in MLB. It’s about weather conditions, starting pitchers, bullpens, and trends and streaks. MLB is the streakiest of all major sports. You see the thing in football is 99% of your games are played on Saturday and Sunday so you are forced to play those days even if you aren’t crazy about them. Then there is nothing to watch but one Monday Night game so you must play that. Baseball has at least a dozen games 6 days a week and a half dozen or more the 7th day. A disciplined player can do very well in baseball. As I have stated before many times, I am not into future bets because I would rather play more money on one game then tie my cash up for six months but future plays are becoming more and more popular with each passing year. Below are the ODDS TO WIN THE 2014 WORLD SERIES:

Dodgers 4/1

Yankees 6/1

Tigers 7/1

Nationals 8/1

Cardinals 8/1

Angels 10/1

Red Sox 10/1

Rays 10/1

A’s 12/1

Reds 12/1

Rangers 15/1

Braves 15/1

Giants 15/1

Mariners 18/1

Indians 18/1

Royals 18/1

Orioles 20/1

Blue Jays 20/1

Pirates 25/1

I am not going to break down each team by team and remember we are looking at value. At 4/1 the Dodgers offer no value whatsoever. The Yankees are 6/1 but are getting that respect because they are the Yankees. They are getting old and just aren’t the Bronx Bombers they were for so long. The Tigers have a great shot because they have both pitching and hitting but is 8/1 enough return for six months. The Nationals have no heart so forget them and the Cardinals always have a chance due to the fact that they have great coaching, hitters, pitching, and pride. The Rays have a very talented team but lack the overall leadership to bring them a championship. Not because I am a Red Sox hater but twice in back-to-back years just ain’t gonna’ happen especially with the losses and trades that occurred. The A’s, Reds, and Rangers all offer value but I feel will fall short of the mark. Now Atlanta, they have value. Pitching, offense, coaching, bullpen, etc…They are a solid team. The Giants have the pitching staff but averaging so few runs per game just ain’t gonna’ get you a Title. The Mariners, Indians, and Royals will all at some point lead their perspective Divisions but just don’t have what it takes to win it all. Baltimore, despite being in the most-competitive Division in baseball still has an outside shot and offers tremendous value at 20/1. Toronto will get lost in the AL East shuffle. Now Pittsburgh, to me is interesting. Not a big salary. But they have quality players and offer both veteran leadership and fresh, young studs. It’s a shame but forget about Arizona. You will always have the Cubs faithful betting, swearing, and praying for a post-season win but it just won’t happen in my lifetime. You can take the Phillies, Brewers, Padres, Rockies, White Sox, Twins, Marlins, and Astros and put them all together and still you wouldn’t be able to field a championship team. Well, sports fans, there you have the breakdown of the MLB ODDS to win it all. Now, as the best MLB handicapper alive, if you want a winning season, just follow me right here. I don’t play every day and I don’t go above a certain price even if the ’27 Yankees came back. Remember one thing… This is about making money and having fun. But for me it is always more fun when I am making money. So be smart, pick your spots, and by no means play every day. Good Luck on this upcoming MLB season. Joe D’Amico of