The loss of Stephen Strasburg for the rest of this season and most likely next season as well, is a major blow to the Washington Nationals and their fans and really, all sports and baseball fans alike. But they’re not the only that will feel the impact of Strasburg’s loss, bettors and sportsbooks shed some tears as well, albeit, some may have been of the crocodile variety.
They call him the kid, they call him the phenom, but there’s just not enough superlatives that can describe the young Nationals righty. Strasburg was as close to the Lebron James of baseball as you’re going to see. Strasburg was heralded before his arrival and crowned king after his first official major league start. A start that saw him go 7 innings and strike out 14 batters in his rookie debut. From that point on a star was born and Strasburg continued to dominate Major League hitters with his overbearing fastball, a wicked curve ball and pinpoint control.
Of course, the natural thing to do was to prematurely stamp him as the next great pitcher of our generation. He had all the tools, he was the real deal, but we all forgot one thing, baseball is a game of attrition. They play 162 games in a single regular season, in no other sport are splash in the pans exposed so quickly. In baseball, one day you can be a star, the next, you could be out of the league, that’s just a fact. The other fact is we may have crowned Strasburg too early. You hope he can come back from Tommy John surgery, with it being so common these days, many pitchers are able make full recovery. There are those of course who never return and there are those who return, but are never quite themselves.
Strasburg had a blistering fastball that could reach upwards of 102 mph, it’s hard to believe he’ll be throwing that hard again, Nationals fans can keep their fingers crossed, but I wouldn’t bet on it. In fact betting on the Nationals in general has taken a major blow. It was crazy the odds across the board given when Strasburg was on the bump for the Nationals. I remember one instance, when the Nats were on the road against the division leading Braves and yet all across the board they were favorites just because Strasburg was pitching. It’s extremely rare to see a pitcher so young, so highly regarded by oddmakers. It was damn near on the verge of ridiculousness the amount of action on the lowly Nationals as bettors flocked to bet on Strasburg games just to get in on the action, but it seems teenagers with pinpoint control and 100 plus mph fastballs are just too good to be true.