He was more than a 2-1 favorite in baseball odds against the Pittsburgh Pirates in his Major League debut and he delivered with an unbelievable performance as he struck out 14 batters in a 5-2 win.
MLB odds are going to favor Strasburg on a regular basis in the future. It is hard to overhype just how good Strasburg was in his debut. He was simply overpowering. The oddsmakers knew that the Nationals would get a lot of attention and they made Strasburg more than a 2-1 favorite. Look for those types of prices in the future, although not quite as high on the road.
Strasburg struck out 14 batters in his debut which is the most since J.R. Richard struck out 15 in his debut in 1971 for Houston. He was reaching 100 mph with his fastball and his breaking ball was superb. He allowed two runs, four hits and no walks. Strasburg is the first pitcher in Major League Baseball history to have at least 11 strikeouts and no walks in a debut.
Strasburg was so good that future Hall of Fame catcher Ivan Rodriguez who was catching him, was amazed. Adam Dunn said it was the best game he had ever seen pitched. Opposing batters simply couldn’t do anything against him. Strasburg tied Detroit’s Max Scherzer for the most strikeouts in any game this season with 14. And Strasburg did it in his big league debut.
The Nationals sold out Strasburg’s debut and they were even selling standing room only tickets. And this was against the Pittsburgh Pirates who don’t attract any fans. Washington’s Ryan Zimmerman said that he had never seen anything like it. Strasburg threw 94 pitchers, 65 of which were strikes. He made one mistake, a changeup that Delwyn Young hit into the right field seats for a two-run home run.
Strasburg’s Major League debut came a year after he was drafted number one overall by the Nationals. He easily could have started the season in the Major Leagues but Washington wanted to break him in slowly so they started him in the minors where he went 7-2 with a 1.30 ERA, 65 strikeouts and only 13 walks. Get ready for Strasburg mania the rest of the season and look for the odds on him to be high when he goes to the mound.