And down the stretch we come! Most starting pitchers only have around three or four starts left to the season to change their fortunes, and some of these men are clearly doing it better than others are. Join us today at Bang the Book, as we zero in on some of the worst pitchers that MLB betting action has brought us over the course of the whole 2013 season.
And what an odd baseball season this has been! The man who is going to win the Cy Young Award this year in the National League is only 14-8 and has led his team to a 17-13 record in his 30 starts this year. Worse is that going into play on Thursday night, Clayton Kershaw is ranked 277th of the 297 pitchers that have started a game this year in terms of profits and losses for his Dodgers. LA has lost $668 this year with Kershaw on the mound, so he is nothing like a Cy Young Award winner to us.
But of course, if you look at the rest of the list of pitchers that are at the bottom of the money chain this season, you’re going to see a bunch of names that have had Cy Young credentials in the past, and some of those have Cy Young credentials this year. It’s just proof that Felix Hernandez, David Price, Matt Cain, Stephen Strasburg, Josh Johnson, Cole Hamels, Dan Haren, Yu Darvish, Joe Blanton, and Justin Verlander have all had rougher seasons than they are used to. It’s stunning to us that that list of 10 pitchers have all at least been considered for the Cy Young at some point or another, and it’s equally stunning to see Josh Beckett, John Danks, and Ian Kennedy all ranked 280th or worse on the MLB betting lines as well.
This is the first time in quite some time that Blanton hasn’t been the lowest ranked pitcher in the American League. His season as a starter is over with after leading his Halos to a 4-16 mark and $1,683 in losses. It took a remarkable effort by Verlander to catch him, but the Tigers’ ace has figured out how to do so. Amazingly, Verlander has just a 3.64 ERA this season, and he has led the team to losses in six straight games. Some of those games (two runs allowed in eight innings against the Royals and seven innings of shutout work against the Indians) aren’t anywhere near his fault, but the damage is still being done. Just in those six starts since August 11th, Verlander has cost Tigers backers $1,088, and the rest of the season hasn’t done much better, totaling -$1,738.
Darvish is the only man outside of Kershaw in the bottom 60 in money pitchers to have a .500 record or better outside of Kershaw in the league. The Japanese sensation has a 12-8 record with a 2.84 ERA, and he has 246 strikeouts already on the campaign with a few starts to go. That said, he has only led the Rangers to a 14-14 mark, and as a result, bettors have been nailed for $1,265 in straight up vig in his 28 starts, and that’s the stuff that nightmares are made from for favorite bettors.
Strasburg and Haren share the same problem: They pitch for one of the most offensively challenged teams in the game in Washington. The Nats have given no help whatsoever to Strasburg, and though they have given Haren a bit more help, the veteran from Arizona has done enough damage on his own to cause his own miseries. These two have led Washington to just a 21-34 record and nearly $2,300 in losses.
These two aren’t the only sets of teammates on this list. Price and Roberto Hernandez are right next to each other in the Tampa Bay rotation, and they are right next to each other on this list as well. After posting nearly a 5.00 ERA as a starter, it seems as though Manager Joe Maddon is set to leave Hernandez in the pen for the rest of the season, but Price is the man that is going to have to really step it up if the Rays are going to get into the postseason. These two have 20 wins against 27 losses for the team between them, and they have combined for $1,666 in losses.
King Felix has been a disaster of late as well. It’s not his fault, as he continues to put up great numbers. The righty is 12-9 with a 3.01 ERA and 200 strikeouts, and that’s after allowing a total of 25 earned runs in his last six starts. The problem? 1, 4, 0, 3, 2, 2. That’s the run support that Hernandez has been getting over the course of the last six starts. The end result is just a 13-16 record for the Mariners with a loss net of $788.
Cain and Johnson have been on this list all season long, and it has been a combination of their own problems and their problems on a team that has badly underachieved. Cain is 11-16 and down $1,023, while Johnson’s season has ended at 4-12 and -$1,062.
is a staff writer living in the Orlando area. He has covered NFL, MLB, college football, CFL, AFL, NBA, college basketball, NASCAR, golf, tennis, and the NHL for a number of various outlets in his career, and he has been published by a number of different media outlets, including the Orlando Sentinel and the Wall Street Journal.