Worst current trends for MLB starters

pivetta
Last week I started a two-part series highlighting how certain starting pitchers in Major League Baseball fare against specific opponents. I showcased the best starting-pitcher trends for bettors to recognize in 2021. This week I will share the worst trends among pitcher-opponent matchups in recent years, as determined by the return on investment.
 
This week’s information is a little tougher to digest than last week’s because several top pitchers are represented on this “worst” list. These pitchers are often so overpriced that even if they pitch well, they can still lose, and bettors feel the pain. It’s uncommon to see how fading elite starters like Clayton Kershaw, Max Scherzer and Gerrit Cole can prove highly profitable. But the best bettors know when to pull the trigger on obvious value. Baseball betting is about far more than just starting pitchers nowadays. Bullpens are of almost equal importance, and many games are decided after the starters have left. Thus, overpaying for certain starters is a common mistake.
 
Look closely at the key stats each pitcher has posted. Some show terrible numbers, such as Nick Pivetta’s 10.34 ERA against Washington. Others seem to be simply a result of bad luck — the stats are good, but the won-lost record doesn’t match.
 
 
Five pitchers are included on this 31-matchup list multiple times, including Kyle Hendricks and Scherzer, who are each noted three times among starters with an ROI of minus-100% or more in at least his last five starts against a certain team.
 
KYLE HENDRICKS (Chicago Cubs)
Last six starts vs. Chicago White Sox
Team Record: 1-5, -10 units, ROI -166.7%
Individual Record: 1-4, 33 innings
Key Stats: ERA 3.55, WHIP 1.212, K’s/9 8.73
Team Run Support: 2.5 RPG
Schedule Spots: Aug. 6-8, Aug. 27-29
 
CLAYTON KERSHAW (Los Angeles Dodgers)
Last six starts vs. Miami
Team Record: 2-4, -9.65 units, ROI -160.8%
Individual Record: 1-4, 35 innings
Key Stats: ERA 2.83, WHIP 1, K’s/9 13.11
Team Run Support: 5.2 RPG
Schedule Spots: July 5-8
 
AARON NOLA (Philadelphia)
Last five starts vs. Miami
Team Record: 1-4, -7.55 units, ROI -151.0%
Individual Record: 1-3, 34 innings
Key Stats: ERA 2.38, WHIP 0.882, K’s/9 10.06
Team Run Support: 3.4 RPG
Schedule Spots: May 18-20, May 24-27, June 29-July 1, July 16-18, Sept. 3-5, Oct. 1-3
 
CLAYTON KERSHAW (Los Angeles Dodgers)
Last five starts vs. San Francisco
Team Record: 2-3, -6.95 units, ROI -139.0%
Individual Record: 2-3, 28 1/3 innings
Key Stats: ERA 2.86, WHIP 1.2, K’s/9 8.26
Team Run Support: 5 RPG
Schedule Spots: May 21-23, May 27-30, June 28-29, July 19-22, July 27-29, Sept. 3-5
 
ALEX WOOD (San Francisco)
Last five starts vs. Philadelphia
Team Record: 1-4, -6.85 units, ROI -137.0%
Individual Record: 1-2, 28 1/3 innings
Key Stats: ERA 4.13, WHIP 1.518, K’s/9 7.31
Team Run Support: 3.6 RPG
Schedule Spots: July 18-20
 
KYLE HENDRICKS (Chicago Cubs)
Last five starts vs. Cincinnati
Team Record: 0-5, -6.75 units, ROI -135.0%
Individual Record: 0-3, 25 innings
Key Stats: ERA 8.28, WHIP 1.76, K’s/9 9
Team Run Support: 4.2 RPG
Schedule Spots: May 28-30, July 2-4, July 26-29, Aug. 16-18, Sept. 6-8
 
JOSE BERRIOS (Minnesota)
Last five starts vs. Oakland
Team Record: 0-5, -6.15 units, ROI -123.0%
Individual Record: 0-3, 26 1/3 innings
Key Stats: ERA 4.1, WHIP 1.405, K’s/9 7.86
Team Run Support: 2.8 RPG
Schedule Spots: May 14-16
 
STEPHEN STRASBURG (Washington)
Last five starts vs. San Francisco
Team Record: 1-4, -6.15 units, ROI -123.0%
Individual Record: 0-4, 22 1/3 innings
Key Stats: ERA 5.24, WHIP 1.432, K’s/9 11.68
Team Run Support: 3.8 RPG
Schedule Spots: June 10-12, July 9-11
 
J.A. HAPP (Minnesota)
Last five starts vs. Toronto
Team Record: 1-4, -6.1 units, ROI -122.0%
Individual Record: 1-3, 29 innings
Key Stats: ERA 4.04, WHIP 0.931, K’s/9 8.38
Team Run Support: 2.6 RPG
Schedule Spots: Sept. 17-19, Sept. 23-25
 
GERRIT COLE (New York Yankees)
Last five starts vs. Tampa Bay
Team Record: 1-4, -6.05 units, ROI -121.0%
Individual Record: 1-2, 29 1/3 innings
Key Stats: ERA 3.68, WHIP 1.193, K’s/9 13.5
Team Run Support: 3.4 RPG
Schedule Spots: May 12-13, May 31-June 2, July 27-29, Oct. 1-3
 
JOSE BERRIOS (Minnesota)
Last five starts vs. Cleveland
Team Record: 0-5, -6 units, ROI -120.0%
Individual Record: 0-1, 27 1/3 innings
Key Stats: ERA 4.28, WHIP 1.39, K’s/9 8.23
Team Run Support: 2.4 RPG
Schedule Spots: May 21-23, June 24-27, Aug. 16-18, Sept. 6-9, Sept. 14-15
 
MADISON BUMGARNER (Arizona)
Last five starts vs. Miami
Team Record: 1-4, -5.95 units, ROI -119.0%
Individual Record: 1-2, 29 1/3 innings
Key Stats: ERA 4.6, WHIP 1.193, K’s/9 7.36
Team Run Support: 4 RPG
Schedule Spots: May 11 (scheduled start), May 12-13
 
YU DARVISH (San Diego)
Last five starts vs. Colorado
Team Record: 1-4, -5.9 units, ROI -118.0%
Individual Record: 0-3, 24 2/3 innings
Key Stats: ERA 7.66, WHIP 1.541, K’s/9 9.49
Team Run Support: 4.4 RPG
Schedule Spots: May 11 (scheduled start), May 12, May 17-19, June 14-16, July 9-11, July 29-Aug. 1, Aug. 16-18
 
KENTA MAEDA (Minnesota)
Last five starts vs. Los Angeles Angels
Team Record: 1-4, -5.9 units, ROI -118.0%
Individual Record: 1-3, 25 1/3 innings
Key Stats: ERA 4.62, WHIP 1.105, K’s/9 11.01
Team Run Support: 3.8 RPG
Schedule Spots: May 20, July 22-25
 
KYLE HENDRICKS (Chicago Cubs)
Last 10 starts vs. Pittsburgh
Team Record: 2-8, -11.55 units, ROI -115.5%
Individual Record: 2-6, 58 1/3 innings
Key Stats: ERA 2.93, WHIP 1.097, K’s/9 5.4
Team Run Support: 3.4 RPG
Schedule Spots: May 25-27, Sept. 2-4, Sept. 28-30
 
ANDREW HEANEY (Los Angeles Angels)
Last five starts vs. Oakland
Team Record: 0-5, -5.7 units, ROI -114.0%
Individual Record: 0-2, 28 2/3 innings
Key Stats: ERA 4.71, WHIP 1.012, K’s/9 10.99
Team Run Support: 3.2 RPG
Schedule Spots: May 21-23, May 27-30, June 14-16, July 19-20, July 29-Aug. 1, Sept. 17-19 
 
NICK PIVETTA (Boston)
Last nine starts vs. Washington
Team Record: 0-9, -10.2 units, ROI -113.3%
Individual Record: 0-7, 35 2/3 innings
Key Stats: ERA 10.34, WHIP 2.215, K’s/9 8.07
Team Run Support: 3.1 RPG
Schedule Spots: Oct. 1-3
 
MAX SCHERZER (Washington)
Last five starts vs. Atlanta
Team Record: 1-4, -5.65 units, ROI -113.0%
Individual Record: 1-3, 27 1/3 innings
Key Stats: ERA 5.6, WHIP 1.427, K’s/9 12.18
Team Run Support: 3.8 RPG
Schedule Spots: July 31-June 3, Aug. 6-8, Aug. 13-15, Sept. 7-9
 
MAX SCHERZER (Washington)
Last five starts vs. Colorado
Team Record: 2-3, -5.65 units, ROI -113.0%
Individual Record: 1-1, 28 innings
Key Stats: ERA 5.14, WHIP 1.321, K’s/9 12.54
Team Run Support: 4.8 RPG
Schedule Spots: Sept. 17-19, Sept. 27-29
 
MADISON BUMGARNER (Arizona)
Last five starts vs. Philadelphia
Team Record: 2-3, -5.6 units, ROI -112.0%
Individual Record: 2-1, 30 innings
Key Stats: ERA 3, WHIP 1.167, K’s/9 8.4
Team Run Support: 6.4 RPG
Schedule Spots: Aug. 17-19, Aug. 26-29
 
VINCENT VELASQUEZ (Philadelphia)
Last six starts vs. Miami
Team Record: 1-5, -6.7 units, ROI -111.7%
Individual Record: 0-2, 22 1/3 innings
Key Stats: ERA 9.67, WHIP 1.567, K’s/9 10.08
Team Run Support: 4.8 RPG
Schedule Spots: May 18-20, May 24-27, June 29-July 1, July 16-18, Sept. 3-5, Oct. 1-3
 
MAX SCHERZER (Washington)
Last six starts vs. Pittsburgh
Team Record: 2-4, -6.45 units, ROI -107.5%
Individual Record: 1-0, 33 2/3 innings
Key Stats: ERA 3.21, WHIP 1.04, K’s/9 10.16
Team Run Support: 4.8 RPG
Schedule Spots: June 14-16, Sept. 10-12
 
SPENCER TURNBULL (Detroit)
Last five starts vs. Kansas City
Team Record: 0-5, -5.35 units, ROI -107.0%
Individual Record: 0-3, 26 innings
Key Stats: ERA 4.15, WHIP 1.154, K’s/9 6.58
Team Run Support: 2.2 RPG
Schedule Spots: May 12-13, May 21-23, June 14-16, July 23-25, Sept. 24-26
 
DYLAN BUNDY (Los Angeles Angels)
Last eight starts vs. Boston
Team Record: 0-8, -8.2 units, ROI -102.5%
Individual Record: 0-5, 42 innings
Key Stats: ERA 5.57, WHIP 1.524, K’s/9 9.21
Team Run Support: 3.8 RPG
Schedule Spots: May 14-16, July 5-7
 
JOE MUSGROVE (San Diego)
Last eight starts vs. St. Louis
Team Record: 0-8, -8.2 units, ROI -102.5%
Individual Record: 0-7, 41 2/3 innings
Key Stats: ERA 6.91, WHIP 1.488, K’s/9 11.02
Team Run Support: 2.3 RPG
Schedule Spots: May 14-16, Sept. 17-19
 
MICHAEL PINEDA (Minnesota)
Last eight starts vs. Toronto
Team Record: 1-7, -8.2 units, ROI -102.5%
Individual Record: 1-3, 41 2/3 innings
Key Stats: ERA 4.97, WHIP 1.512, K’s/9 6.26
Team Run Support: 4.6 RPG
Schedule Spots: Sept. 17-19, Sept. 24-26
 
JON GRAY (Colorado)
Last six starts vs. San Francisco
Team Record: 1-5, -6.1 units, ROI -101.7%
Individual Record: 1-4, 30 2/3 innings
Key Stats: ERA 6.16, WHIP 1.695, K’s/9 6.75
Team Run Support: 3.8 RPG
Schedule Spots: Aug. 12-15, Sept. 6-8, Sept. 24-26
 
TYLER ANDERSON (Pittsburgh)
Last five starts vs. Los Angeles Dodgers
Team Record: 0-5, -5 units, ROI -100.0%
Individual Record: 0-3, 20 1/3 innings
Key Stats: ERA 6.19, WHIP 1.721, K’s/9 6.19
Team Run Support: 4 RPG
Schedule Spots: June 8-10, Aug. 16-18
 
ANTHONY DESCLAFANI (San Francisco)
Last five starts vs. Los Angeles Dodgers
Team Record: 0-5, -5 units, ROI -100.0%
Individual Record: 0-5, 28 2/3 innings
Key Stats: ERA 5.02, WHIP 1.325, K’s/9 8.48
Team Run Support: 0.4 RPG
Schedule Spots: May 21-23, May 27-30, June 28-29, July 19-22, July 27-29, Sept. 3-5
 
ZACH EFLIN (Philadelphia)
Last five starts vs. Los Angeles Dodgers
Team Record: 0-5, -5 units, ROI -100.0%
Individual Record: 0-3, 22 2/3 innings
Key Stats: ERA 9.53, WHIP 1.72, K’s/9 5.96
Team Run Support: 3.8 RPG
Schedule Spots: June 14-16, Aug. 10-12
 
KYLE GIBSON (Texas)
Last seven starts vs. New York Yankees
Team Record: 0-7, -7 units, ROI -100.0%
Individual Record: 0-4, 38 1/3 innings
Key Stats: ERA 5.4, WHIP 1.409, K’s/9 7.75
Team Run Support: 4.3 RPG
Schedule Spots: May 17-20, Sept. 20-22
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