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.