MLB Picks: Will Continuing to Bet Against These Pitchers Remain Profitable?

Doug Upstone

Wednesday, June 24, 2015 12:18 AM GMT

As we are all aware when it comes to making sense of the betting odds, one year a team is unstoppable and the next year they disappear like Tiger Woods and you wonder what happened.

This can be especially true of starting pitchers who are the basis of generating MLB picks by baseball handicappers. Take Clayton Kershaw who has been the best pitcher in majors the past three years, yet with only two more starts before the mid-point of the season, the sensational left-hander sits at 5-5 for the L.A. Dodgers.

But this is the very nature of sports, climb to the top of the mountain only to slide down the other side, sometimes for a short spell and sometimes forever.

On this day we will look at some of the worst pitchers to bet on this season and attempt to figure out if they will rebound against the MLB odds the rest of the season at places like WagerWeb or if their fate set and they should only be viewed as play against material or not at all.

Must Read: When to Fade a Starting Pitcher With Your MLB Picks and Why

Corey Kluber -14 Units, 3-9 Record, 3.65 ERA
If anyone went from the penthouse to the outhouse faster as a Cy Young winner not even half into the next season, that would take some time-consuming research. Kluber allowed six total runs in his first three starts covering 21 2/3 innings, striking out 25 and walking four. However, Cleveland didn't win any of those contests and it appeared the right-hander began to press in trying to do too much to help his team win and was rocked over his next four starts, which saw his ERA skyrocket from 2.49 to 5.04.

Over his next three outings, Kluber looked like the same hurler as last year in dominating the competition, but he has leveled off since. No doubt that the lack of run support has hurt him and when watching his body language there's still a real sense he's trying to do too much by making the perfect pitch each time.

At 29 years old, there was nothing to indicate that the Alabama native would be as good as he was last year or have a record as poor as the one he has this season. Kluber picking up 4-5 units the rest of the way would not be a shocker.

 

Francisco Liriano -8.7 Units, 4-6 Record, 3.26 ERA
Once mentoring under Johan Santana in Minnesota, Liriano has endured an assortment of arm and shoulder miseries. Many have thought his career was either done or close to it on more than one occasion but he's defied the odds each time.

Pittsburgh has only won four of the lefty's 14 starts this season and it has been a combination of a lack of run support or a weaker showing when he's gotten runs to work with. Liriano and the Pirates are 0-4 collectively as underdogs, but in the first three losses he surrendered three total runs and had a trio of no-decisions and his only loss in this role was Max Scherzer's no-hitter.

His ERA is three-quarters a run lower than his career average and his WHIP is under 1.00, thus, Liriano could have a big second half or he's just snake-bit this season.

 

Andrew Cashner -7.6 Units, 2-9 Record, 4.35 ERA
For those who do not place much weight on spring training results, the Padres' Cashner was the poster boy of misleading results. I actually saw him on three occasions in the Cactus League and having seen him often in the past I thought the tall right-hander was poised for a big year. Goodness, was I wrong!

Right from his opening start against the Dodgers, Cashner has lacked the necessary command placement of his pitches, which is why opposing batters are hitting .281 against him compared to .245 for his career.

While Petco Park has been more run-friendly in 2015 (22-14 OVER) than in the past, Cashner and San Diego are winless in six starts there and they are also without a victory versus division foes (0-7). Really hard to see the righty make much progress from here.