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

Ross Benjamin

Thursday, May 21, 2015 11:55 PM UTC

Thursday, May. 21, 2015 11:55 PM UTC

Our MLB consultant details specific situations in which he deems worthy of fading a starting pitcher. Join us in reading this revealing MLB betting article that will assist you in having an additional tool added to your handicapping arsenal.

Fading a Starting Pitcher
One of the key aspects of MLB handicapping is evaluating each starting pitcher. I use some easy to calculate parameters in determining if a pitcher is in good or bad recent form. The ideal situation in fading a starting pitcher is if I determine him to be in bad form over his last three starts, and is facing an opposing pitcher that’s displayed good form during his previous three. When that indeed occurs, and if the team with that starting pitcher in bad form is either a money line favorite, or a small underdog on the MLB odds, then that wouldn’t certainly qualify as a favorable betting situation at a sportsbook like Bovada.


Determines Bad Form
The first thing I do when evaluating starting pitchers is to calculate their WHIP over their last three starts. For those of you not familiar with the term WHIP, the calculation is walks, plus hits, divided by innings pitched. The guideline I use for good and bad form in terms of WHIP is 1.50. Any pitcher that has a WHIP of 1.51 or greater over his last three starts, I deem to be in bad form. Obviously the higher that number is then the worse the form. Contrarily, good form is a WHIP of 1.49 or less. I don’t put a lot of stock in ERA because it can be at times a very deceiving statistic. There are occasions in which a starting pitcher has a very good ERA during his previous three starts, but his WHIP is 1.51 or more. My logic in that instance is quite simple. I feel that a pitcher in that scenario has been extremely fortunate to wiggle out of several jams, and it’s just a matter of time before his luck runs out.


KW Form
A starting pitcher’s strikeout to walk ratio is also a key handicapping component when placing your MLB picks. The phrase I’ve used in this regard is KW form. Pitchers with a bad KW form have walked more men than they’ve struck out over their past three starts. Not only do hurlers who qualify under this heading create more scoring chances for the opposition by issuing numerous walks, but they’ve failed to offset their poor control with their inability to strike out batters, and thus prevent runners from advancing or scoring. Conversely, I consider good KW form as being a strikeout to walk ratio of 4:1 or better. Ideally, the perfect scenario for fading a starting pitcher is if he has a WHIP of 1.51 or more, a bad KW form, and is facing an opposition pitcher that has a WHIP of 1.49 or less in addition to good KW form, like Max Scherzer.


Other Factors
- How he does when pitching in a specific stadium.

- How he does when pitching against a specific team.

- How he does when pitching in day or night games.

- How he pitches against opponents that possess above average home run power.

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