Zack Greinke Ready for Bounce Back Season With Diamondbacks

Jake Walker

Thursday, March 30, 2017 1:29 AM UTC

Thursday, Mar. 30, 2017 1:29 AM UTC

After signing one of the largest contracts in MLB history, Zack Greinke couldn't live up to expectations in his first season in Arizona. Is there value on Greinke's total wins betting market this year?

In 2015, Greinke was excellent for the Dodgers, posting a 19-3 record with 200 strikeouts and just 40 walks and leading the majors with a 1.66 ERA and an 0.84 WHIP to place second in NL Cy Young Award voting.

Last year, Greinke missed six weeks with a strained oblique muscle but he still won 13 games in his first season with the Diamondbacks. It was his ninth straight season with double digits in wins (tied for seventh among active pitchers). Expecting him to post a 1.66 ERA again was too much but his 4.37 ERA in 2016 was very high. It was his worst earned run average since 2005 (when he posted a 5.80 ERA with the Royals) and he also allowed 23 home runs, the most he's given up since his rookie season in 2004, when he allowed 26 home runs with the Royals. 

What to Expect From Greinke This Season 

The Diamondbacks need Greinke to improve in 2017. The right-hander finished the season with a 13-7 record, a 4.37 ERA and a 1.27 WHIP with 134 strikeouts and 41 walks, struggling to match his numbers from 2015. Greinke pitched particularly bad after returning from the oblique injury in August and September, posting a 6.02 ERA and giving up 11 home runs in 49.1 innings over nine starts.

Greinke is known as a fly ball pitcher, which has helped him minimize home runs over his career, particularly at a pitcher's ballpark like Dodger Stadium, but 10 percent of his fly balls left the yard last season, a worrying trend that he is determined to end.

Can he win the National League Cy Young next season? Zack Greinke is at +2500 MLB odds to win the award at BetOnline but I don't see it happening. However, Greinke was 10-3 with a 3.62 ERA before his injury last season and if healthy, he can be a difference-maker on any team, so he'll do all he can to bounce back next season. He knows what it takes to be a dominant pitcher at the major league level and his accomplishments reflect what he is capable of. 

BetOnline set Greinke's total wins in 2017 at 12.5 (at -130 for the 'Over' and at +100 for the 'under'). Greinke looks ready to recover his top form and win at least 13 games. I'm taking his season win total to go 'Over' 12.5 (-130) as one of my MLB picks this season.

MLB Free Pick: Zack Greinke 'Over' 12.5 wins
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