Watching for the best pitching matchups is a key to finding profits in MLB betting, but pitching stats can only go so far. Sometimes mediocre, or downright bad pitchers are some of the most profitable.
Whether it is because of run support, inflated lines or a whole host of reasons, some pitchers are worth more than their ERA can tell you. With one month nearly done of the 2016 MLB season, we look at the worst pitchers you may want to be backing moving forward.
Jonathon Niese – Pittsburgh Pirates (+$524)
Jonathon Niese is the top money pitcher in baseball as of this writing. That is despite Niese posting a 5.08 ERA and allowing more than a hit per inning through his first five starts. Luckily for Niese, his Pittsburgh Pirates are averaging seven runs of support per game in his start.
The simple fact that Niese is a left-hander and the Pirates rank inside the top five in pretty much every major statistical category means that he may continue to be the best bad pitcher to bet.
Tom Koehler – Miami Marlins (+$255)
After Sportsbook with back-to-back losses, Tom Koehler was on the mound for two-straight victories by the Marlins. The right-hander has held opposing batters to two earned runs or less in three of his first four starts with a loss to the Nationals being the only real blemish on his record.
Koehler will likely still be a solid pitcher moving forward, but the Marlins will need to prove they can continue to support him (4.25 runs of support per game) without hitting machine Dee Gordon in the lineup after his PED suspension.
Jeremy Hellickson – Philadelphia Phillies (+$353)
The Philadelphia Phillies have been surprisingly competent through the first month of the season. Though Vince Velasquez has emerged as the ace of the staff (and the best money pitcher on the team), it has been Jeremy Hellickson that has proven to present hidden value.
Hellickson’s first three wins of the season came against the Mets and the Nationals with the Phillies closing as +221, +147 and +185 underdogs in those games respectively. Hellickson is more of a buy-low pitcher than the two above, as a bettor will just be hoping to see him pitch to his potential instead of completely faltering like he can be prone to.