Four MLB ace pitchers running out of gas in September
As the MLB season winds down, several marquee pitchers are struggling to recapture their form from earlier in the year. Whether it's fatigue, injury or other factors, these hurlers are getting hit down the stretch and it has often meant bad news for bettors who put their faith in them.
Here are four ace pitchers who have returned negative value over the past few weeks. Money values for $100 a game.
Yu Darvish, Texas Rangers (-$500 over his last five starts)
Darvish was headed for a Cy Young season but has fallen off the rails over his previous five outings, going 0-3 with 16 walks and five home runs allowed over that stretch. While his innings count isn't exactly out of hand - 186 2-3 entering Friday, 4 2-3 innings behind his total from his rookie 2012 campaign - the 27-year-old right-hander has battled persistent leg cramps that may be a byproduct of making half his starts in the jarring heat of Arlington.
Darvish returns to action when the Rangers host the Oakland Athletics Saturday.
Patrick Corbin, Arizona Diamondbacks (-$300 over his last three starts)
Corbin was the darling of moneyline bettors everywhere when he opened the season 12-1, but has had a miserable three-start stretch that has seen him give up 18 runs over his last 18 1-3 innings. Corbin's workload is likely the biggest factor here. The 24-year-old reliever-turned-starter threw just 186 1-3 innings all of last season and is already up to 190 2-3 with three starts remaining. Arizona may be wise to limit Corbin's innings from here on in or shut him down entirely.
Corbin takes the mound when the Diamondbacks tangle with the Los Angeles Dodgers Wednesday night.
David Price, Tampa Bay Rays (-$300 over his last three starts)
Price has wilted just when the Rays have needed him the most. The 28-year-old left-hander has coughed up 12 runs over 22 innings during his three-game losing skid, while getting just five combined runs of support in that span. The innings count isn't the issue with Price. He's at 159 1-3 for the season, well below his career high of 224 1-3. But at 8-8 with a 3.45 ERA - nearly a full run below last year's mark - 2013 just hasn't been Price's season.
Price looks to end his losing streak when the Rays visit the Minnesota Twins Sunday.
Max Scherzer, Detroit Tigers (-$147.37 over his last three starts)
Scherzer may still be at the front of the line in the American League Cy Young Award race, but the hard-throwing right-hander isn't helping his cause down the stretch. Scherzer has been decidedly subpar over his last three outings, surrendering 13 runs over 16 innings while losing back-to-back starts. At 194 1-3 innings - just 1 1-3 shy of his career high - and with three regular-season starts and playoff action remaining, Scherzer's best work of 2013 may be far behind him.
Scherzer gets the call Sunday, taking his third shot at win No. 20 against the visiting Kansas City Royals.