Most MLB Pitching Wins Prop
So you are buying the belief that Philadelphia Phillies right-hander Jake Arrieta will be an All-Star in 2019. You are sold on Arrieta winning more games before the mid-summer classic and being the pitcher at season’s end with the most wins of any other arm in the big leagues. Then please take a minute and let me pitch you a piece of prime real estate in the Florida Everglades. Most MLB Pitching Wins Prop: No to Arrieta.
The latest MLB Futures update from the Las Vegas SuperBook has Arrieta at 15-1 odds to record more wins than any other pitcher in the league this season. The Phils righty opened at 100-1 back in November.
I will submit that Arrieta was unfortunate to some degree in 2018. The righty allowed 17 unearned runs last year. The most in all of baseball and at least four more than every starting pitcher in the majors save Francisco Liriano.
Arrieta (3-2) allowed four runs (three earned) on seven hits and a walk while taking a loss against the Mets on Monday. He struck out seven batters in the defeat. It was the first time in five starts this season in which Arrieta allowed more than three runs. He allowed two runs in the third inning and later gave up a solo home run to Jeff McNeil. Arrieta owns a 2.65 ERA and 25:13 K:BB across 34 innings of work this season. His next start is favorable. He is slated to square off against the Miami Marlins who are slashing .210/.279/.328 against right-handed pitching.
Jake Arrieta Outlook for 2019
The real poop on Arrieta is best outlined in his underlying peripherals. The Phils right-hander posted a 5.79 ERA in four spring training starts this past March. And while he won’t be equal to his surface 5.70 ERA at the end of 2019 he will be closer to such than his current 2.65 ERA.
Arrieta has regressed into an average Major League starter. His ERA, FIP and WHIP have risen every year since he claimed the NL Cy Young award in 2015. And his annual decline in velocity find his average fastball at 93 mph the last two seasons. In his Cy Young prime Arrieta was averaging closer to 96 mph. With the decline in velo his hard contact has risen and his strike out ratio has fallen.
Arrieta’s K/9 fell to 7.2 in his first season with the Phillies last year. His hit rate climbed to 8.6 H/9 which is well above his 6.2 H/9 from 2014-2016. And pitching in hitter-friendly Philadelphia his soft-contact rate (18.5%) during his prime is now approaching 10 percent.
Investing MLB Futures monies on Arrieta is equal to lighting your hard earned bills on fire. Those of us MLB fanatics should see his 10-11 record improve with Philadelphia’s explosive offense. But his 4.21 FIP over the last two seasons will need a large amount of run support for the right-hander to come close to 15-wins this season. And that won’t be enough to cash an MLB Future on him as the pitcher with the most wins in 2019.