promo -  A list of NL pitchers you should be betting on.

It is nitty-gritty time in baseball, as we start heading down the stretch to decide the six division champions and the four wild-card teams. For baseball bettors, you are looking to find the more reliable teams to bet for or against and within that context are pitchers that are either an asset or a liability.

Here are the best and the worst of the bunch in the National League.


See: Oakland Athletics | Who are these Guys?


Play On Pitchers

Jon Lester - (17-6, Cubs Record - +9.7 units)  - Lester's had a few rough outings of late, but his body of work on the season is fantastic. Chicago would not be in first place in the NL Central without this left-hander and chances are he will be his reliable self now that it's crunch time.

Jhoulys Chacin - (17-8, Brewers Record - +9.3 units) - Though only 30, Milwaukee is Chacin's sixth different team since 2014. Finally healthy, he's effectively moving his pitches in the zone and is backed by an excellent bullpen.

Aaron Nola - (16-7, Phillies Record - +8.2 units) - One of the top right-handers in the NL, Nola is just 25 and is now on a team that has learned how to win. This season, opposing teams are batting just over the Mendoza Line against him (.202) and his WHIP is under 1.00.

Mikes Mikolas - (16-7, Cardinals Record - +7.4 units) - After three ineffective seasons in the big leagues, Mikolas went to Japan and learned to throw strikes and attack the lower portion of the strike zone. St. Louis signed him and are they glad they did! Mikolas keeps the pressure on hitter's by throwing strikes and the movement on his pitches prevent severe launch angles and he's permitted just nine homers.

Play Against Pitchers

These are not the only pitchers that have drained wagering accounts. There have been others, but in some cases, that's not been there fault entirely. For example, Jacob deGrom of the Mets is one of the best hurlers in the NL, yet, despite a 1.77 ERA, New York is 9-14 and -10.2 units. deGrom is always facing a significant money line and unless he is perfect, without the Mets scoring or the bullpen blowing a lead, there is not much deGrom can do.

The same is true of Clayon Kershaw (8-9, -9.9), whose always a very chalky favorite, but like any pitcher, he needs a few runs.


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Tanner Roark - (8-14, Nationals Record -  -9.8 units) - Roark was throwing well early, but a lack of run support and poor fielding left him with a losing record. This seemed to get to him. Washington lost his last seven starts before the All-Star break and his ERA ballooned from 3.56 to 4.87. The Nats righty has four strong outings since, but he's pitching on an underachieving club.

Kenta Maeda - (8-11, Dodgers Record -  -10.3 units) - Though his stats are virtually the as earlier years, Maeda was more consistent this year compared to prior years. He's used the fastball more and trusted his stuff. Of late, his breaking pitches have hung more and he's been taken deep with greater regularity. Will Maeda turn it around? Stay tuned.

Kyle Hendricks - (10-13, Cubs Record -  -11.1 units) - Has Hendricks been figured out? The Cubs righty never had overpowering stuff and relied on a changeup to get batters out. Now, more hitters are laying off that pitch as it tumbles out of the zone for balls. This makes Hendricks throw more strikes and he's getting hit harder and nibbling more. The Cubs need him if they want to return to World Series.

Homer Bailey - (1-14, Reds Record -  -12.4 units) - If not for his contract, Bailey would not be pitching. He's the Matt Cain of this period, making too much money to just eat his contract, but is 100 percent washed up. 

Next week - AL Pitchers

Comment about national league starting pitchers to bet for or against down the stretch