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American League Cy Young Predictions & Handicapping Insight
A shortened MLB season oﬀers its unique opportunities to capitalize on in the futures market. A smaller sample of games means more volatility and unpredictability.
So rather than back the big favorites, I’m looking for value from guys whose chances are improved in a shorter season.
There isn’t any one guy I love to take home the American League Cy Young but below are three buys that make up the start to a diversiﬁed Cy Young proﬁle.
2020 AL Cy Young Futures Betting Odds – Hyun-Jin Ryu +3300
Last season with Los Angeles, Ryu posted a 1.26 ERA through his ﬁrst 14 starts, a franchise record. Of course, 14 starts may be a full season in 2020.
He didn’t let the wheels fall oﬀ from there. He held a 1.45 ERA in mid-August and wound up ﬁnishing second in the National League Cy Young to Jacob deGrom and it was close.
Back-to-back starts with seven runs allowed may have wound up being the diﬀerence.
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In the oﬀseason, Ryu signed a 4-year deal with Toronto. It’s a step, or two, down from the Dodgers but recent history in the Cy Young voting has taught us that wins don’t mean nearly as much as they used to.
Voters are willing to give the nod to the most eﬀective pitcher, regardless of how much oﬀensive support he gets.
There is the concern of pitching in the AL East, however. The Yankees’ lineup is fearsome and the Red Sox, for all their pitching deﬁciencies, can mash too.
But Ryu is one of the world’s best pitchers and he may just be coming into his prime. He’s 33 years old but suﬀered so many injuries in his late-20s and early-30s that, for a guy who gets batters out with his changeup, the prime years may still be ahead of him.
2020 AL Cy Young Futures Betting Odds – Sean Manaea +3300
Manaee’s breakout season was 2018 before he suﬀered a season-ending arm injury that only allowed him to throw 30 innings last season.
Those innings came in ﬁve starts at the end of the season, in which he went 4–0 with a 358 ERA+.
He gave up less than ﬁve hits per nine innings and looked like the guy I’m dreaming of as a Cy Young winner.
He’s got the perfect pitcher’s body but just hasn’t been able to stay healthy for long enough to put a terriﬁc full season together.
Maybe the shortened season will be his opportunity. He’s 28 years old and pitching as well as he has in his life.
There’s no reason the price should be as juicy as it is on a man as talented.
2020 AL Cy Young Futures Betting Odds – Blake Snell +1600
The 2018 Cy Young suﬀered two injuries in 2019, lost more than he won, and ﬁnished with an average ERA.
His hits per nine innings spiked up but he continued to strike out more batters and ﬁnished with more than a dozen K’s per nine innings with a walk rate about a quarter of that.
Snell doesn’t have the look of a guy who is built to throw 200 innings season after season but he has a huge arm that could sprint its way through an entire shortened season in 2020.
2020 AL Cy Young Futures Betting Odds via BetOnline
- Gerrit Cole +400
- Justin Verlander +500
- Chris Sale +1200
- Lucas Giolito +1200
- Shane Bieber +1200
- Mike Clevinger +1400
- Blake Snell +1600
- James Paxton +1600
- Tyler Glasnow +1600
- Jose Berrios +1800
- Corey Kluber +2000
- Luis Severino +2000
- Zack Greinke +2000
- Charlie Morton +2500
- Jake Odorizzi +2500
- Lancy Lynn +2500
- Shohei Ohtani +2500
- Frankie Montas +3300
- Hyun-Jin Ryu +3300
- Sean Manaea +3300
- Carlos Carrasco +4000
- Dallas Keuchel +4000
- Eduardo Rodriguez +5000
- Odds Via BetOnline
- March 25th 2020
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