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National 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.
Jacob deGrom has won the last two NL Cy Young awards. The voters will be anxious to give the hardware out to somebody else this season. Below are three pitchers who are just coming into their prime years, where they may just be able to capture a Cy Young.
2020 NL Cy Young Futures Betting Odds – Mike Soroka +2500
Soroka is no sleeper. He’s a trendy name in the futures market but he remains unusually low on the price list at 25/1.
He’ll turn 23 in August and is coming off one of the best rookie seasons we’ve ever seen not to win Rookie of the Year (Pete Alonso, of course, beat him out). He was named an All-Star and finished sixth in the Cy Young vote.
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The Braves are liable to have a banner year and Soroka will lead the way for the pitching staff. He doesn’t strike out a ton of batters but he rarely ever serves up home runs (14 in 175 innings in 2019) and the Braves have a great defense behind him.
Perhaps the addition of a former Cy Young — King Felix Hernandez — will help Soroka take his game to the next level in 2020.
2020 NL Cy Young Futures Betting Odds – Aaron Nola +2000
Nola finished third in the 2018 Cy Young voting but his numbers took a dip last season.
I am not discouraged. He didn’t have the greatest start and improved as the season went on, looking as dominant as he was in 2018 for month-long stretches last year.
And while his walks, hits and home runs allowed went up, so did his strikeouts. And, perhaps even more importantly, he completed another 200-plus innings now two years removed from some arm problems.
With the injury concerns in the past, Nola may well be poised for a Cy Young run in the shortened season.
2020 NL Cy Young Futures Betting Odds – Zach Davies +30000
And here’s your real long-shot: Zach Davies of the San Diego Padres, going off at 300/1.
He was quite good for Milwaukee last season, posting a 125 ERA+ in a full season after an injured season in 2018. He posted ERAs better than league-average in 2016 and 2017 before that.
At just 6-foot and 175 lbs, Davies doesn’t blow batters away but he gets great sinking movement on his fastball and his changeup is a plus pitch.
He doesn’t get a ton of fly balls (his home run rate for his career is 1.0 per nine innings) but pitching at Petco Park as a contact guy should work wonders.
2020 NL Cy Young Futures Betting Odds via BetOnline
- Jacob deGrom +500
- Max Scherzer +700
- Walker Buehler +800
- Jack Flaherty +900
- Yu Darvish +900
- Luis Castillo +1200
- Stephen Strasburg +1400
- Zac Gallen +1600
- Clayton Kershaw +1800
- Trevor Bauer +1800
- Noah Syndergaard +2000
- Aaron Nola +2200
- Brandon Woodruff +2500
- Mike Soroka +2500
- Patrick Corbin +2500
- Chris Paddack +2800
- German Marquez +2800
- Kirby Yates +3300
- Zack Wheeler +3300
- Johnny Cueto +4000
- Madison Bumgarner +4000
- Max Fried +4000
- Sonny Gray +4000
- Jose Urias +5000
- Josh Hader +5000
- Marcus Stroman +5000
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