By Stuart Kirsch
AL Cy Young Odds: Bieber Pops to the Top of the Charts
It only takes a quick look at the stat sheet to see why the Cleveland starting pitcher has become the betting favorite to take home the 2020 American League Cy Young award, his AL Cy Young odds dropping to +250. Through three starts, Shane Bieber is 3-0 and leads the league in strikeouts with 35 in just 21.2 innings.
The 25-year-old Californian gave up his first runs of the year on two solo shots among five hits in a 7.2-inning victory over the Cincinnati Reds. His strikeout-to-walk ratio is an outstanding 35-3, and he is near the top of every pitching statistical category.
The Indians are contending in the AL Central due in large to Bieber and the pitching staff. The lineup is in the bottom third of the standings in Runs, Batting, and Slugging, but the staff leads the league in ERA, WHIP, and Batting Average Against.
The Cleveland rotation also boasts Mike Clevinger at +1000 odds for the AL Cy Young, with a 1-1 record and a 3.24 ERA in three starts; Carlos Carrasco, at +2500 odds with a 2-1 record and a 2.50 ERA in three starts; and two sophomores, Zach Plesac and Aaron Civale, both with sub-3.00 ERAs and more than 20 strikeouts.
AL Cy Young Odds Tracker: Cole Not Going Anywhere
Preseason Cy Young favorite Gerrit Cole continues to prove that he is the elite pitcher for whom the Yankees backed up the Brinks truck in the offseason. The only other 3-0 starter in the AL alongside Bieber, Cole sported a 2.55 ERA entering his fourth start for the AL East-leading Yanks.
Staked to a five-run lead against Tampa Bay and having already fanned eight, he could not get himself out of the fifth inning to earn the W. Cole struck out two more in the fifth, sandwiched around a double, and had a 1-2 count on Ji-Man Choi, the Mendoza-line-hugging first baseman.
Choi waited out another two balls and then doubled down the right field line to put the Rays on the board. Three pitches later, Jose Martinez blasted one to straight away center field to cut the lead to 5-3 and send Cole to the showers. On the season, Cole remains 3-0 with a 3.22 ERA and 26 strikeouts. His odds for the Cy Young remain low at +280.
AL Pitchers with Dropping Odds
Texas Ranger ace Lance Lynn has seen his odds for the Cy Young award dip to +1600. Through four starts, he is 2-0 with a 1.16 ERA and 30 strikeouts over 23 innings pitched. On the other hand, Lynn has walked 10 and is averaging under six innings per start.
Dylan Bundy has been one of the bright spots in an overall disappointing start for the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. Even with a lineup featuring the premier player in the game, the Halos find themselves in the cellar of the AL West.
Bundy has claimed the victory in two of the Angels’ wins, sporting a 2-1 record with a 2.08 ERA, a league-low WHIP of 0.60, and 25 strikeouts over 21.2 innings. Bundy’s odds for the AL Cy Young have been cut almost in half to +4000.
Cy Young Tracker: Other Early Favorites
Chicago rising star Lucas Giolito has pitched somewhat less than competitively for a surprisingly competitive White Sox team that is fueled by its offense. He is 1-1 with a 4.37 ERA and 27 strikeouts in four starts. His Cy odds have increased to +2000. Giolito has only pitched 22.2 innings over four starts, walking 13 versus 27 strikeouts.
The Tampa Bay Rays had a pitching staff made for a short season, three stud starters including a recent Cy Young award winner, a history of using openers, and a host of young strong arms in the pen. Blake Snell and Tyler Glasnow both have Cy Young odds at +800, but have been particularly ineffective. Neither has recorded a win nor made it out of the fifth inning of a game.
Look for Value in Oakland
Jesus Luzardo was heralded as a Rookie of the Year candidate for the now-scorching hot Oakland A’s. The 22-year-old has turned on the burners after a slow start in the pen. He has surrendered two runs in two starts over ten plus innings, both Oakland victories. Luzardo, with 2020 AL Cy Young odds at +5500, is 1-0 with a 2.60 ERA.
Similarly, Frankie Montas has two strong starts and two wins in his last two appearances. Montas has halved his ERA to 1.57 and is 2-1 with 22 strikeouts over four starts. Montas gave the A’s seven strong in each of those last two. Montas’ odds for the AL Cy are +4000.