By: Stuart Kirsch
If you are looking for clarity and a solid betting favorite in the Cy Young race in the National League, you are looking at the wrong league. Though Yu Darvish has the best odds as the season winds down to its last two turns in the rotation, there is a strong field breathing down his neck.
Chicago Cubs’ veteran hurler Yu Darvish is the betting favorite at +375. Darvish remains tied atop the National League with seven wins, but has tossed two straight outings that have lengthened his odds somewhat. Darvish took a no decision against Cleveland giving up three runs, two earned, on nine hits and a walk in seven innings; Chicago held on to win 6-5. He struck out seven and walked one.
His record dropped to 7-3 in his next outing, a 4-0 blanking at the hands of the Twins. Darvish again surrendered nine hits and a walk, this time allowing Minnesota to plate four runs against him; the Chicago lineup could manage only four hits against Jose Berrios and the Twin pen.
Darvish’s ERA has risen to 2.22, with a 1.00 WHIP and a .219 batting average against. He has 88 strikeouts on the year, tied for second best in the league, and has issued 13 bases-on-balls. Darvish has pitched 69 innings over his 11 starts.
Fried Returns to Atlanta Rotation
Max Fried missed only a single turn in the rotation, spending time on the Injured List with muscle spasms in his lumbar spine. In his return, he faced the New York Mets and pitched five innings, allowing one run on three hits and two walks. He threw 80 pitches over those five, tied for his lowest since his first appearance of the season.
Strongly supported by his Atlanta mates however, he picked up the victory in the 15-2 thrashing and extended his record to 7-0. His ERA is 1.96 and his WHIP 1.05 with a .202 batting average against. In his ten starts, he has not racked up the strikeout totals of his Cy Young competitors, with only 50 punchouts, against which his 19 bases-on-balls are magnified. Fried’s odds for the 2020 NL Cy Young are +500.
Cy Young Tracker: deGrom Fighting Injuries Too
While Darvish and Fried are pitching for division leaders, two-time reigning Cy Young winner Jacob deGrom is leading a Mets team that is on the outside of the playoffs looking in. After winning two straight starts, deGrom was pulled from his game against the Phillies after two innings and 40 pitches, suffering a hamstring spasm.
He gave three runs on four hits and walk, striking out one before departing; the Mets came back to win the game 5-4. deGrom’s record remains at 4-1, with a 2.09 ERA, 0.93 WHIP, .185 batting average against, and 80 strikeouts versus 14 walks. deGRom’s odds for his third straight Cy are +475.
Cy Young Tracker: Bauer Slips
Trevor Bauer’s undulating season continues and his odds to win the NL Cy Young award are at +600. Bauer fanned 12 Pirates in 6.1 innings, giving up a run on four hits and two walks, but was not involved in the decision. Holding a 1-0 lead in the seventh and having allowed just one hit, Bauer allowed the tying run across on a Colin Moran home run, but the Reds plated two in the bottom of the seventh to secure the seven-inning double-header win.
In his subsequent start, the Reds were blanked by Dallas Kuechel and the White Sox relievers, while Bauer surrendered two runs on five hits in seven innings and took the loss. Bauer is 4-4 on the year, with a 1.80 ERA, 88 strikeouts, 16 walks, 0.82 WHIP and .161 batting average against.
Cy Young Tracker: Pitchers on the Fringe
With a fantastic last start or two, a number of pitchers in the NL might insert themselves into the Cy Young derby. Milwaukee’s Corbin Burnes leads the NL with a 1.77 ERA, a 4-0 record, 83 strikeouts, 22 walks, 0.95 WHIP, and .158 Batting average against. San Diego’s Dinelson Lamet leads the league with 89 strikeouts; he has a 3-1 mark with a 2.07 ERA, .087 WHIP, and a .166 average against.
And never count out Dodger Clayton Kershaw; he’s at 6-2 with a 2.15 ERA, 59 strikeouts, 0.75 WHIP, .172 batting average against in nine starts.