Longshots At Great Odds For AL Cy Young

I've discussed the AL and NL MVP race for this upcoming season, now we get into the other big award in Major League Baseball - the Cy Young award. I'll focus here on the American League and those candidates. We have some familiar names - even if one major one was in the National League last year - and we have a couple of new guys you might not recognize.

Jacob deGrom is the leading candidate for the AL Cy Young after he left the Mets and came over to the Rangers. His odds to win the award are actually higher than I remember in past years with him being at +550. There is no question he is one of, if not the, best pitchers in all of baseball when he is healthy and pitching. Here's the issue... in his past two seasons, he has a total of 26 starts. He also wasn't great last season as he had a 3.08 ERA. It was his first season in the past five that he had an over-three ERA. If he is healthy, this is good value. I personally can't play it because it is hard to support him being healthy for a whole year right now.

Shohei Ohtani is a guy I said to not bet on for AL MVP, but I think there is some value in taking him at +1200 to win Cy Young. It isn't that Ohtani is the best pitcher in the league or plays for some great team, but he's certainly capable of winning the award. I also think that with how much the media loves Ohtani, at a certain point if he is even in consideration, they are going to try and get him to be Cy Young and MVP in the same year.

Some guys that I won't be backing are Gerrit Cole - he is a great strikeout pitcher and one of the best in the league but I don't think he has been producing good enough seasons lately for me to want to get behind him right now. If he starts out the year strong and I can grab him at +350 I might consider it. I'd lose value, but it would be a more informed decision. I won't be backing Dylan Cease or Alek Manoah for the simple reason that I want to see if last year is the way they will normally pitch, or if it was the best they will ever pitch. One last one, Carlos Rodon. I love that guy, but he's starting the season on the injured list. I'll pass on him.

There are a few guys that I like in terms of potential. Framber Valdez at +1500 is now the Astros ace and he had a great season last year. He had a crazy quality start streak, which I love for betting on individual games. If he can lower his ERA he could be a 20-game winner and take the Cy Young. Shane McClanahan is one of the best pitchers in the league. He has the potential to take this award and I think there is a ton of value in him at +1200 as well. One last name that I like a bit is Luis Castillo at +1700. The Mariners were great last year, if they keep that up this year, it is likely because Luis Castillo took over the rotation and continued his year from last season. The AL West isn't spectacular and that is who he faces the most.

My strategy here is to take roughly one unit and break it up here: Luis Castillo .3u, Valdez .25u, McClanahan .25u, and Ohtani at .3u.

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