All odds in this article come from our partner, FanDuel Sportsbook. Right now, new FanDuel Sportsbook users can make their first bet risk-free up to $1,000. If the bet loses, the FanDuel Sportsbook will refund you in site credit. Click here to grab this offer now.
You probably don’t need to Google the consensus best player in MLB (Trout). Or even over in the NBA (James). But, the best player does not always win the top awards in any given season. This gives us, as bettors, a great opportunity to place some money on value picks that are not the favorites.
For example, the consensus best pitcher in the National League is Jacob deGrom. He is currently the favorite at FanDuel at -125, and honestly, that might be the best price you get on him all year. I can’t say I’m surprised. The guy has a 0.68 ERA and has given up only 3 runs the entire season. Will it last? He certainly is capable, but I’m betting his ERA ends up in the 2s.
If that happens, I’m counting on voter fatigue. Mike Trout is the best player every year, but he doesn’t win MVP every year, because once you establish greatness, you have to top it for voters to recognize just how good you are. DeGrom is in that same boat. I think he will have to improve on his numbers from the last few years (under 2.50 ERA) to win the award.
Now, all of that is to say, it is going to be really difficult to stop deGrom from winning. If all of the pitchers I talk about continue pitching they way they currently are, deGrom wins again. There are two pitchers I’ll put some money on because there is good value in them. Those two pitchers are Corbin Burns and Jack Flaherty.
Corbin Burnes, I’ll give you a second to look him up, is probably the second-best pitcher in baseball right now. This really is not a fluke either. He was very good in 2018, terrible in 2019, fixed it in 2020, and now is rolling in 2021. He just set the record (which could be broken by Gerrit Cole) for most strikeouts without a walk to start a season. He has a 1.57 ERA, and most of that came in a bad performance against the Marlins. If the Brewers compete for the NL Central (they are in second place right now), Burns will get more attention and will have a really good shot at getting Cy Young. I’m taking him at +550.
Jack Flaherty has been a solid pitcher, but this year feels like he may be putting it together. His first start of the season was awful. He won the next seven games, and in those games, he gave up an average of one earned run. There have been many pieces about how wins and losses don’t mean anything for a pitcher and shouldn’t be valued that much, but a 20-game winner still holds significance. Flaherty has the potential, and the team, to get him there. At 20-1, he has odds that I think are definitely worth making a small play on.