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The NL has lost the annual leader for Cy Young contention with Jacob deGrom heading over to the American League. There are still a ton of great candidates in the marketplace and a lot of value out there. These awards can be a bit of a challenge as they tie up your money for a long time, and you never know when someone will come out of nowhere to win. Let’s see who to take this year in the National League Cy Young race.
Last season I thought Walker Buehler would coast to the award – I wasn’t even close. I might have even said that Sandy Alcantara had no chance to win the award. This year, I’ll try and be a bit more conservative on the picking, hoping that I learned my lesson. Alcantara is +450 this year, but I still won’t bet him. Is he one of the five best pitchers in the National League? Probably, but I don’t expect him to repeat. Corbin Burnes has been good for a few years in a row, but I’m also not expecting him or his team to get enough attention. I also don’t see him being better than his Cy Young year so I’ll pass on him. Speaking of people being better than their Cy Young year, Justin Verlander would need to have another season like last year. As good as he is, it was arguably his best year last year. I’m not sure he can top it.
I do like two more Dodgers this year. Julio Urias is good at +2000 and is now the new ace of the Dodgers rotation. That doesn’t mean he will win the award, but you could see him winning another 20 games and having a sub-2.50 ERA for the season, even with having to face the Padres over and over. Tony Gonsolin was outstanding last year for about half of it, but the Dodgers treated him with kids gloves on. If they take those off, I think he could rack up quality starts, have a really low ERA, and lead the league in wins. Gonsolin will miss the start of the season so it could be an issue, and I’d expect him to not be fully ramped up until May. So, this is more of a longshot at +5000.
Zac Gallen is someone that I have my eye on. He had a great chance to win and I do think he has value at +1100. Last season he was 12-4 for the Diamondbacks, finished in the top-10 for ERA and was second in WHIP. If he can improve on that even slightly he should be a finalist for the award. Arizona will probably be a bad team once again, but the Marlins were terrible last year so keep that in mind that it isn’t always important to be on a winning squad.
Arguably my favorite pitcher for this year’s award is Max Fried. I’ve been a big fan of Fried for a while now. Fried was top-15 in just about everything last season. If he gets to 200 strikeouts and keeps his ERA where it was last year (2.48) he could take the award. I’m excited to see if he can keep improving this year.
One last guy who has the stuff to win the award, but may be a bit under the radar right now is Blake Snell. Snell was a little rough to start his season last year, but he finished fairly well. He certainly is capable of being one of the best pitchers in baseball. When he was bad, he was really bad, but he did pitch well overall. At +3500 he is a good choice for NL Cy Young.
Just like the AL Cy Young, I’ll break up a unit and put down it on players this way: Gallen for .2u, Fried for .3u, Urias for .2u, Snell for .2u, and Gonsolin for .1u.
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