MLB AL Cy Young Futures Bet
We're a little over a month into the MLB season and this is a great time to re-examine some of the futures markets.
AL Cy Young
Kevin Gausman 35/1
Kevin Gausman may not be the flashiest pitcher out there but his odds at 35/1 for the AL Cy Young Award are too long. Looking at his first month of the season he’s got a 2.19 ERA and an incredible 31 K’s to 0 BB and 0 HR given up. He is on an incredible pace and while this may even out at some point he’s off to a strong start and we don’t expect these odds to last if he puts up another strong performance against the Astros on Sunday.
He had a strong year last year with SF and maintained a good K/BB ratio and racked up 14 wins. We think on a very good Blue Jays team he will have a great chance to put up some impressive numbers on potentially the best team in the AL. He will need to lower his ERA a bit and make sure that he doesn’t let it get too high like he did last year but I like his chances to do so.
Also when you look at the underlying metrics for his season so far there are some promising signs. He is in the 77th percentile for xERA which is great, his K% is in the 88th percentile and his BB% is in the 97th percentile. Beyond that he ranks 91st in Whiff%, 100th in Chase Rate, and 77th in xwOBA. He has some improvement to be made in his Hard Hit% and Avg Exit Velocity but neither of those are in too bad of shape.
I think he can build off of last year’s success and make a run at the AL Cy Young even at the age of 31. No one is really distanced themselves from the pack yet in the AL as all of the top tier pitchers in the AL have struggled out of the gates. Gausman still has good velocity and spin rate on his fastball which is a great sign for an older pitcher. He has a great chance to make a run at the Award and at 35/1 it is fantastic value that won’t be around much longer.
NL Cy Young
Sandy Alcantara 25/1
In the National League I like a pitcher from a team that isn't quite as good as the Blue Jays. Although I am a little higher on the Marlins than most, I really don't expect great things out of them. I do however, expect great things from their ace Sandy Alcantara. He is a big bodied pitcher with great velocity on his fastball, he is 27 years old putting him directly in the middle of his prime. He plays on a Marlins team that struggles to produce runs so he will constantly need to not give up a lot of runs to his opponents and he has looked great so far. He looks to have taken that leap from a pitcher with really great stuff to a truly great pitcher.
He has four pitches that compliment each other beautifully. He has a high velocity fastball, which I mentioned before, and off of that he can throw his changeup that gives hitters fits. Then he has a sinker that is just about the same speed as his fastball, upper 90s, with a slider that disapears on hitters. I've always loved his stuff but his consistency has been an issue in the past. Last year he had a solid year but mixed in a good amount of bad outings that really skewed his numbers. He should be a high strikeout pitcher with a low ERA who also isn't afraid to pitch to contact and can produce a lot of groundballs with his stuff.
Through the first month of the season Sandy has looked like he is ready to take that next step and become a bonified ace and hopefully a Cy Young contender. His first 2 starts weren't super impressive giving up 2 runs over 5 and then 6 innings but he tossed 8 scoreless innings against the Cardinals and then 1 run over 6 innings his next time out. He will need to cut down on his walks and increase his strikeout numbers a bit but I don't think that'll be a problem as he has demonstrated his ability to be a workhorse and log a ton of innings. The strikeouts should definitely come too, he had 201 K's last year and I think he can get to 200 again. He was priced in the low 20/1 range before the season started and you're starting to see a little drift out towards 25/1. I think this is a buy point on Alcantara who I think will really round into form over this next month and if he gets going watch out.