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MLB Futures: Best Bets for Cy Young Award Winners (2020)

by April 14, 2020

There is no better time to jump on some MLB futures bets than before the season starts. Odds are as good as they will ever be, and there is tremendous value on the board. The Cy Young Award is given to the most outstanding pitcher in both the American and National League. We have seen a combination of both wily veterans and up-and-coming stars win the trophy over the years.

In the National League, New York Mets pitcher Jacob deGrom claimed his second consecutive Cy Young Award in 2019 after posting a dazzling 2.43 ERA to go along with 255 strikeouts. In the American League, veteran Justin Verlander of the Houston Astros won his second career Cy Young after a 300-strikeout campaign that included 21 wins.

With the new season on hold, we will take a look at the best value bets in each league. While it is easy to make a case for the heavy favorite Gerrit Cole (+280) to win in the AL, I’ll examine better value down the board. And although it would be awesome to see deGrom three-peat, it is simply too hard to take the bait at such a price (+300).

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Best Value Bets to Win the AL Cy Young

Lucas Giolito (CHW) +2200 on FanDuel Sportsbook 
Giolito showed massive strides in his third season with the White Sox. In 29 starts, he went 14-9 with 228 strikeouts in just 176.2 innings. He finished fifth in the league in K/9 ratio, averaging 11.62 strikeouts per nine innings. Giolito can miss bats like the best of them and enters 2020 as part of a much improved White Sox roster. I expect plenty more run support for Giolito this season, and if he can keep that opponent batting average hovering around .200 this year, the sky is the limit.

Jose Berrios (MIN) +1800 on FanDuel Sportsbook
Berrios has some of the nastiest movements on his pitches and has really piled up the strikeouts in his first four seasons with the Twins. Over the past three years, Berrios has improved his ERA each season and is learning to perfect the craft of pitching. He cruised to a 14-8 record and was five strikeouts shy of reaching 200 for the second consecutive year.

His numbers would have looked much better last season, but he had a 7.57 ERA during a tough five-start stretch in August. With another year under his belt and an improved roster behind him, Berrios could take a big step forward in 2020.

Best Value Bets to Win the NL Cy Young

Jack Flaherty (STL) +900 on FanDuel Sportsbook
In just his second full season with the Cardinals, Flaherty put up numbers that got him into the Cy Young Award conversation. Last year, Flaherty struck out 231 batters in 196 innings while holding hitters to a .192 batting average. His stuff is flat out filthy, and he has solidified himself as one of the brightest young pitchers in the National League.

After the All-Star break, Flaherty led all MLB pitchers with a 0.91 ERA in 15 starts. He was borderline unhittable, and I expect more improvements from the Cardinals ace this season. While these numbers are unsustainable, Flaherty led the entire MLB in soft contact induced. He is difficult to square up and the underlying numbers look great.

Luis Castillo (CIN) +1800 on FanDuel Sportsbook
Castillo enters the 2020 season with high expectations as the Reds’ ace. After posting a 15-8 record and 226 strikeouts in 2019, the Reds will hope he takes the next step into true Cy Young contention. Something that was missing for Castillo was run support.

With the Reds adding some big bats in the offseason, expect a much-improved offense that bodes well for Castillo’s Cy Young chances. If he can cut his walk rate this year, I really like his chances. Castillo was number two among all pitchers in opponent ground ball percentage last season. He does not allow many fly balls and will hope to get improved defence behind him.

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Nic Turner is a featured writer at BettingPros. For more from Nic, check out his archive and follow him @sportzbandit.