MLB Futures Update: Astros Teammates Lead AL Cy Young Odds

The American League Cy Young seems to be a race between two teammates down the stretch. Gerrit Cole and Justin Verlander are leading the Astros to another playoff run and are the two front runners to win the prestigious award. Are there any other options for bettors to consider down the stretch? Here’s a look at MLB futures and current AL Cy Young odds.

For more general MLB betting tips, check out our MLB betting picks resource page.

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MLB Futures and Current AL Cy Young Odds

Justin Verlander +150 (use our Points Bet promo code to get these odds and for two risk-free bets up to $1000)

As the only previous Cy Young winner, Justin Verlander is the short favorite to win the award in 2019 at the time of this writing. Verlander won the award as a Tiger in 2011 when he went 24-5 and compiled 250 strikeouts with a 2.40 ERA. Despite his home run woes (1.6 HR/9) this season, Verlander continues to overpower hitters with his 34.5 K% this season.

Verlander leads the American League with a 2.82 ERA and is second with 217 strikeouts. His xFIP at 3.41 suggests he may be getting a bit lucky but not to the point where one should consider his success a fluke. Verlander seems to be riding with the current MLB trend — that is to strike out a high quantity of hitters while giving up the occasional home run. JV is certainly challenging hitters this season with a fourth-worst 47.0 FB%. When the quantity of fly balls is this high, even the best pitchers will give up home runs.

Verlander’s real competition for the award shares a clubhouse with him. Gerrit Cole, up next on our list, is now neck-and-neck with JV as we approach the home stretch of the 2019 MLB season. Per an article written by Matt Kelly, the Astros see a very favorable schedule for the remainder of the season. With remaining opponents compiling a .467 winning percentage, both Verlander and Cole should see a plethora of winnable matchups. A lock for a playoff run, the only question will be whether or not the Astros let up a bit on one or both of their aces.

On DraftKings Sportsbook, Verlander sits at +145 to win the award, so bettors gain a bit by opting for the +150 PointsBet number.

Gerrit Cole +165 (use our DraftKings Sportsbook promo code to get these odds)

The aforementioned Gerrit Cole was +1200 to win the American League Cy Young on March 19th. On June 3rd, Cole moved all the way up to +500 to win the award on DraftKings Sportsbook. Now, Cole rests just behind Justin Verlander at +165 (Verlander is +145 on DraftKings).

Like his clubhouse mate, Cole is overpowering hitters in 2019. Cole’s 226 strikeouts and 36.8 K% lead all of MLB. Again like his teammate, Cole is also not immune to the occasional home run, allowing a 1.4 HR/9 on a 38.8 FB%. The Astros’ ace is not bucking the current baseball trend — strike out as many batters as possible because home runs are going to happen during this fly ball revolution.

Unlike Verlander, Cole’s .282 xFIP, when compared to his .287 ERA, suggests a lack of luck, good or bad, is attributed to his 2019 resume. His .279 BABIP is fine for a fly ball pitcher and yeah, Gerrit Cole is all that he is advertised. With both frontrunners benefited by the same schedule, Cole could leap ahead of Verlander if Justin’s underlying numbers force any bit of regression.

While he is not the favorite on DraftKings Sportsbook, Cole is the +130 favorite on PointsBet at the time of this writing. The +165 number is a clear value when compared to the competitor’s number. If betting Cole, lock in the value at DraftKings Sportsbook.

Charlie Morton +850 (use our Points Bet promo code to get these odds and for two risk-free bets up to $1000)

After a discussion about the two favorites, we enter the dartboard category. Considering the current odds and extremely favorable Astros schedule, any other option seems to be a true longshot and will need plenty of good fortune to win the award.

Enter Charlie Morton. The former Astro is putting together a very strong 2019 campaign. On either sportsbook, Morton is third based on odds to win the award, and might just have a path to the award if things can break his way.

First, the Tampa Bay Rays also see a favorable strength of schedule (.482 winning percentage) per Kelly’s article. Second, the Rays are not locked into a playoff spot like the Astros. The Rays will likely play meaningful baseball games until the end of the season as they aim to hold onto a Wild Card berth and potentially host the game. The Rays are currently two games behind the Twins for the first spot while holding a two-game lead on the Athletics for the second spot.

Morton currently boasts a 2.90 ERA and 3.24 xFIP — suggesting a bit of regression may loom. His home ballpark might protect him, though, as his 0.7 HR/9 makes plenty of sense pitching in Tropicana Field. Where Morton falls far behind Cole and Verlander is the strikeout department. Morton’s 30.6 K% is more than respectable but is way behind the rates of the two frontrunners. Morton will likely need to clean up the free passes down the stretch as well, with his 7.1 BB% representing the high mark for the candidates discussed in this article.

If you fancy backing a longshot, the value resides on PointsBet Sportsbook. Morton is pegged at +625 to win the award on DraftKings. Be sure to buy on PointsBet.

Shane Bieber +1500 (use our DraftKings Sportsbook promo code to get these odds)

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Finally, we have Shane Bieber. In March, Bieber was +10,000 to win the American League Cy Young. The long odds were the fifth-worst on his own team as Corey Kluber, Trevor Bauer, Mike Clevinger, and Carlos Carrasco all were projected more likely for the award. Kluber is injured, Bauer is in Cincinnati, Clevinger is on the mend, and Carlos Carrasco is ill. Shane Bieber remains as the fourth-favorite on PointsBet to win the Cy Young award.

The term “favorite” is probably a stretch. On DraftKings Sportsbook, Bieber is also behind Jose Berrios. So, like Charlie Morton, Shane will need plenty of good fortune to finish the season with the award. So, what does Bieber have in his favor?

Strength of schedule is and isn’t in his favor for the rest of the season. The .500 winning percentage for his remaining opponents signals that the Indians will face a tougher schedule than the three aforementioned starters. That said, overcoming a tougher schedule would only represent a feather in Bieber’s cap if the Indians were able to hold off the Twins and earn another playoff run. Cleveland is currently sitting atop the Central Division by a half-game above the Twins.

Bieber will need to keep his recent form to even be in consideration for the award. In all likelihood, he will need to keep this form through the end of the season while his counterparts fall back. Shane collected two complete-game victories during this current, dominant four-game stretch. The strikeouts are up (11, 8, 8, 10) during this string of quality starts. Nothing about Bieber’s overall 3.28 ERA, .270 wOBA, and 31.1 K% stands out amongst his competition. An outstanding stretch run will need to be parlayed with and Indians’ division title to give Bieber a glimmer of hope.

If throwing the Shane Bieber dart, buy with DraftKings Sportsbook and their +1500 number. On PointsBet, Bieber is the fourth-favorite at +1200. On a longshot like this, take all of the value offered.

About the Author

  • Joe Cistaro (joeycis)

  • Joe Cistaro has blogged on RotoGrinders since January 2017. He fell in love with daily fantasy sports after winning an NBA single-entry tournament on FanDuel in the fall of 2013. A small-time player, Joe enjoys writing about MLB and NBA DFS while connecting with the RotoGrinders community.

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