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Breaking down favorites, sleepers, and dark horses for 2020 AL Cy Young Award

We identify the favorites, a sleeper, and a dark horse in the American League’s 2020 Cy Young Award race.

New York Yankees starting pitcher Gerrit Cole throws during a live batting practice at spring training at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

MLB’s 2020 season is around the corner and spring training is set to begin Friday. This means we’ll start to get a look at each team’s pitching rotations. There are lots of talented arms in the American League, and we took a look at the odds players have to win the league’s Cy Young award this year on DraftKings Sportsbook. Here are some names you should keep an eye on.

Favorites

New York Yankees star Gerrit Cole (+275) is the favorite to get the hardware in the AL this year, and it’s not hard to see why. He led all pitchers in WAR and xFIP, and led AL pitchers in FIP as a member of the Houston Astros. Among traditional counting stats, he had the lowest ERA (2.50) and the most strikeouts (326) in the league. His 20 wins were second only to his teammate Justin Verlander (+700), who notched 21 victories in 2019 and won a his second Cy Young Award in 2019. Now Cole has his own team and could ascend to another level.

Boston Red Sox pitcher Chris Sale (+600) is second to Cole and is a strikeout machine. He tallied 218 K’s in just 147.1 innings in 2019, but his season ended early because of an elbow injury. It did not require Tommy John surgery though, and everybody knows how dominant he can be when healthy. The Cleveland IndiansMike Clevinger (+1000) and the Tampa Bay RaysBlake Snell (+1000) round out the top five. The departures of Corey Kluber (+2500) and Trevor Bauer made Clevinger Cleveland’s clear-cut top option, but he’s dealing with a meniscus tear that could affect his start to the 2020 season. He only appeared in 21 games but racked up 169 K’s. Snell led the AL in wins (21) and ERA (1.89) in 2018 ahead of his first CY Young Award. He’s the top dog in Tampa Bay but has Tyler Glasnow (+1800) right behind him in the rotation.

Sleeper

Lucas Giolito (+2200) became an All-Star with the Chicago White Sox in 2019 and nearly doubled his 2018 strikeout total (128) by recording 228 Ks — which was good for seventh in the AL. His season was ended prematurely because of a lat strain, but he still finished sixth in the AL in WAR and FIP, and was fifth in xFIP. If he’s healthy all year as Chicago’s ace, he has a chance to put up even better numbers. The 25-year-old might just be approaching his prime.

Dark horse

Oakland Athletics ace Sean Manaea is a serious long shot right now at +10000. He only appeared in five games during the regular season last year, and then made one unsuccessful start in the A’s Wild Card game loss to the Tampa Bay Rays. He had shoulder surgery in September of 2018 and spent most of 2019 rehabbing. He made his 2019 debut on September 1st, and prior to the playoffs, put together an impressive five game stretch.

In five starts, he won four games and gave four runs over 29 23 innings. He was worth 1.4 WAR over that short stretch. We can’t exactly project that number out entirely given that he’ll have his share of down performances, but it was an impressive enough run to garner some consideration as a long shot option.

2020 AL Cy Young odds

Player Odds
Player Odds
Gerrit Cole +275
Chris Sale +600
Justin Verlander +700
Blake Snell +1000
Mike Clevinger +1000
Charlie Morton +1200
Shane Bieber +1400
Tyler Glasnow +1800
Carlos Carrasco +2200
Lucas Giolito +2200
Corey Kluber +2500
Zack Greinke +2500
Lance Lynn +2800
Luis Severino +2800
Jose Berrios +3300
Frankie Montas +4000
Hyun-Jin Ryu +4000
Lance McCullers Jr +4000
Matthew Boyd +5000
Shohei Ohtani +5000
Eduardo Rodriguez +6600
James Paxton +8000
Mike Minor +8000
Dallas Keuchel +10000
Kyle Gibson +10000
Masahiro Tanaka +10000
Nathan Eovaldi +10000
Sean Manaea +10000
Aroldis Chapman +15000
Dylan Bundy +15000
Jake Odorizzi +15000
Jose Urquidy +15000
Liam Hendriks +15000

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