2019 MLB Most Regular Season Pitching Wins
The Major League Baseball regular season is just over a month away. And fans are readying for the earliest Opening Day in history, save international openers. MLB released the 2019 schedule last August and announced the Japan opening series between the Seattle Mariners and host Oakland Athletics at the Tokyo Dome on March 20-21. The Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees will play the first-ever MLB games in Europe, June 29-30 in London.
Late March and early April not only offers the fan faithful hope for their home town team earning a spot in an October dugout but the players’ dreams of having a career year.
Pitching is typically Training Camp’s top conversation. Which starter will be their team’s Opening Day arm? And for gamers pinpointing summer long MLB propositions that offer an ROI in October.
The Tampa Bay Rays competed for much of the 2018 season with one of the smallest payrolls in the league. And while the Rays finished 18 games behind first place and World Series champion Boston they won 90 games overall.
LHP Blake Snell Advanced Metrics
A big part of the Rays’ success a year ago can be attributed to young left-hander Blake Snell who earned the 2018 AL Cy Young Award. The World’s Largest Race and Sportsbook has Snell at 18-1 odds to register MLB ,most pitcher wins in 2019. The Tampa southpaw opened at 25-1 to be the 20-19 Regular Season Win Champ in late November and has captured some winter MLB futures money reducing the ROI on the pitching prop.
It is reasonable to expect the 26-year old starter to improve on his 21-5 record last year? Can he duplicate his 0.97 WHIP and 1.89 ERA?
The advanced metrics for the lefty would suggest that he regress to some degree. Snell’s 1.89 ERA and 0.97 WHIP don’t lineup with his 3.16 xFIP and 3.30 SIERA. Snell’s surface WHIP and ERA suggest he was great a year ago. His xFIP and SIERA suggest he was just good.
To replicate his numbers from 2018 the southpaw will have to sustain or improve on his 11.01 strikeout rate. Also the Rays ace will need to continue to improve his command. In 2017 Snell’s walk rate was an unattractive 4.11. His improvement from that ’17 campaign to 3.19 last season was just sample of the categories Snell registered career bests.
In addition there was a significant luck factor in Snell’s Cy Young season. This being an unsustainable 88 percent strand rate, as well, his .241 BABIP. The Rays left-hander also improved his HR/9 from a 1.04 in 2017 to 0.8 last year. And he did so despite the opposition connecting balls hit in play at a hard contact rate of 35.7% which was five percent higher than his 2017 number.
Tampa Bay Rays 2019 Season Win Total
When examining Tampa’s expected win total of 84.5 games in 2019, according to Westgate of Las Vegas, backing Snell to record the highest win total this season would likely require that he account for over 20 percent of the team’s season win total. However if you ask Tampa Bay Rays’ newbie starting pitcher Charlie Morton, who signed with the organization over the Christmas holiday, the veteran believes this team can be a part of the 2019 postseason, according to SBNation.com.
“Neil Solondz has the audio from Charlie Morton’s first media scrum of 2019. He sounds impressed with both the Rays facilities and their innovative style (including the opener!”
Finally, the role of a starting pitcher has changed recently Teams, like Tampa, are using a trio or more of their bullpen in one of what has traditionally been a five-man starting rotation. Prior to Snell, no starting pitcher in a non-strike year had won a Cy Young Award with fewer than the 198 1/3 innings pitched. That pitcher being Los Angeles Dodgers Clayton Kershaw in 2014.
The 200-inning bar has traditionally been a standard for Cy Young Award consideration, but, in a 2018 season that saw the fewest 200-inning pitchers for a non-strike year (13), offered evidence that the “times are a changing”.
Snell pitched just over 180 total innings a year ago and averaged just 5.8 innings per start. Furthermore Snell spent two weeks of the regular season on the disabled list with left shoulder fatigue.
The World’s Largest Race and Sportsbook, WestGate of Las Vegas, 2019 MLB Most Regular Season Pitching Win Odds:
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2019 MLB Most Regular Season Pitching Wins: Snell 18-1