Odds to Win 2019 MLB Cy Young
When accessing Major League Baseball starters the first attribute to the position is the volatility of pitchers from season-to-season. Furthermore the recent trends of using the “Opener” experiment involving a number of relievers throughout a game presents questions as to the number of appearances of a pitcher in the traditional sense.
The new terminology of “Opener” first found a novelty spot in Tampa Bay last May. The Rays reliever Sergio Romo started two games after making his first 588 career appearances as a reliever. In this case Romo served as the team’s starter on consecutive days. And did so with the purpose of working against the top of the Los Angeles Angels lineup before departing the mound for pitchers—normally starters—who would give Tampa Bay more innings.
Romo was by Major League Baseball measures technically starting. However doing so in a non-traditional manner. He was opening—the games in what should be expected to be more of a norm for teams moving forward. This rather than the aforementioned novelty for pitching staffs.
Cy Young Candidates
The mention of the “Opener” experiment is in no way meant to confuse or blister a gamers current formulas. A system one follows to examine a pitchers Cy Young wherewithal. In truth the first factoring variable I use to shorten my list of Cy contenders is their Swinging Strike Rate. Rather than a projected number of appearances and/or innings pitched across a 162-game season.
Make no mistake that the percentage of pitches that result in a swing and a miss is important to any pitchers success. It is one of the most overlooked yet powerful statistics in evaluating a pitcher’s ability. Whether it be a gamer investigating a MLB Cy Young Future return on investment or even for fantasy baseball purposes.
The advent of the swinging strike rate is attributed to fantasy baseball growth. Done so by a large number of analysts who were looking for ways to quantify a pitcher’s true ability. Thus the swinging strike rate became one of the more accurate metrics for predicting performance.
Correlation of SwStr % and Cy Young Candidates
Given the accessibility of the swinging strike rate via a number of baseball portals on the internet make the stats easily accessible. And while the correlation between strikeout rate and Cy Young winners in the past isn’t an absolute there is a connection. The bottom line between the hand-in-hand contact of the two eliminates the luck factor of balls hit in play for a pitcher.
A Major League arm that has a high swinging strike rate has an edge versus a pitcher that tosses to contact.
The 2018 Cy Young winners were not among the league leaders in swinging strike rate. This is especially true for American League winner Blake Snell. And while Jacob deGrom recorded the higher rate of the two Cy Young winners a season ago his strongest asset was the percentage of soft contact he induced.
2018 Cy Young Winners
American League: Blake Snell (Rays)
National League: Jacob deGrom (Mets)
The World’s Largest Race and Sportsbook updated Odds to Win 2019 Cy Young Award finds Nationals righty Max Scherzer at odds of 5-2. Scherzer registered a near 17 percent swinging strike rate pre-All Star break a season ago. The second half of the season saw him record a 15.4 percent SwStr%. Bothe were the highest in the league save his second half rate which fell behind both Carlos Carrasco (17.5%) and Patrick Corbin (17.8%).