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With MLB Opening Day delayed, expert handicapper Stephen Rodriguez brings us his picks for this season's AL Cy Young Award

Best Bet: (1.5u) Shane Bieber @ +1300

  • Shane Bieber finished 4th in AL with a (3.28) ERA.
  • Bieber finished fourth in the 2019 AL Cy Young voting with 11 third places, 13 fourth places, and five fifth-place votes.

The reason we’re backing Shane Bieber

The 2019 American League All-Star Game starting pitcher had himself a breakout season in only his second professional season.

Bieber made 33 starts, threw three complete games, two shutouts, and had a 1.05 WHIP in 214.1 innings pitched. The 24-year old added 259 strikeouts and a 3.28 ERA.

The Indians rotation will have to lean heavily on Bieber early in the season as they did last year with former Cy Young winner Corey Kluber traded to Texas, and Cleveland’s ace Mike Clevinger expected to miss time with a knee injury. If Bieber rises to the occasion in the first half of the season, he could find himself with enough momentum to pull out the Cy Young.

(1u) Gerrit Cole @ +300

  • Gerrit Cole finished second in the 2019 AL Cy Young voting with 13 first-place votes, 17 second-place votes, and 12 total points behind the first.

The reason we’re backing Gerrit Cole

Cole was the highest-priced free agent this season, and is deservingly the outright favorite to win the AL Cy Young.

Cole would have won the Cy Young last season if it wasn’t for his own former Astros teammate Justin Verlander. In 2019, Cole finished the season with 20 wins for the first time in his career, and added other career bests for ERA, Ks and WHIP.

Cole led the American League in strikeouts (326), ERA (2.50), and ranked second in WHIP (0.89).

By playing in Bronx, Cole will surely gain plenty of run support behind the Bombers to back his campaign at winning the AL Cy Young this season.

(0.5u) Blake Snell @ +1000

  • Won the 2018 AL Cy Young at (21-5) with a 1.89 ERA, 0.97 WHIP and 221 strikeouts in 31 starts.

The reason we’re backing Blake Snell

The 2018 Cy Young winner had a bit of a hangover to begin the 2019 season after his mesmerizing campaign the year before. Snell was hit hard early on in the season as he went into the All-Star break with a (5-7) record with a 4.70 ERA.

Following the break, Snell saw his season get derailed in two starts after All-Star, with the left-hander missing all of August and half of September with bone chips in his throwing elbow. He returned for three minimal starts at the end of September, and was ready enough to pitch in the postseason.

Snell started Game 2 against the Houston Astros in the ALDS and took the loss (3-2), allowing only 1 ER with 5 Ks in 3.1 innings pitched.

The main thing to keep in mind when betting on Snell this season is him staying healthy. Yet, with his longshot odds sitting at +1000, Snell could be well worth the gamble. If he can provide a glimpse of the season he put together in 2018, there’s a strong chance he rebounds and competes for the Cy Young yet again this season.

(0.5u) Jose Berrios @ +3000

  • Berrios ranked 8th in the AL with a 3.68 ERA.

The reason we’re backing Jose Berrios

The Minnesota Twins ace put together the best season of his young career in 2019 and matched a career best in wins with 14 and ERA with 3.68.

Berrios ranked eighth amongst the American League in almost every pitching statistic including ERA, innings pitched (200.1), WHIP (1.22), and win percentage (.636).

The only knock on Berrios is that he’s lacked a win on the big stage in October. In his second postseason start, Berrios took the loss for the second straight time to the New York Yankees.

The 25-year-old has been due for a dominant breakout season and although he’s been a consistent force, Berrios is capable of taking another step into the elite company of Cy Young winner. At +3000, Berrios is an attractive long shot to come out of nowhere and win.

(0.5u) Corey Kluber @ +2000

  • Kluber won the AL Cy Young in 2014 and 2017 with the Cleveland Indians.

The reason we’re backing Corey Kluber

There’s no one on this list hoping to put the 2019 season behind them more than Kluber. In the midst of a contract dispute, Kluber continued to pitch for Cleveland until he was hit with a line drive during his seventh start of the season on May 1st in Miami. Kluber broke his right forearm on the line drive and struggled to make it back despite a strong effort.

During rehab, Kluber suffered an oblique injury during a minor league appearance which ended his return.

As a result, the 33-year-old two-time Cy Young Award winner was shopped on the market and traded to the Texas Rangers for outfielder Delino DeShields and a 21-year-old pitching prospect Emmanuel Clase.

Poised for a huge bounce back year in Texas, Kluber had started more than 30 games and won over 18 games in four of the five seasons prior to 2019.

Kluber won his first Cy Young in 2014 with a 18-9 record, and his second in 2017 with an 18-4 record and a 2.25 ERA.

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