We are now just a matter of days away from opening day in the MLB, assuming that you don’t count the two games played in Japan over the weekend as the season opener. With the start of the season now just around the corner, it’s the perfect time to start thinking about MLB players to bet on, as opposed to simply playing individual games. We have already taken a look at the MVP and CY Young for the 2019 season, so let’s look at what the pitchers might get up to this season in terms of ERA and strikeouts.
2019 MLB Season Odds – Strikeouts & ERA Predictions
Runs were hard to come by with these guys on the bump.Which starter will win the ERA title in 2019? pic.twitter.com/0z2oH4NDiK — MLB Stats (@MLBStats) 25 de marzo de 2019
Potential ERA Leaders
Last season, it was Jacob DeGrom who led the way with a stellar ERA of 1.70, making him one of just two players to have an ERA under 2.00. The next closest to DeGrom was Blake Snell, who went on to win the Cy Young, with an ERA of 1.89. While that number was indeed special, it is worth noting that DeGrom actually pitched close to 40 innings more than Snell over the course of the season.
Max Scherzer ended up outside of the top 5 in terms of ERA last season, but he also pitched more innings than any other player that cracked the top 10. If the Nationals can give him a little bit more of a break this season, he might just be able to slip his way back to the top.
If I was forced to pick one player to land atop the standings in terms of ERA this season, I think I might be tempted to go with Aaron Nola. He and the Phillies took a nice step forward last season, and with Bryce Harper now in the fold, they might be even better this year. Nola finished at #4 in ERA with 2.37, which would have been good enough for 3rd the year previous. I like Nola to be at the top of the heap this time around.
Potential Strikeout Leaders
There was only one player in the league last season who hit the 300 mark in strikeouts, with Max Scherzer of the Nationals being that player. You have to like his chances of getting there again, although there are a couple of players who might just have the power to get ahead of him this time around. Justin Verlander was second in K’s last season with 290, but at 36 years of age, you have to wonder just how much he has left in the tank.
After those two, we saw a bit of a drop off in terms of strikeouts, with Gerrit Cole and Jacob DeGrom sitting off the pace set by the two men at the top. This season, though, I am looking at Chris Sale as being the potential strikeout leader. He landed on top of the pile in 2017 with over 300 K’s and still landed in the #6 spot last season despite starting 6 or 7 games less than the pitchers who landed ahead of him.