There are only a couple of active MLB pitchers right now who would be a lock to be a Hall of Famer five years after he retires, and at the top of that list is two-time AL Cy Young winner and one-time MVP Justin Verlander of the Houston Astros. Here are two props available to wager at Mybookie on Verlander’s 2020 MLB season – assuming there is one – and an overview.
Justin Verlander MLB Odds For 2020 Season April 9th Edition
- Most wins of any pitcher: Verlander is +600 co-favorite
- AL Cy Young Award: Verlander is +500 second-favorite
In 2011 while pitching for the Tigers, Verlander had one of the great seasons of this generation on the mound. He won the AL’s pitching triple crown, going 24-5 with a 2.40 ERA and 250 strikeouts, the most wins in the major leagues since Oakland’s Bob Welch went 27-6 in 1990. Verlander was named unanimous Cy Young winner and also became the first pitcher voted MVP since Oakland’s Dennis Eckersley in 1992 and the first starting pitcher since Boston’s Roger Clemens in 1986. The 2006 AL Rookie of the Year, Verlander joined the Brooklyn Dodgers’ Don Newcombe as the only players to win all three major awards in their careers.
Last year, Verlander won Cy Young No. 2 while with Houston, just edging out former Astros teammate Gerrit Cole, who is now with the Yankees. Verlander and Cole finished first or second on all 30 ballots cast by members of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America, with Verlander taking 17 first-place votes for 171 points and Cole getting 13 first-place votes for 159 points
Verlander had one of the best seasons of his career, perhaps trailing the 2011 season. In 34 starts in 2019, he went 21-6 with a 2.58 ERA with 300 strikeouts, a 0.80 WHIP in 223 innings. His WHIP was the second-lowest in the last 100 years. Verlander led the majors in batting average against (.172), which was the seventh-lowest since 1900, wins and innings pitched, while ranking second in the AL in ERA behind Cole (2.50). He reached 300 strikeouts for the first time in his career and threw his third career no-hitter on Sept. 1.
Verlander and Cole became the first teammates to finish first and second in the Cy Young race since Hall of Famer Randy Johnson and Curt Schilling in 2002 with the Diamondbacks. Verlander and Cole also joined Johnson and Schilling as the only teammates to reach 300 strikeouts in the same season.
At 36, Justin Verlander also became the oldest pitcher to win the Cy Young award since 42-year-old Clemens in 2004.
“It means a lot to me,’’ Verlander said after winning. “Not just because of my age, but having gone through being at the top of my game, to going down and being hurt, and having people count me out, to getting back to where I am now.”
Verlander wasn’t quite as dominant in the playoffs, though. In six starts, he was 1-4 with a 4.33 ERA. In Game 2 of the World Series vs. Washington, Verlander allowed four runs in six-plus innings on seven hits with four walks and six strikeouts in a loss. Verlander struggled out of the gate, giving up a two-run double in the first inning to Anthony Rendon before recording an out. He also allowed a go-ahead homer in the sixth to Kurt Suzuki, and he was pulled after allowing a walk to Victor Robles.
In Game 6 with the Astros having a chance to clinch at home, Verlander allowed three earned runs over five innings in Houston’s loss. Verlander gave up an RBI single to Anthony Rendon in the top of the first inning and a pair of solo home runs to Adam Eaton and Juan Soto in the top of the fifth. He had a season-low three strikeouts. Verlander, one of the most accomplished pitchers of the last two decades, remains winless through seven career World Series starts.
Verlander actually wouldn’t have been ready to start this season if it had begun on time before the coronavirus shut it down. Verlander’s spring debut was delayed until March 3 due to groin discomfort and he had right groin surgery in mid-March that was expected to sideline him six weeks. Thus, he should be fine once the 2020 season does begin – if it does.