Midseason MLB Expert Betting Predictions

Posted by Jordan Walterss on August 12, 2016 in

The 2016 Major League Baseball season is now about three-quarters finished with the regular season. We are officially nearing the homestretch. So let’s take a look at the Cy Young favorites on MLB odds in each league. Usually by this time of year we have a clear favorite of who might win. But that’s not the case right now.

Let’s Take a Look at the Midseason MLB Betting Predictions

Sale Leads American League

Chicago White Sox lefty Chris Sale is the favorite in the AL to win his first Cy Young. As of this writing, Sale is 14-5 with a 3.16 ERA. Very good numbers to be sure but on a mediocre team so some voters may not vote for Sale because the White Sox aren’t playoff contenders. Sale’s last start, Tuesday vs. the Royals, was rather indicative of a lack of support he has gotten from his teammates this year.

Sale allowed three runs on seven hits and a walk with seven strikeouts over seven innings in a no- decision against the Royals. Sale has now thrown four consecutive quality starts, all on the road, but has gone 0-3 in this stretch thanks to a lack of run support. He is now up to 150 strikeouts in 154 innings this season, giving him a solid 8.9 K/9 rate. This could be Sale’s final season on the South Side as the Sox could trade him this winter after listening to offers before the Aug. 1 trade deadline.

A rising player on the Cy Young odds is Toronto lefty J.A. Happ, who wasn’t even a betting choice before the season. Happ (16-3, 2.96) tossed six shutout innings, allowing just four hits while striking out seven and walking just two in a  7-0 victory over the Rays on Wednesday. Happ is benefitting from an ALleading 6.09 runs support average per start, but he also has great numbers. He owns a 1.14 WHIP and 124 strikeouts in 143.0 innings. He’s won each of his last four starts and during that time, Happ has posted a 0.72 ERA and 30 strikeouts in 25 frames. He hasn't lost a game since June 6.

The other top candidate in the AL is Cole Hamels (12-3 2.89), another lefty, of the Rangers. Hamels is in excellent form as he hasn’t allowed more than three runs since July 8 against Minnesota, a five start stretch. In that span, he has dropped his ERA from 3.21 to 2.89. Both Hamels and Happ are playing on likely playoff teams. That helps their chances.

Strasburg Leads NL Odds

The National League betting favorite is Washington right-hander Stephen Strasburg, who as of this writing is 15-2 with a 2.80 ERA for a first-place team. Earlier this year, the Nats kept Strasburg from becoming a free agent this winter by signing him to a seven-year, $175 million contract extension. As a Scott Boras client, Strasburg’s move to sign an extension and not hit the open market was a surprise. Strasburg was positioned to be the top pitching choice this offseason by a large margin. Instead, he’ll remain with the only club he has known since being drafted No. 1 overall by the Nationals in 2009.

Another top candidate is Miami’s Jose Fernandez (12-6, 2.81). But the problem with him is that the Marlins are going to limit his innings the rest of the way. He was supposed to pitch this Sunday in an epic showdown with Sale in interleague play, but the Marlins are skipping Fernandez’s start solely to save wear-and- tear. The Marlins set the priority of keeping Fernandez active and effective through the end of the season and mapped out a plan during spring training to limit his innings to about 185. He was also bypassed in one turn early last month and is on track to make 30 starts.

My Expert Picks

I like Happ in the American League and Strasburg in the NL.