MLB Betting Advice: Breakout Pitcher of The Year
Yesterday was opening day in the MLB! It’s 2 weeks late, but we aren’t complaining, as baseball is back. Today I want to talk about who I think the biggest breakout pitcher of the year can be, and why. I think it’s a great idea to try and target a breakout pitcher before the season starts as you can get good betting value before the bookies and the public catch on.
Doc’s Sports offers MLB expert picks for every game on our baseball predictions page.
Dylan Cease of the Chicago White Sox (+2500 to win AL Cy Young)
Why exactly is Dylan Cease my breakout pitcher of the year? He’ll be getting tons of wins on a stacked Chicago White Sox team that is projected to go 88-74 with +1000 World Series winner odds.
He is a strikeout machine. Last season Cease had the 14th most wins for starting pitchers, the 10th best strikeout percentage, and the 18th best called strike and whiff rate, while making 32 starts, tied for the American League lead. His FIP (Fielding Independent Pitching) was 50 points lower than his ERA, and his expected ERA was 30 points lower than his actual ERA (3.91). Only two other starting pitchers had more swings and misses in the zone last year, Gerrit Cole and Max Scherzer. That’s some good company. Last season was “somewhat” of Cease’s breakout, but he did struggle with command and barrel rate %. Towards the end of the year, he did start to really dial in, allowing 22 runs in his final 12 starts, plus rose his K rate from 17.3% to a killer 31% last season. His fastball possesses one of the best metrics in the whole league. Cease throws his fastball 47% of the time and has the 8th best average velocity, the 13th best vertical movement, and the 4th best spin rate, wow. Try hitting that coming in at 99 MPH. Cease pairs his elite fastball with a nasty slider that he throws 31% of the time. His slider is the 13th best swing strike %, the 7th best called strike and whiff rate, and has the 2nd best spin rate on all sliders in baseball. This is what lead Cease to 226 strike outs in 165 innings last season. If Cease can implement his changeup more, which is still the 6th best called strike and whiff rate in the league, and a 20 MPH difference from his fastball, he can jump into the CY Young talks this season.
The wins and strikeouts will be there for Dylan Cease, but he must limit his walks and try going deeper into ball games while keeping his pitch count down to take that next step. I strongly believe this is season he makes that step.
Opening day was great yesterday, with a fun walk off win in Arizona. There are 13 games to be played today, and I cannot wait to watch baseball again this Friday afternoon and evening.
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