Last season’s NL Cy Young race was one of the closest in recent memory. This year should be no different, with several hurlers capable of etching their name into baseball immortality.
Let’s look at the current NL Cy Young futures courtesy of the BetMGM Sportsbook.
Sandy Alcantara – Marlins (-10000)
Last Week: Sandy Alcantara (14-9) suffered a tough loss in his September 30 start in Milwaukee, dropping a 1-0 decision to the Brewers at American Family Field. The much-anticipated pitchers’ duel between the Marlins right-hander and Brewers ace Corbin Burnes lived up to its advanced billing, with both pitchers turning in dominant performances. Alcantara worked eight innings, giving up just one earned run on five hits. He struck out eight and did not walk a batter.
This Week: Though projected to start the Marlins’ final game of the campaign against Atlanta, manager Don Mattingly announced on Saturday that Alcantara would not pitch again this season, opting to rest his star pitcher. The Marlins workhorse finishes the season with a sparkling 2.28 ERA and 0.98 WHIP over 228.2 innings (32 starts) with six complete games. The betting markets have all but handed the Cy Young award to the 27-year-old, a crowning, well-deserved achievement in what has been a truly outstanding breakout year.
Julio Urias – Dodgers (+10000)
Last Week: Julio Urias (17-7) pitched six shutout innings in his September 28 start but did not factor in the decision as the Dodgers edged the San Diego Padres 1-0 in ten innings. The left-hander struck out five and walked two, lowering his ERA to 2.17 – tops in the NL among qualified pitchers.
This Week: Urias is scheduled to face the Colorado Rockies at home on Tuesday before toeing the rubber in the postseason the following week.
Zac Gallen – Diamondbacks (+10000)
Last Week: Zac Gallen (12-3) turned in another solid performance in his September 28 start at Houston but did not factor in the decision, as the Diamondbacks downed the Astros 5-2 in ten innings at Minute Maid Park. The right-hander tossed seven innings, surrendering two runs on six hits while striking out six. He walked one.
This Week: Gallen has enjoyed a career season and is scheduled to start on Tuesday in Milwaukee – a potentially critical game for the Brew Crew, who find themselves two games behind the Philadelphia Phillies in the battle for the final NL Wild Card berth, each team with three games remaining. Should this game matter, Craig Counsell’s club will have their hands full with the Diamondbacks ace, who has not given up more than two earned runs in any of his last ten starts.
Max Scherzer – Mets (+50000)
This Week: Max Scherzer (11-5) took the loss in the second of the Mets’ crucial three-game series against the Atlanta Braves at Truist Park. The veteran right-hander was touched for four earned runs on nine hits over 5.2 innings, giving up a two-run homer to Braves shortstop Dansby Swanson and a solo blast to Matt Olson. He struck out four and did not walk a batter in the 101-pitch effort.
Next Week: The Braves swept the three-game series from the Mets to take a two-game lead in the NL East, each team with three games left to play. The Mets host the lowly Washington Nationals and will need to sweep the series and have the Braves lose their remaining three games to capture the NL East. Given the circumstances, Scherzer’s next start has yet to be confirmed; an appearance in the NL Wild Card is the most likely scenario.
Max Fried – Braves (+50000)
Last Week: Max Fried (14-7) was forced to leave his September 30 start against the New York Mets due to illness. The left-hander, however, still managed to pick up his 14th win of the season, working five innings in the Braves’ 5-2 victory. The win was Fried’s third against the Metropolitans this season.
This Week: Health permitting, Fried is slated to start Atlanta’s final regular season game in Miami on Wednesday. Enjoying a two-game lead over the Mets in the NL East and owning the tiebreaker, the Braves’ magic number for clinching the division title is a mere one. The chances of the season finale being meaningful are indeed slim.
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