The start of the 2022 MLB season is right around the corner with Opening Day slated for Thursday, April 7. It's the perfect time to make some last-minute wagers on betting futures on FanDuel Sportsbook, especially when it concerns the American League Cy Young race.
This year's race will be full of the usual favorites, such as the Gerrit Cole and Shane Bieber. However, bettors can also get decent value by targeting some intriguing dark-horse picks.
Here's a look at the three best dark-horse bets to win the AL Cy Young in 2022, with odds courtesy of FanDuel Sportsbook.
AL Cy Young Dark Horses 2022
1. Hyun Jin Ryu, Toronto Blue Jays (+4000)
Hyun Jin Ryu enters the new season on the third year of his four-year, $80 million deal with the Toronto Blue Jays. His time with up north has been a mixed bag, with him finishing top-three in AL Cy Young voting in 2020 before regressing in 2021. Having said that, the Blue Jays are shaping up to be a World Series contender and playing for a team of that caliber could help Ryu bounce back. He's had two top-three Cy Young finishes in the last three seasons and will want to prove that last year's disappointing performance was a one-off. With the improvements across the team that Toronto has made over the offseason, look for Ryu to make a push as one of the American League's top pitchers.
2. Michael Kopech, Chicago White Sox (+5000)
After a three-season MLB absence, Michael Kopech returned to the Chicago White Sox's lineup in 2021, making 44 appearances (four starts) en route to a 4-3 record, 3.50 ERA and 1.125 WHIP. While those numbers aren't mind-blowing, it's important to point out that his season was delayed due to Tommy John surgery. Now that he's fully recovered and feeling more comfortable, the White Sox have made him a starter and there's good reason to believe in a potential dark-horse Cy Young run. Kopech averaged an impressive 13.4 strikeouts per nine innings pitched last season, along with giving up only 3.1 walks per nine as well. If he can maintain that level of play while experiencing a starting pitcher's workload, Kopech may not be a dark horse for that much longer.
3. Framber Valdez, Houston Astros (+7000)
The Houston Astros have one of the better rotations in the American League, with Framber Valdez being one of the more notable pitchers to keep an eye on. The 2022 campaign could hold big things for the 28-year-old, who's already been named Houston's Opening Day starter. After placing 11th in the 2020 AL Cy Young race, Valdez finished the 2021 campaign with an 11-6 record in 22 starts, along with a 3.14 ERA and 1.248 WHIP. The Astros are also World Series contenders and continued improvement from Valdez could lead to him having another career year. If that trend continues and he improves his strikeout numbers (8.4 K/9 pitched in 2021), he could end up stealing the AL Cy Young award.
Devon Platana is not a FanDuel employee. The views expressed in his articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.