3 Dark Horses That Could Win the 2020 AL Cy Young Award
As is the case almost every season, the American League's big-name pitchers, like Gerrit Cole, Chris Sale and Justin Verlander, are at the top of the pack in the running for baseball's most prestigious pitching award. However, there are a few pitchers this year that could find themselves in the thick of the race if they can build off of their excellent 2019 seasons.
With that in mind, here are three dark horse candidates — according to FanDuel Sportsbook's preseason odds — that can win the 2020 AL Cy Young Award.
3. Aroldis Chapman, RP, New York Yankees
No matter how dominant they may be in a given year, relief pitchers rarely get any love from Cy Young Award voters. However, if there's one reliever in the American League that can steal the award from a starter, it's Aroldis Chapman. The 31-year-old fireballer has been consistently dominant throughout his Major League career, recording at least 33 saves in seven of his 10 years. And while he's never led the league in saves, Chapman has a pretty good shot to do so in 2020 on a talented Yankees team that already gave him 42 save opportunities last season. Chapman is a 100-to-1 long-shot heading into 2020, but he's one of the few active relievers in baseball to have earned Cy Young consideration in their career, having finished eighth in NL Cy Young voting in 2012.
2. Lance Lynn, SP, Texas Rangers
Lance Lynn isn't getting much Cy Young hype heading into 2020, but he should still be on everyone's radar. The 32-year-old righty finished fourth in the AL in wins last year (16), and he did an incredible job limiting the long ball, surrendering 0.91 homers per nine innings (No. 3 in the AL). However, Lynn's most eye-popping stat from last season may have been his incredible FIP. Per FanGraphs' metrics, the 32-year-old finished 2019 with a 3.13 FIP (No. 3 in the AL), which was 0.14 points better than 2019 Cy Young winner Justin Verlander. Lynn is just +3000 to win the Cy Young, but he will certainly be in the conversation for the award if he can build off of last year's bounce-back campaign.
1. Lucas Giolito, SP, Chicago White Sox
Lucas Giolito was teetering on bust status heading into 2019, but he finally lived up to his billing as a top prospect in his third year with the White Sox. The 2019 All-Star set established himself as one of the American League's most dominant pitchers, leading the Majors in complete games (3) and shutouts (2), while allowing a .203 batting average against (No. 3 in the AL) and striking out an impressive 32.3 percent of the batters he faced (No. 3 in the AL). Limiting walks was a bit of an issue (8.1 percent walk rate, No. 18 in the AL), but if he's able to improve his control in 2020, the 25-year-old righty's +2500 odds could skyrocket as the season progresses.
Join FanDuel Sportsbook Today. New users get a risk-free bet up to $500. Join Now.
Mike Esposito is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Mike Esposito also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username espo6891. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.