Two Ex-Red Sox Offering Value In 2023 AL Cy Young Award Betting Market

Nathan Eovaldi and Eduardo Rodriguez have been excellent this season


May 25

The American League Cy Young Award conversation, through roughly two months of the 2023 Major League Baseball season, probably starts with three high-profile pitchers: Shane McClanahan of the Tampa Bay Rays, Gerrit Cole of the New York Yankees and two-way phenom Shohei Ohtani of the Los Angeles Angels.

They sat atop the betting board at FanDuel Sportsbook on Thursday — McClanahan at +360, Cole at +450 and Ohtani at +700 — and obviously have more than enough talent to maintain their current performance level or reach another gear as the year progresses.

There’s value to be had elsewhere, though, and two former Red Sox pitchers stand out, if for no other reason than they’ve officially entered the chat by virtue of their early-season excellence: Nathan Eovaldi of the Texas Rangers and Eduardo Rodriguez of the Detroit Tigers.

Eovaldi, who tossed his second complete game of the season Tuesday night, is tied with Minnesota Twins veteran Sonny Gray for the eighth-shortest odds in the AL Cy Young futures market at +1800. Rodriguez, despite suffering back-to-back losses to the Pittsburgh Pirates and Kansas City Royals, checks in at +3200.

Here’s a more detailed look at the AL Cy Young Award odds at FanDuel Sportsbook, as of Thursday night:

Shane McClanahan (Tampa Bay Rays) +360
Gerrit Cole (New York Yankees) +450
Shohei Ohtani (Los Angeles Angels) +700
Joe Ryan (Minnesota Twins) +1200
Kevin Gausman (Toronto Blue Jays) +1300
Luis Castillo (Seattle Mariners) +1600
Framber Valdez (Houston Astros) +1600
Sonny Gray (Minnesota Twins) +1800
Nathan Eovaldi (Texas Rangers) +1800
George Kirby (Seattle Mariners) +2000
Eduardo Rodriguez (Detroit Tigers) +3200
Shane Bieber (Cleveland Guardians) +4000
Logan Gilbert (Seattle Mariners) +5000
Pablo López (Minnesota Twins) +6000
Hunter Brown (Houston Astros) +6000
Chris Sale (Boston Red Sox) +8000
Chris Bassitt (Toronto Blue Jays) +8000
Jacob deGrom (Texas Rangers) +8000

Now, here are the numbers (and AL ranks among qualified starters) posted thus far by Eovaldi and Rodriguez:

Nathan Eovaldi: 10 starts, 6-2 record, 69 1/3 innings (1st), 2.60 ERA (7th), 2.46 FIP (3rd), 3.40 SIERA (9th), 0.97 WHIP (6th), 8.57 K/9 (22nd), 1.43 BB/9 (3rd), 2.4 fWAR (1st)

Eduardo Rodriguez: 10 starts, 4-4 record, 61 2/3 innings (8th), 2.19 ERA (3rd), 3.03 FIP (8th), 3.69 SIERA (13th), 0.96 WHIP (5th), 8.90 K/9 (19th), 2.04 BB/9 (11th), 1.6 fWAR (8th)

Of course, the extensive track records of Eovaldi, 33, and Rodriguez, 30, suggest they probably won’t contend for the Cy Young Award when the dust settles, even if they pitch well moving forward. They’re good pitchers, no doubt. But Eovaldi ranked fourth in Cy Young voting in 2021. Rodriguez ranked sixth in 2019. Aside from that, their peaks are more in line with the second or third tier of AL starters, not among MLB’s elite.

Still, their numbers to this point have them very much part of the discussion roughly a third of the way through the 2023 season. And their placement on the betting board offers some value if you’re looking for a long-shot bet beyond the usual suspects.

Thumbnail photo via Charles LeClaire/USA TODAY Sports Images

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