The Boston Red Sox lost to the Minnesota Twins 4-1 on Wednesday. It was the 10th loss of the season for Rick Porcello, the 2016 AL Cy Young winner. Porcello became the third pitcher to lose ten games prior to July 1 after winning the Cy Young award the previous season (per Elias Sports Bureau).
Last year, Boston won 25 of his 33 starts, +9.8 units. The Red Sox are 7-10 when Porcello starts in 2017, -5.05 units on the moneyline. Is Rick Porcello the least profitable pitcher after a Cy Young season?
We pulled the results for every Cy Young winner since 2004 and looked at how their respective teams performed when they started prior to July 1st. It isn’t unusual for the best pitcher from the previous season to be unprofitable.
How profitable are Cy Young winners?
Record and Units won are for the season after winning the award
|Year Won||Pitcher||Record||Units (before July 1)|
|2012||R. A. Dickey||9-9||-0.67|
Only 8 starters made bettors money following a Cy Young campaign before the calendar turned to July. While Porcello’s numbers aren’t pretty there are five other former Cy Young winners that treated gamblers even worse.
Dallas Keuchel and David Price, like Porcello, were down over 5 units to start the season after winning the award. Zack Greinke and Cliff Lee almost had identical records and cost bettors 7 units. The worst offender was Corey Kluber who after winning the Cy Young in 2014 started the 2015 season going 3-13, -10.97 units.
Why do many of these great pitchers struggle? To win a Cy Young everything needs to go right. A starter not only needs great pitching but solid defense and run support. Any of those three factors could regress the following season. In addition, oddsmakers will skew the lines knowing casual bettors will wager on pitchers they know, which causes the Cy Young winners to be overpriced.
Can we fade Porcello the rest of the season? That might not be a good idea. Of the 24 winners since 2004, 17 teams had winning records when the pitcher started after July 1st. And 14 of the 24 former Cy Young winners were profitable in starts after July 1st.
Instead of fading former Cy Young winners just follow our Pro Systems. All MLB Pro System picks are +19.0 units in 2017.