2021 MLB Starting Pitcher Wins: The odds are very narrow between the top 10 pitchers who are most likely to accrue the most wins in 2021. Here is our 2021 MLB SP Wins picks and sleepers.
- 2021 MLB Starting Pitcher Odds and lines courtesy of BetRivers current as of 3/2/2021 at 11:30 p.m. ET.
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2021 MLB Starting Pitcher Wins Leader Bets
MLB SP Wins Leader Odds
- Jacob deGrom, New York Mets (+1200)
- Gerrit Cole, New York Yankees (+1200)
- Trevor Bauer, Los Angeles Dodgers (+1300)
- Shane Bieber, Cleveland Indians (+1300)
- Lucas Giolito, Chicago White Sox (+1400)
- Max Scherzer, Washington Nationals (+1500)
- Walker Buehler, Los Angeles Dodgers (+1500)
- Yu Darvish, San Diego Padres (+1500)
- Aaron Nola, Philadelphia Phillies (+1800)
- Jack Flaherty, St. Louis Cardinals (+1800)
Among the players with the top 10 odds for this season, a few have already led the majors in pitching wins. Yu Darvish and Shane Bieber tied for the lead in 2020 with 8 wins. Max Scherzer has led the MLB once but has led the National League twice and the American League twice.
Outside of those three pitchers, none of the rest listed has even led their leagues in wins.
This season, though, age and injury could limit some of these pitchers from playing enough games to lead the MLB in wins. Scherzer missed time in 2019 and didn’t look fully recovered in 2020.
Some of these pitchers have seen turnover on their teams, or have changed teams since 2020, and that could impact their chances to lead the MLB in wins. Jacob deGrom’s Mets added Francisco Lindor, Jack Flaherty’s Cardinals added Nolan Arenado, the White Sox added Liam Hendriks to close out games and protect leads for Lucas Giolito, Trevor Bauer moved to the Dodgers who have arguably the best offense in baseball, and Darvish was traded to the Padres who might have the second-best offense in baseball.
On the other side, Aaron Nola has perhaps one of the worst bullpens behind him and an offense that lacks punch behind JT Realmuto and Bryce Harper. Losing Lindor does not help Bieber’s case to lead the league in wins.
2021 MLB Starting Pitcher Wins Leader Bet Picks
2021 MLB SP Wins Leader: Smart Money Bet
Gerrit Cole (+1200)
The trick here is finding a pitcher who is good enough to win games outright based on ability, but also has a good offense to support him and a solid bullpen behind him. Gerritt Cole checks off all those boxes. In 2019, Cole won 20 games playing for the runner-up Astros, and finished tied for second in pitching wins in 2020 with 7.
Cole has an excellent offense to provide him with run support, so in case Yankee Stadium keeps Cole’s HR/9 rate up higher than in the past (prior to last season’s 1.73 HR/9, his highest rate was 1.37 in 2017), his offense can keep him in games. Bats like DJ Lemahieu, Luke Voit, Gleyber Torres, Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton will help him a lot in 2021.
In addition, the back end of the Yankees’ bullpen should help Cole lock down some wins. Aroldis Chapman has been one of the best closers in the game since 2012. Former closer Zach Britton is an elite set-up man but needs to stay healthy this season. And veteran relievers Chad Green, Darren O’Day and Justin Wilson help round out a solid bullpen.
Trevor Bauer (+1300)
Trevor Bauer probably will not win an ERA title without the small sample size 2020 provided him, but he has a great shot at leading the majors in wins in 2021. Similar to Cole, Bauer has an excellent offense to provide him with run support, and one of the deepest and most talented bullpens in the league. What might push Bauer over the edge for most likely to accrue the most wins is that he is intent on pitching every fourth day, rather than every fifth. The simple fact that he might participate in more games gives him an edge for being able to win more games than anyone else.
2021 MLB SP Wins Leader: Sleeper Bets
Stephen Strasburg (+2500)
Stephen Strasburg only pitched five innings in 2020 before being pulled for the rest of the year with carpal tunnel neuritis. He returns in 2021 fully healthy, and ready to be a dominant pitcher again. Strasburg led the National League in wins as recently as 2019, the year in which he also won the World Series MVP award. The likely reason that he is a long shot to lead the MLB in wins is because of his injury history. But similar to Bauer and Cole, he does have a few things in his favor. The Nationals made improvements across the roster, adding a few big bats to go along with stars Trea Turner and Juan Soto. Plus, new closer Brad Hand adds to a bullpen that should be dominant in 2021. He’s a long shot, but Strasburg could be worth the gamble.
Lance Lynn (+2500)
The Chicago White Sox acquired Lance Lynn to be an “innings eater” for them. Lynn has started fewer than 33 games only three times in his career (counting full 162 game seasons) and made each of his scheduled starts in 2020. He is a workhorse pitcher, and his ability to make every start gives him a chance at winning a lot of games. Chicago also landed Hendriks, who has been arguably the best closer in baseball over the last 2 seasons, and that should give bettors some comfort in putting their money on Lynn to win the most games in 2021. The fact that Jose Abreu plays for the White Sox should also help both Lynn and bettors feel comfortable as well.
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