Not often a two-time Cy Young Award winner gets traded, but that was the case for Corey Kluber this offseason as he was shipped from Cleveland to Texas. Here are two props available to wager at Mybookie on Kluber’s 2020 MLB season – assuming there is one – and an overview.
Corey Kluber MLB Awards Odds & Analysis For 2020 Season
- Most wins of any pitcher: Kluber is +3000
- AL Cy Young Award: Kluber is +1800 to win his third Cy Young
The Indians are crying poor these days, and that’s why they shipped out Kluber to Texas in return for outfielder Delino DeShields and right-handed reliever Emmanuel Clase. Kluber is due $17.5 million this year and has a club option for $18 million with a $1 million buyout for 2021.
There was uncertainty as to whether the Tribe would be able to get someone to match its asking price for a hurler who spent the majority of the 2019 season on the injured list.
Last season, Clase made 21 appearances for the Rangers and posted a 2.31 ERA with 21 strikeouts, two homers, six walks and a 1.114 WHIP in 23 1/3 innings. In 2019 DeShields hit .249 with a .672 OPS, four homers, 32 RBIs, 15 doubles, four triples and 24 stolen bases.
Indians president Chris Antonetti said he received calls from numerous teams with interest in Kluber. But the offer from Texas made the most sense for Cleveland because it included players who can have an immediate impact and “help us be a better team in 2020.”
Kluber won his first Cy Young in 2014, when he went 18-9, and added No. 2 in 2017 after going 18-4 and leading the AL with a 2.25 ERA. He was one of MLB’s most dominant pitchers from 2014-18, winning 18+ games four times, including a career best 20 victories in 2018. He posted at least 200.0 innings in all 5 years, a span in which he averaged 17 wins, 32 starts, 218.0 innings, and 246 strikeouts. Kluber owns a career 98- 58 record with a 3.16 ERA, 1.086 WHIP, and 9.8 strikeouts per 9.0 IP over a 9-year MLB career.
However, he was a disaster for seven starts in 2019 (2-3, 5.80 ERA) before a line drive off the bat of Brian Anderson fractured his forearm. Kluber then strained his left oblique muscle during a minor league rehab start on 8/18
Even before the injuries, Kluber wasn’t right, with hitters making higher-quality contact and putting the ball in the air against him at a greater rate than they had in any previous season. His velocity has dropped across the board over the last five years. Kluber’s 91.6 MPH average fastball velocity last year was the lowest of his career. He also had a 36.6% hard contact rate. From 2011-2017, Kluber’s hard contact rate was just 27.4%. He’s allowed hard contact on nearly 10% more batted balls over the last two seasons than the first seven of his career.
Kluber excelled in his second Cactus League start this spring before things were shut down, allowing just one run on two hits over four innings against the Padres. The veteran right-hander walked two and struck out two on the evening.
“The way I would judge a spring training start is how well I’m able to execute pitches, get the ball where I want, avoid hard contact, which I think I did pretty well for the most part,” he said.
Corey Kluber had a 3.86 ERA, 1.14 WHIP and 6/4 K/BB ratio through his first seven innings on the spring. He can still be an ace at his age. Max Scherzer and Justin Verlander have continued to thrive into their mid-30s, and the last time we saw Kluber healthy for a full year, he wasn’t far behind.