It hasn’t been a great week for the Detroit Tigers. But that’s not stopping Michigan sports bettors from being enthusiastic about the potential of young star Casey Mize.
The Tigers snapped a five-game losing streak on Wednesday night, but their bleak record of 7-11 entering Thursday already has fans looking ahead.
However, the former No. 1 pick is opening some eyes at the betting window.
Mize getting nearly half of one sportsbook’s AL Cy Young wagers
Clearly, Tigers fans are feeling good about Mize for the 2021 MLB season.
The latest numbers from BetMGM Sportsbook show Mize running away from the 2021 AL Cy Young field with the most tickets wagered to be the winner.
Mize is getting 47% of the bets for the category, yet his moves aren’t budging from the +5000 mark BetMGM is listing.
Gerrit Cole of the New York Yankees is the favorite at +300. Cleveland Indians starter Shane Bieber is next at +350. Tyler Glasnow of the Tampa Bay Rays has odds of +600.
Cole is getting the second-highest percentage of the tickets at 16.3%.
While Mize has nearly half of the wagers, he is getting just 6.8% of the handle. That ratio indicates that most of the bets are small amounts, likely from the fan base trying to cash in on the long odds.
Cole has just 16% of the tickets, but he is accounting for a whopping 80.3% of the handle.
Cole remains the biggest liability for sportsbooks, but Mize is the second-largest liability in the Cy Young race.
Regular season better than spring for Casey Mize
Given the rough spring training Mize had, his regular season has provided a lot more optimism.
Thus far, Mize has made three starts and has a 1-1 record with a 3.38 ERA.
During spring training, Mize had an awful 7.23 ERA and 1.77 WHIP over 18.2 innings of work. He did strike out 27 batters, but also walked 11.
To start the regular season, Mize went four innings in his debut against the Minnesota Twins, allowing just one earned run on five hits with four strikeouts and two walks.
His April 12 start against the Houston Astros was his best outing. Mize threw seven scoreless innings, allowing four hits while walking just two with five strikeouts for his lone win thus far.
Last Saturday, Mize suffered his first loss. He gave up five runs over five innings on seven hits. The Oakland Athletics homered three times on Mize, and he struck out just four.
Strikeouts are going to be Mize’s strength, but just 13 through three games is not even registering in the top 50 of MLB.
Uphill climb toward Cy Young Award
Sportsbooks probably aren’t shaking in their boots at the prospect of Mize taking home the AL Cy Young.
Other front-runners have far stronger numbers out of the gate and are on teams better assembled for postseason success in 2021.
As the current favorite, Cole has a 2-1 record, with a 1.82 ERA and 39 strikeouts to just three walks. All are stronger than Mize, and Cole already has name recognition to rely on.
Bieber, the 2020 AL Cy Young winner, is off to a 2-1 start as well. He has a league-best 48 strikeouts in 29.1 innings, along with a 2.45 ERA.
Glasnow, another favorite, has an ERA of 0.73 through four starts. He has 36 strikeouts to just seven walks.
With Mize being so young, and on a team that doesn’t look to be a contender, his numbers will have to be off the charts to make that Cy Young dent.
Wins aren’t likely going to tally up, either, with Detroit ranking 26th in baseball in terms of run production.
Outside of the COVID-shortened 2020 season, the last nine AL Cy Young winners have had at least 18 wins. Twelve of the past 13 winners have had an ERA below 3.00.
The Tigers organization also isn’t likely to be too risky with Mize this season in terms of pushing him deep into the pitch count. They also won’t take any risks when it comes to minor injuries.
The stars really need to align for this bet to payoff and do a big number on sportsbooks.
Mize makes his next start Friday against the AL Central-leading Kansas City Royals.