NL Cy Young Sleeper Pick: Aaron Nola Has Been Unlucky

The Phillies starter has been great, despite the ERA

How often is it that you see a pitcher that has a 4-4 record with a 3.42 ERA on a team that is barely over .500, and he is currently top eight in the Cy Young Award race in his league? It doesn't happen that often, but the sportsbooks are smart, and they know that despite those numbers, Philadelphia Phillies starting pitcher Aaron Nola has actually been fantastic, albeit very unlucky to start the 2022 season. While guys like Sandy Alcantara and Joe Musgrove are topping the odds board right now, and with good reason I might add, there is still plenty of value to be found as we search down through to find a gem that could line our pockets with a comeback win at long odds. I think that could be Nola, so let's take a look at him a bit.

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Nola has been, to say the very least, incredibly unlucky to start his campaign in 2022, but his numbers have been improving and getting back to where they should be. You may see me mention FIP in a lot of these articles, which stands for Fielder Independent Pitching, and is a more predictive stat of how a pitcher is actually performing rather than ERA. His is currently sitting at 2.42, which is fifth-best in all of baseball according to Fangraphs, and exceptional. In 2018, he came in third in Cy Young voting and has been one of the more constant pitchers in baseball since then. Not to mention that he also has a very low WHIP at 0.88, which is third lowest in all of baseball. All of the advanced stats tell us that he is due get much better as the year keep going, and at his current number of +2500 at DraftKings Sportsbook, you may be looking at a steal.

There is a reason he is still up there in the top eight despite those numbers, and it is because these books know he is likely to get better and don't want to have him at some insane number. At 25/1, there's certainly good reason to place a wager on him to come back and take home the award, especially if you like the Phillies to turn their season around and start performing the way they should be. I like Philadelphia going forward as one of those teams that has a total resurgence after firing their manager, and when the team starts performing better, Nola will be right there to reap the benefits as well.

MORE: AL CY YOUNG SLEEPER