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Long Ball Could Derail Gerrit Cole’s Cy Young Chances

Aaron Judge was not the only Yankee player to set a career-high last season when he hit 62 home runs for the Bronx Bombers. Starter Getting Cole ended up with a not-so-desirable personal record after allowing 33 home runs in a single season.

Not only were 33 home runs a season-high for the ace pitcher, but he also led the MLB in one area you don’t want to take the top spot. It was a shocking stat for such a dominant pitcher and tough to watch sometimes.

Long Ball Could Derail Gerrit Cole's Cy Young Chances
Gerrit Cole #45 of the New York Yankees - Jim mcisaac/getty images/afp

The end of the season was particularly brutal as Cole coughed up at least one home run in his final 10 starts for a total of 16, including three in the playoffs.

Cold didn’t make many other mistakes during the second half of the season and still managed to finish with 13 wins. Still, you have to wonder how much better the New York Yankees‘ record would have been if he hadn’t given up so many upper-deckers in the final two months of the regular season.

Will History Repeat Itself?

Cut to the start of the 2023 season, and something miraculous happened in New York. Cole started the season off in fantastic shape, as usual, but he also did an unbelievable job keeping the ball inside the park. And by unbelievable, I mean he didn’t allow a single home run through his first seven starts.

Cole earned a 5-0 record in those first seven games, and the Yankees went undefeated. With a 1.11 ERA and 52 strikeouts in 45⅔ innings, Cole looked poised to make a run at his first career Cy Young Award after winning AL Pitcher of the Month.

However, things took a turn in May, and Cole allowed home runs in four of six starts and saw his ERA rise from 1.35 to 2.93. While that might not sound too bad, Cole didn’t allow a home run in those four starts, but two in each for eight in five games.

And just like that, Cole went from the most dominant pitcher in baseball with no home runs to giving up multiple moon shots in four of five starts. His MLB odds to win the Cy Young suffered as a result and had many bettors kicking themselves for trusting that Cole left his home run issues in 2022. He allowed four hits in one game, but two left the park. Cole’s record remained spotless, but concerns began to mount after last season’s rough end.

The MLB lines for Cole to win the Cy Young quickly went from around +300 to around +650.

However, when the Calendar turned to June, Cole did something unexpected. He made some adjustments and regained his dominance over the league and the long ball. In his last four starts since ending a worrying month, Cole lowered his ERA from 2.82 to 2.64 and has allowed just one home run in that span.

If you plan to bet online in favor of Cole, now may be the time to do it with the veteran right back on track. But be warned, after his performance last month, it’s clear that these issues are not entirely in the rearview mirror.

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